Comings and Goings

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ON CLARK STREET Audrey Donaldson, recently tapped to head the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, Professional Development and Research, has been moved to head up Teacher Renewal and Recertification. The new office will coordinate implementation of revisions in teacher certification that go into effect next year. John Frantz, director of teacher accountability, succeeds Donaldson as Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development officer.

MOVING IN/ON Todd Rosenkrantz, a researcher on school finance issues for the Chicago Urban League, has joined the Consortium on Chicago School Research. … Hosanna Mahaley, formerly a teacher educator at the Teachers Academy for Math and Science, has been appointed Assistant for Education to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Mahaley replaces Lisa Bolden, who now works in the city’s Transportation Dept.

PRINCIPALS The following principals have had their contracts renewed: Miryam Assaf-Keller, Lloyd; Roscoe C. Beach, Jr., Buckingham Special Education; Queen E. Brown, Earle; Analila Chico, Healy; Suzanne L. Dunaway, Andersen Community Academy; Joyce D. Kenner, Young Magnet.

The following interim principals have been named contract principals: Louis S. Hall, Jr., Raymond; Sandra M. Jones, Twain; Frederic W. Metz, Medill; Antoinette Patton, Smith; Paul R. Zeitler, Sheridan Magnet. … Assistant Principal Fanchion L. Blumenburg is now the principal at Kennedy High School, succeeding Arthur Mrumlinski, whose contract was not renewed by the local school council. (See Catalyst, April 1999.)

Earl Williams has become the interim principal at Avalon Park, where he formerly held the principal post. … Christine Arroyo, former assistant principal at Little Village Academy, has become the interim principal at Zapata Academy. Interim Principal James Lalley is continuing in his position at Northside College Prep. Patricia Monroe Taylor, an assistant principal at Howe, has moved to an interim principal post at Arai Middle School. Melverlene Parker, who was a teacher at Pirie, has become the interim principal at Hirsch. John Potocki, a coordinator at Proctor Academic Transition Center, now serves as interim principal at Clay. Sylvia Rodriguez, a principal working with the Office of Schools and Regions, has become interim principal at Ortiz De Dominguez. Beverly Slater, also a principal at the Office of Schools and Regions, has moved to an interim position at Gillespie. Juanita Skulark, former assistant principal at McCosh, has become the interim principal at Wright. DuSable Associate Principal Katherine Smith is now the Gage Park interim principal. Anthony Spivey, formerly at Partee Academic Transition Center, has become the interim principal at Corliss.

DESEG UPDATE Dan Kohrman, the U. S. Department of Justice attorney in charge of Chicago’s court-monitored desegregation plan, made a fact-finding trip to the city in early November, according to several sources. Kohrman visited Northside College Prep and South Side College Prep and met with board officials, a member of the board’s Desegregation Monitoring Commission, staff from the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and local activists. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice confirmed Kohrman’s visit but declined to comment further.

Last spring, a department spokesperson said that the feds were talking with the monitoring commission about possible violations. The Monitoring Commission has not met since last summer, and no meetings are scheduled. The Commission lost its chair late in the summer when attorney Peggy Davis, now a partner at Winston and Strawn, gave notice to the School Board that she did not wish to be re-appointed when her term expired this fall. Davis, formerly a partner at Gardner, Carton and Douglas, cites an increased work load and travel schedule at her new job as reasons for leaving the commission.

COURT WATCH On Oct. 29, Doris Osan, a former assistant principal at Fulton Elementary in New City, filed a lawsuit in Chancery Court against the School Board. Members of Fulton’s local school council have voted to award Osan a four-year principal’s contract, but the School Board has not recognized the vote as legal.

REBUILDING SCHOOLS The Neighborhood Capital Budget Group (NCBG) released a comprehensive report in November entitled “Rebuilding Our Schools Brick by Brick.” It addresses Chicago’s school overcrowding problem and proposes steps to alleviate it; NCBG estimates that eliminating overcrowding will cost CPS between $1.3 and $2 billion. NCBG, a coalition of almost 200 community organizations, hopes to take its message to Congress, calling for federal legislation to assist school construction.

FELLOWSHIP Lake View High School science teacher Michael Lach has been chosen as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. Through May 2000, Lach will address science and education issues on the staff of U. S. Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-Mich.). The fellowship affords outstanding elementary and secondary mathematics and science teachers the opportunity to advise issues of national public education policy.

Comings and Goings

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CENTRAL OFFICE Controller Andrew Gilchrist has retired; Daryl Okrzesik, deputy controller, has been appointed acting controller. … Thomas Doyle, director of human resources, has retired; Ascencion Juarez, director of compensation and employee relations, has been appointed acting director. … Norma Tsuhako, secretary of the Board of trustees, has retired; Sharon Revollo, assistant secretary, succeeds her. … Estela Beltran, secretary to the chief of staff, has been appointed assistant secretary. … Rhonda Johnson, assistant to Board President Gery Chico, is now the assistant to Chief Education Officer Cozette Buckney. … Dorothy Aguirre, a manager of Citywide Education Programs, is now director of GED Programs. … Richard Koeller, chief information officer for Nissan Motor Corp., has been appointed chief information officer; he will oversee a $20 million computer software contract and an upgrade of the school system’s financial, student and personnel information systems, plus ensure that schools are properly wired for the Internet. Salary: $175,000.

PRINCIPALS RETIRING Philip Yaccino, Mozart; James Sanders, Webster; Vera Stevenson, Bridge; Johnnie Mae Newton, Burke; Rita Mitchell, Carter; Constance Martin, Tanner; Cecelia James, Spalding Elementary and High School; Maurice Haynes, Copernicus; Julius Gore, Kershaw; Almeda Feimster, Ruggles.

