Cathryn Ilani

Teacher and Principal

Cathryn Ilani is a teacher and principal who has over 30 years of experience working in education. She works to ensure all of her students receive a well-rounded curriculum to prepare them for the future. Mrs. Ilani prides herself on her lively classroom and hands-on learning experiences for her students.

Years before becoming a principal, and teacher, Cathryn Ilani went to university to begin her career. Cathryn attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public university that is the flagship campus and part of the Wisconsin state university system. Cathryn was able to begin working right after college as a teacher. 

The same year Cathryn Ilani graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she became a teacher at the Jacob Duman JCC Early Childhood Center. She taught preschool and was the Teen Coordinator for other programs offered as well. Mrs. Ilani spent five years working at this facility before moving into a different role. 

While working as a Preschool Teacher and Teen Coordinator, Cathryn Ilani attended graduate school to be able to further her education and her career in education. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University, a private university near Chicago, Illinois. The university has a long history of providing degrees in education and began as a college to train women to be kindergarten teachers. 

Cathryn Ilani graduated in 1993, and upon graduation, she began working as an elementary school teacher. She taught the fourth through eighth grades at the Summit School. Cathryn gained further experience here in classroom management, which has helped her throughout her entire career. 

From 1999 to 2002, Cathryn Ilani worked at the Davinci Academy as a fourth-grade teacher. Aside from teaching, she was also tasked with co-writing, designing, and implementing a curriculum for these students. She began to understand what goes into creating a well-rounded learning environment for students while working there. Her teaching experiences inspired her to create a school that focused on many different subjects. 

In 2002, Cathryn Ilani founded The Einstein Academy, where she is also the principal. The academy’s primary mission is to provide gifted students with the skills necessary to become productive members of society and lifelong learners. The Einstein Academy is a private school that is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It teaches children as young as age four in preschool through high school. Cathryn Ilani’s goal was to create a school that educated children wholly, not partially. Now in her 18th year of teaching at The Einstein Academy, Cathryn works every day to reach her goal. 

Most recently, The Einstein Academy has some exciting news to share. It was recently announced that The Einstein Academy would be merging with Gersh Autism. Gersh Autism has been serving neurodiverse students for almost thirty years and has become an industry leader in autism education. Naturally, Cathryn Ilani and The Einstein Academy are excited about everything Gersh Autism will bring to the table. Together, the two organizations hope to further individualized care and education, incorporating neurodivergent lessons.  

Both organizations have spent years focusing on what makes children unique – and helping them find the ideal way to learn. Together, The Einstein Academy and Gersh Autism are ready to change their community for the better, providing the best level of education possible.  

Cathryn Ilani enjoys helping others and is incredibly philanthropic. She regularly donates to cancer research and time, whenever possible, to working with underprivileged students. Ultimately, Cathryn Ilani hopes to help promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) and other essential educational programs. It is important to Cathryn that she makes time to give back to her community. One significant focus of Cathryn’s is cancer research. Cancer affects everyone, regardless of age, race, or class. By helping to fund cancer research, Cathryn hopes to help save lives.  

Cathryn is also a big advocate for Holocaust education. Her father was a survivor of Auschwitz and a firm believer that education is the best way to fight bigotry. She believes that we must teach children how to become tolerant and accepting of others, along with their math, science, and English lessons. Through history education, we can help ensure that the horrible mistakes of our history do not repeat.  

Visit Cathryn Ilani’s other website,, to learn more about her views on technology.