Meet Noble Schools’ Principals (Part Three)

Meet Noble Schools Principals

This is the third part of a series featuring all of Noble Schools’ principals. If you haven’t yet, check out part two which featured the principals of Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, Butler College Prep, Mansueto High School, and Hansberry College Prep.

We’re continuing to celebrate Principal Appreciation Month with four more principal features! This time, we’re hearing from the principals of Noble Street College Prep, Pritzker College Prep, UIC College Prep, and The Noble Academy.

Stay tuned for Part Four, the final part!


Photo is a professional headshot of Ben Gunty, principal of Noble Street College Prep, in his school hallways. He is a White man with short brown hair and is wearing a white button up shirt with a dark blue jacket He is smiling.

Ben Gunty is the principal of Noble Street College Prep, one of the highest-performing high schools in Chicago, IL. Before school leadership at Noble, Gunty taught 9th-grade Grade Multicultural Studies, led the 9th-grade staff team, coached varsity boys soccer, led Noble Street’s Diversity Dialogues, and was an inaugural member of the Noble Principal Fellowship.

Gunty started his career in corporate retail in Columbus, OH, but then changed course to teach literature in Weiner, AR, through Teach For America. He received his Bachelor of Arts in the Program of Liberal Studies from the University of Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, he received the Alumni Association’s Mike Russo Award for demonstrated character and service and the student Opus Prize for social entrepreneurship.

Gunty lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.

Q: What is your favorite song?

A: “‘Paradise by The Temptations – it’s constantly stuck in my head yet somehow I never tire of it.”

Q: What is your favorite thing about Chicago/your campus neighborhood?

A: “I love how multicultural Chicago is, both within neighborhoods and across the city. There’s virtually always a smorgasbord of great things to do which I find enriching and fulfilling. I also love food so exploring restaurants—from tamale stands to hole-in-the-walls to fine dining—never gets old for me.”

Q: What is one thing that is bringing you joy right now outside of work?

A: “My family and reading! I have two young kids, and while sometimes it feels like a circus at home, they bring me great joy, and I’m grateful for the beautiful late summer / early fall weather that has allowed us to spend lots of time outside together. I also love to read, and finding time to do so at the start of the year brings me joy and balance.



Photo is a professional headshot of Carrie Spitz, principal of Pritzker College Prep, in her school hallways. She is q Latina woman with curly hair and is wearing a black floral top with a black jacket. She is smiling.

As a senior tutor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Carrie Spitz realized she was passionate about teaching and educating others. Through Teach for America (TFA), Spitz was given the opportunity to return to the Chicagoland area to serve the community of West Englewood as a high school Spanish teacher. During this time, Spitz earned her Master of Arts in Teaching at Dominican University.

Shortly after that, she joined the Noble network at Pritzker College Prep. At the time, Pritzker was in its 2nd year of operation, and Spitz was inspired by the task of building a new school. In 2012, she became a finalist for TFA’s Chicago Alumni Distinguished Teacher Award. That same year, she was accepted into the KIPP Summer Leadership Program as a leadership team member. In 2013, Spitz earned her Educational Specialist degree in Administration.

Spitz has been a member of the Pritzker community since 2007. She has served as a teacher, dean, and assistant principal. In 2017, with great honor and pride, she accepted the role to serve the Hermosa community as the principal of Pritzker College Prep. She believes that through hard work and high expectations, Pritzker will continue to push the limits of what is possible for its students and community.

Q: What is your favorite song?

A: “I really don’t have a favorite song. I love music as a background to get me in the right mindset—but I listen to everything depending on the mood. In the past two to three years, I have gone to a variety of concerts ranging from Justin Timberlake to Dashboard Confessional to Boyz II Men, to Train and Brandi Carlile. I also went to Lollapallooza this year—with my entire family! We went on Thursday and enjoyed the Kidzapallooza area as well as Portugal the Man, Billie Eilish, Diplo, and Carly Rae Jepsen

Q: What is your favorite thing about Chicago/your campus neighborhood?

A: “FOOOOOD!!!!! I think food says so much about a culture and a community. In our campus neighborhood, there are more and more venues opening that are owned by Noble alum and their families, which are really fun to support.”

