Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction

Phone: 708-225-4023


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Brett Fickes

Welcome to the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of Thornton Township High Schools District 205! 

District 205 offers an extensive and thorough curriculum to meet the needs of our students, with a variety of options in the core areas of Math, English, Science, and Social Studies, as well as vocational programs such as The Machine Shop, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Truck and Diesel Technology Powered by Navistar, and Drivers Education.   

By design, our curriculum is learner-centric, challenging, differentiated, experiential, and results-oriented. We are guided and motivated by the District’s vision, which is to build an exemplary high-quality organization that produces major gains in student achievement.

Curriculum, instruction, and external funding responsibilities include:  

  • Curriculum development and renewal 
  • Curriculum handbook 
  • Professional development 
  • New teacher and mentor Programs 
  • Curriculum and instruction in all content areas 
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Program 
  • Federal and state grant programs 
  • All college and career programs 
  • Assessment and data analysis  
  • Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) Training (Violent Intruder Readiness Training)  

District 205 aims to provide a curriculum that is relevant, challenging, and prepares our students to be productive citizens in a global society. Our curriculum exceeds state requirements and aims to be second to none. 

The curriculum department staff believes in the following:

  • A rigorous curriculum is the right of all students.
  • Diversity enriches the individual, school, and community.
  • Constant evaluation of four critical questions impacts curriculum:
    • What do we want the students to know?
    • How will we know that they have learned it?
    • What will we do if they do not learn it? 
    • What will we do if they have learned it?

We partner with businesses and organizations in the community to provide innovative programs for all students that nurture their unique abilities, expand their potential, and encourage them to pursue excellence in their endeavors. Through the tireless effort of our students and staff, District 205 has implemented innovative initiatives including: 

  • International Baccalaureate Program (IB) 
  • Advanced Placement (AP) 
  • Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) 
  • Project Lead the Way Engineering Program 
  • Pre-Pharmacy program with South Suburban College and the University of Illinois at Chicago 
  • Entrepreneurial programs with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
  • Truck & Diesel Technology Powered By Navistar 

District 205 also has two alternative educational programs which give students, who need additional support to accomplish their academic goals, the resources and guidance that they need.  Outlook Academy is led by Ms. Patricia Malopsy-Fortier who also spearheads Summer School and Credit Recovery. The PEACE Center is led by Mr. Tyran Cox-Bey and Ms. Hanifah Ross. 

Our curriculum and programs help the District advance its mission to develop productive citizens and our goal to ensure that our students are enrolled in college or a vocation program, enlisted in the military, or successfully employed at the completion of high school.

I have been a part of the District 205 family for 28 years.  I started as a teacher in the Social Sciences Department at Thornton and moved up to Department Chair. I have spent the last 14 years as an administrator – six of those as an Area Instructional Leader in the Social Sciences Department, and eight years in my current role of Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. 

I look forward to continuing my due diligence in developing new programs and initiatives for the success of our students!  

Here’s to a great year,


Mr. Brett Fickes 

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction 

Curriculum & Instruction Staff