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Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958

Joyce Kleinaitis, Our Lady of the Angels School Fire Survivor

Joyce Kleinaitis

My name is Joyce Kleinaitis and I am a building principal at Homer Junior High School in Lockport, Illinois. I have been in education for over twenty-five years and have been involved with students from grades 4 through junior college. I was raised in the city of Chicago and now live in the suburbs. I have been married 24 years to my husband, John, and we are the parents of Jason, 20 and Traci, 18.

My junior high students provide me with many challenges on a daily basis which I welcome. I certainly enjoy this age group because of their energy and because it is probably one of the most difficult age groups to educate.

My experiences at Loyola pursuing this doctoral degree in educational administration have been very rewarding and also challenging. My studies have allowed me to meet many wonderful people, staff members and even an opportunity to travel to Rome to study leadership.

I am eagerly awaiting the completion of my dissertatin. This has been a very personal endeavor to me because of my topic. I am writing a historical study of the Our Lady of the Angels School fire. Having been a survivor of the fire as a fourth grader, my interest in the effect of the tragedy on the life safety issues on schools across the nation has propelled me into this research.

I look forward to seeking new opportunities after completing my doctorate.