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Our Team

Dr. Elizabeth Cardenas-López, Principal

I’m Dr. Elizabeth Cardenas-Lopez, principal at Washington Elementary School. I am passionate and committed to my work as a school leader and educator. I love and appreciate what I do and the blessings I’ve been afforded to guide, educate, influence, serve, and care for children, staff, and families. 

This is my 25th year in education, and I’m thrilled to be a member of the Washington Community for the past three years. I’m honored and humbled to have been the principal of the Washington School since August 2021. I love and appreciate working with and serving our community of educators, our students, and our families. 

I worked as the Literacy Director in the D65’s office from 2017 to 2021. In this role, I led and coordinated language arts/literacy curriculum adoption and implementation for classroom instruction and interventions and professional learning workshops for K-8 educators, school leaders, instructional coaches, and literacy specialists. I spent 18 years in the Chicago Public School (CPS) system as a classroom educator in dual language classrooms, bilingual and literacy specialist, assistant principal, Director of a research project for middle schools in CPS, and Director of the Literacy and Multilingual departments also in CPS. 

I was born in a picturesque small town called Santiago Papasquiaro in Durango,  Mexico. I immigrated to the U.S.  at 14 and grew up in Chicago. I obtained my teaching degree after my third child was born in 1999 and received my doctorate from National Louis University in 2015. 

I’m the proud mother of three exceptional children: two daughters, Alexandra and Anaisabel, and a son, Alfredo Enrique. I am also a grandmother of three precious human beings, Jacqueline Rose, Diana Elizabeth, and Christian Alejandro. My husband, Alfredo, and I are grateful for what life has offered us and the unforgettable moments we experience with our children and grandchildren. 

Thank you for visiting our website. You’re welcome to visit us in person anytime.

Carlos Mendez, Assistant Principal

My name is Carlos Mendez. I am the proud assistant principal here at Washington Elementary School. I have had the pleasure of serving the Evanston community for over a decade. I was born in Cuba and moved to Miami Florida when I was 13 years old. I became interested in teaching because my father was a math teacher, and in college I decided to become an educator. Over the last 20 years I have completed two master's degrees and been working in education in multiple capacities (teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal and principal) experiences that continue to fuel my passion... to service my students, their families and my amazing staff.

Come in and meet our Washington Village. You too will fall in love!

Student Services

Emily Oh-Castillo

Instructional Coach

Emily Castillo-Oh
(847) 905-7135

In her 18 years as an Elementary School educator, Emily has been privileged to work with students and educators in various K-8 settings. She has worked as a bilingual classroom educator, ESL teacher, Reading Specialist, and 6th grade Language Arts Interventionist. Currently, Emily is the Instructional Coach at  Washington Elementary. Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Bilingual Education, a Master of Arts in Literacy / Reading Specialist, and a Master of Science in Educational and School Leadership. Emily is wholeheartedly devoted to enhancing teaching methods and advancing student learning outcomes. Her primary focus is on delivering personalized support, organizing professional development opportunities, and fostering a collaborative school culture. Emily's dedication stems from a genuine desire to bring about positive change in education by creating an environment where both educators and students thrive through effective, tailored approaches.