‘CALSC OK’ The Chicago Association of Local School Councils will continue its operations despite having as much as $150,000 tied up in the now-tangled finances of the Latino Institute, says director Sheila Castillo. “We are intent on meeting our obligations to our members and to our funders.” CALSC was in the process of severing its financial ties with the Latino Institute when the Institute laid off its staff and announced it was in financial distress in early August. The $150,000 figure is “an estimate” of what the Institute owes the Association, she says, adding that the Institute’s board is conducting an audit and has given assurances that it will meet its obligations to CALSC. Latino Institute Board President Angela Perez Miller could not be reached for comment.

DESIGNS FOR CHANGE CHANGES Executive Director Donald Moore has received a Chicago Community Trust fellowship (up to $100,000) to develop credit and degree-granting programs for parent and community activists who focus on schools. The goal is to create a supply of people for community service jobs and long-term commitments to education issues. Associate Director Joan Slay has retired and is now a consultant to the organization. Lowry Taylor, formerly with ACORN and the Rogers Park Community Action Network, has joined the staff as an organizer with its Schools First program.

MOVING IN/ON Researcher BetsAnn Smith has left the Consortium on Chicago School Research to become an assistant professor of educational administration at Michigan State University. … Working in the Schools (WITS) Executive Director Matt Pickering has joined the school system to coordinate the Principal for a Day Follow-up Program. Mary Ellen Guest, executive director of the EVEREN Foundation and a WITS volunteer, is WITS’ new executive director.

TEACHER RECRUITMENT The Chicago Public Schools is turning to the Internet to recruit new teachers from across the nation. Applications can be made online at www.trichicago.com. Teacher candidates can also receive help from a Help Desk, (312) 742-0393.

Comings and Goings

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AT PERSHING ROAD Pamela Price, a parent trainer and advocate for Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE), is now working in the Office of School and Community Relations as a parent advocate for local school councils in Region 2. … William Harnedy, principal of Lenart Regional Gifted Center, is now director of pupil support services. … Mary Koblas, director of immigrant and refugee affairs for the City of Chicago, is now director of the ombudsman program in the Office of School and Community Relations. …Laura Steele, a former staffer for Mayor Richard M. Daley, is now acting director of communications. Bennie Currie, who previously held that post, is now handling internal and external communications for the Chicago Academy for School Leadership, a joint project of the School Reform Board and the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. … Elisabeth Solomon, a budget analyst for the City of Chicago, is now a consultant to the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; her contract provides for up to $63,000.

MOVING IN/ON The CityWide Coalition for School Reform, which once drew scores of educators and activists to retreats and meetings, has dissolved for lack of participation. Executive Director Lafayette Ford says the group could not adjust to keep up with the fast pace of the new administration. Grace Troccolo now is an intern in the board’s Office of High School Restructuring, and Dion Miller Perez works for the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group. Coalition convenor Anne Hallett says reform activists are thinking about what they need to keep active and united. … Jacqueline Simmons, formerly principal of Robeson High in Englewood and assistant director of High School Services and Support, is now working for the Illinois State Board of Education to help develop its new School Quality Review program.

PRINCIPALS The following interim principals have received regular contracts: Samuel C. Jordan at Jesse Owens Academy, Martha P. Miranda at Salazar Bilingual, Arthur Slater at Austin High and Kenneth M. Staral at Ogden Elementary.

AWARDS Chicago Vocational High School will get an Exemplary Schools award after all. “It’s wonderful,” says Principal Betty Despenza-Green. “I applaud Paul Vallas for taking another look at the criteria.” CVS was selected for a leadership award by the broad-based group that launched the recognition program more than a year ago. After winners were announced in June, however, Vallas struck the school from the list because of low test scoreseven though the program singled out some schools, including CVS, for model programs rather than schoolwide achievement. … Andrea L. Stewart, who teaches U.S. and African-American history at Orr Community Academy High School in Humboldt Park is one of 10 finalists for the Illinois Teacher of the Year Award.

NEW TV SHOW Every Friday at 7 p.m., WYCC-TV (Channel 20) presents “Educate!” a 30-minute program examining the choices and challenges facing Chicago students, parents and educators. The show is repeated at 8 p.m. Sunday. Carol Davis Dillard is host. Launched in July, topics have included charter schools, standards, bilingual education and technology.

LSCAB Regina Valsamis, a parent member of the Hawthorne Elementary LSC, has replaced Victoria Pawlukowsky as the elected Region 1 representative on the Local School Council Advisory Board. Pawlukowsky was forced to step down from her council and the board when her child graduated. The administration identified Valsamis as the no. 2 vote-getter in Region 1. However, central office has refused to disclose vote totals for any candidates. Donna Sumanas, an aide to policy chief Leonard Dominguez, told CATALYST last April that individual vote totals were being withheld because “they did not want candidates to feel badly if they did not get many votes.” An April 29 request filed under the Freedom of Information Act has gone unanswered. … The Reform Board has appointed Maria Reynoso, a parent member of the Kanoon LSC, and Ruby Chan, a parent member of the Mark Sheridan LSC, to replace Jose Luis Lopez of the Tonti LSC and Rita Yu of the Healy LSC, both of whom resigned.

SMALL SCHOOLS CONFERENCE A national conference on small-school restructuring will be held Dec. 12-14 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sponsors: Small Schools Workshop and the Great Cities Initiative at UIC. Cost: $150 per person or $125 per person for groups of three or more. For more information: Olivia Mulcahy at (312) 413-9417 or ssw@uic.edu.