"We Are D97" is a monthly profile series that will highlight the tremendous work being done across the district to advance our vision, achieve our goals, and create a strong sense of community and belonging.
Student Support Specialist
Hatch Elementary School
Porsche Winfield was a first-grade teacher for 11 years at Hatch before becoming the school's student support specialist in 2018. The position was created to support the needs of the school's growing student population and assist Principal Sarah Mendez with day-to-day building operations.
"It’s been a big learning experience being outside of the classroom," Porsche said. "I’ve learned a lot about how decisions are made and what it takes for a school to run smoothly. It's been exciting and challenging to step into this type leadership role."
Prior to starting her career at Hatch, Porsche earned a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Northern Illinois University, and a master's degree in early childhood education from Concordia University.
Why She Wanted to Teach in District 97:
"I grew up in Oak Park, and had some amazing teachers when I was a student in District 97. Returning here to teach was simply a way for me to give back to the community that made me who I am."
Favorite Memory from Working in District 97:
"I have a lot of really great memories from working here, but the one that really sticks out was seeing my own first-grade teacher at the first district-wide meeting I attended. I was so excited to see her because I was obsessed with her when I was in first grade. Having the chance to cross paths with her again after all those years was awesome."
On Her Fellow First-Grade Teachers:
"My first-grade team was amazing. We experienced so much together and supported each other through it all. My memories with that group are the ones I tend to hold closest to my heart."
Hatch Principal Sarah Mendez:
"Ms. Winfield is such an important member of our Hatch family. As a teacher, she inspired her students and always found ways to differentiate her instruction to meet the needs of each child as an individual learner. Now that she has transitioned into the role of student support specialist, her impact in our school community has grown exponentially, and her dedicated service on behalf of our students, families, and staff has become even more valuable."
"I got a D in cursive. I have really great printing, but have never been able to write in cursive!"