Q: What is one thing that is bringing you joy right now outside of work?

A: “I really enjoy the outdoors. In any season. I love hiking and softball in the warm weather. I love skiing and sledding in the cooler weather. I love outdoor chores like weeding and gardening.



Dalonte Burns is a father, husband, educator, Noble Street College Prep alum, and leader. He is a first-generation college graduate, born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, IL. He went to Lewis University, where he got his Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and played on the men’s basketball team for four years. He received his Master of Arts in Special Education from National Louis University.

Burns is entering his 12th year in Noble. He entered Noble as a paraprofessional at Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy. After serving as a paraprofessional for two years, Burns spent the next four years as a learning specialist. Before joining UIC College Prep, Dalonte was a principal resident at Noble Street College Prep. There, he worked to develop an instructional equity framework that led to some of the highest equitable outcomes for students with IEPs. He also worked to create an antiracist framework—aligned with Noble’s Anti-Racism Commitment—to drive the work of dismantling racist practices and policies.

He has committed his life’s work to education to serve his community and elevate the power of those most marginalized.

Q: What is your favorite song?

A: “Winning by Pastor Mike McClure. It’s an uplifting and inspirational song that centers hope.”

Q: What is your favorite thing about Chicago/your campus neighborhood?

A: “I love the Bronzeville community in Chicago.

Q: What is one thing that is bringing you joy right now outside of work?

A: “I’ve really enjoyed spending time with my wife and kids and playing basketball.”



Professional photo of Pinkston, a black woman with twists and curls in her hair. She is wearing a green top and smiling.

Tierionna Pinkston is a mother, wife, and long-time educator originally from Louisville, Kentucky.

Pinkston earned her Bachelor of Science in Adolescent English Education from Miami University of Ohio and her Master of Education in Curriculum Studies from DePaul University.

Before becoming principal, Mrs. Pinkston served as the manager of instructional leadership for Noble Schools. She has also been an assistant principal, dean of instruction, college counselor, English teacher, and advisor during her career. In addition to these roles, she’s been in Noble’s Principal Fellowship, the Diverse Leaders Fellowship, and a member of the inaugural Equity Quotient cohort. She is a 2011 Chicago Corps member, a 2016 Stanford Hollyhock Fellow, and a proud 2022 Chicago Surge Fellow.

Her leadership, passion for young people, and commitment to equity have brought her to The Noble Academy, and she looks forward to further defining what it means to be a Griffin.

Q: What is your favorite song?

A: “I am not hip to a lot of the current music because I’m very much a “keep my playlist in rotation” kind of person. My faith is so important to me, so I keep Maverick City Music in rotation. If it’s not that, I’m into R&B from the 90s and 2000s—Dru Hill, Day 26, or Toni Braxton.”

Q: What is your favorite thing about Chicago/your campus neighborhood?

A: “I never get tired of seeing the Chicago skyline. Even after living here for 13 or 14 years, I still find peace whenever I drive down Lakeshore Drive and look up at the skyline. Our skyline is the best in the country.”

Q: What is one thing that is bringing you joy right now outside of work?

A: “Hmm… right now, it’s dance parties with my youngest. He loves a good beat and is into fun songs, too. The other day, I came to pick him up from his daycare, and they told me he could do the cha-cha slide. I love seeing the joy and energy he brings to a room. He’ll tell me, ‘Mommy! Stop and dance.’ We all need that in our lives.


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In this graphic, there is a background image that shows the headshots of the 12 new members of the Diverse Leaders Fellowship program at Noble Schools. On top of that is a slightly transparent dark blue layer that obscures the images heavily. On top of that layer is yellow and white text that reads "Noble Schools Welcomes New Diverse Leaders Members". In the bottom left corner is the Diverse Leaders Fellowship logo. In the bottom right corner is the Noble Schools logo. Both use the iconic Noble shield.Noble Schools Welcomes New Members to the 6th Cohort of the Diverse Leaders Fellowship Program
"meet noble schools principals pt 4" a collageMeet Noble Schools’ Principals (Part Four)

Ensuring Positive and Equitable School Experiences for Noble Students Across Chicago

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