Dr. Jeremy Ricken earned bachelors and masters degrees from Northwestern University in speech-language pathology, a masters degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in educational administration from Illinois State University. Currently, Dr. Ricken serves as Principal of Gombert Elementary School in Aurora, Illinois, a Title I school with nearly 40% of their students receiving free lunch. Under his leadership, their faculty has worked hard to raise achievement and close achievement gaps over the last 7 years and their students have experienced wonderful success as a result of their hard work. Servant leadership and faith are foundational to Dr. Ricken and guides his steps as a principal and a faculty member of Olivet Nazarene University. Since 2013, Dr. Ricken has taught a wide variety of education courses, both face-to-face and online. Each presents unique challenges and rewards, but serving others as they reach their professional goals is something he truly enjoys.
Dr. Ricken’s faith is very important to him, driving his decisions and goals. It is central to his role as husband and father, as well as principal, instructor, mentor, and colleague. He met his wife Tania in 1994 in the school where they both taught and the pair married in 1996. They are blessed with two amazing children, a son and a daughter. They are bright, talented teenagers with vastly different personalities and fill their lives with joy and pride.