Comings and goings

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AT CLARK STREET Keith Bromery, director of CPS communications, announced he will leave the post effective March 1 but has not yet said where he is going, He was hired as board’s chief spokesman in March 2000 and was previously manager of media relations at Ameritech. Joi Mecks, deputy director of communications, will handle Bromery’s duties until a replacement is named. … Pamela Dyson, former King High principal, was named director of elementary school reviews, a new post that reports to Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins. Dyson will oversee the rollout of the board’s new reading initiative.

Sandra Givens, director of teacher accountability, has retired. A replacement has not been named. …Also retired is Geraldine Oberman, director of compliance in the Office of Accountability. She is succeeded by Janet Elenbogen, who previously was in charge of internal quality reviews.

Brandi Turco has been named chief of staff to the Board of Education. Turco, previously a senior assistant, replaces James Wright, who resigned and went to work in a private law practice. Greg Minniefield was appointed deputy chief of staff to the board, a new post. … Another senior assistant, Jorge Oclander, was named executive director of the Academic Accountability Council. He replaces Tami Doig.

LAWSUIT The board filed a lawsuit Feb. 15 to compel the state to contribute more money to the Chicago teachers pension fund. Under current state law, contributions to pension funds for downstate and suburban teachers are paid through the Teachers Retirement System; Chicago teacher pensions are paid out of a separate fund. Officials of the board and the Chicago Teachers Union contend that the system shortchanges CPS teachers.

PRINCIPALS Two acting principals have been awarded four-year contracts. They are Yvonne Calhoun, Hoyne, and Patricia Vaughn-Dossiea, Chalmers. … Gregory C. Wiley, a teacher at Lawndale, is now contract principal at Cather. … John Butterfield, principal at Mather, has had his contract renewed. … Linda Coles, previously principal at Keller Regional Gifted Center, was named acting principal of King High School, replacing Pamela Dyson. (see above) … Adrian G. Willis was named interim principal at Keller.

PRINICPAL RETIREMENTS Frank Blatnick, Yates; Harry Randall, assistant principal, was named acting principal. … Beverly LaCoste, Wells Prep and Phillips; LaCoste will remain as acting principal at both schools until June.

LSC ELECTIONS April 3 is the deadline for parents, teachers and community residents to sign up to run for a seat on a LSC. Candidates may register at schools through the LSC election coordinator; elections will be held May 1 and 2. …LSCs using PENCUL to select a principal may now apply for matching grants up to $600. PENCUL and the Chicago School Leadership Cooperative teamed up to offer the grants to match $200 that LSCs would put up themselves. For more information, contact the Cooperative at (312) 499-4800 or PENCUL at (312) 261-3183.

Comings and Goings

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AT CLARK STREET: Chief Information Officer Richard Koeller, the highest-paid CPS official ($175,000), has been fired following an audit of his management of the Information Technology Services office. The audit by the office of School Board Inspector General Maribeth Vander Weele found that the data center was not properly secured and that Koeller had “overprivatized” his department. Elaine Williams, an assistant CPS attorney, is serving as acting chief information officer while the School Board looks for a replacement. … Peter Schurla, formerly the deputy chief of the Special Functions Group of the Chicago Police Department, is the new director of the Bureau of Safety and Security. Salary: $100,000. … Alta Flowers, formerly a curriculum research teacher with the State pre-Kindergarten program, is the new director of the CPS Parents as Teachers First program (PATF). In a recent report on PATF, Parents United for Responsible Education, a frequent board critic, applauded the CPS for selecting an early childhood professional for the post and said that “PATF is changing—for the better.”

MOVING IN/ON: Marie Leaner, director of the Successful Schools Project, is the new executive director of Chicago Communities in Schools, succeeding Janet Knupp, who is president of the new Chicago Public Education Fund. Leaner is a member of the Jahn Local School Council.

LSC ELECTION: U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.— pictured, left), a former teacher, will seek a seat on the local school council at the Cook County Jail school, now called Consuella B. York Alternative High School. York is a specialty school so its LSC members are appointed by the School Board. Davis’ interest was sparked during a conversation with the current York LSC chair, who noted the difficulty of recruiting LSC candidates for the school. Davis has a longstanding interest in the youth at the jail, notes spokesperson Ira Cohen. He has been a regular visitor to the jail, says Cohen, and “strongly believes that locking up people is the worse way to try to change their lives. … That was the catalyst that made him decide to run.”

AWARDS: Coretta McFerren, founder of Westside Schools and Communities for Restructuring and Planning, is one of 12 recipients nationwide of the 1999 John Sanford Education Heroes Award. The award is given to those who show extraordinary commitment to improving schools and communities and increasing learning opportunities. … Six Chicago Public Schools teachers are among 10 in the Chicago area who are 2000 winners of the Golden Apple Awards. They are Karla Kelly Daye, a 2nd-grade teacher at Farren Elementary; Sharon J. Frost, a 1st-grade teacher at Norwood Park Elementary; Lucy Catherine Klocksin, a reading teacher at Boone Elementary; Jane Therese Klunk, a special education teacher at Christopher Special School; Mireya Mata-Donnelly, a kindergarten teacher at Ruiz Elementary; and Jill Janice Sontag, a 3rd-grade teacher at Inter-American Magnet.

INTERIM PRINCIPALS: The following assistant principals have been named interim principals: Mary E. Harris, Pullman; Shirley Miggins, McDade; Vivian Edwards, Schneider; Gloria Roth, Pilsen; Bernadette Butler, Agassiz; Haydee Alvarez, Greeley. Rebecca McDaniels, former assistant principal at Hinton elementary, has been named principal at Suder. Miguel Velasquez, former assistant principal at Pritzker, has been named interim principal of Whitney.

NEW SCHOOL: Nearly 1,300 8th-graders applied in January for the 300 freshman slots at Walter Payton College Prep, a brand-new high school scheduled to open in August at Oak and Wells. The school, built to serve Region 2, will feature a planetarium, a rooftop weather station, an observation deck and greenhouse, 10 science labs, two language labs, a recital hall, a three- tiered lecture hall and Internet-ready computers in every classroom. More than 1,900 8th-graders applied for 200 freshman slots at Northside College Prep in Region 1, which opened last August. The two magnet schools are the only new public high schools built in Chicago in the last two years.

Comings and Goings

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AT CLARK STREET Jorge Ochlander, a former editor for La Raza and former reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, has been hired as a senior assistant to Board President Gery Chico. Ochlander will work on long-term strategic policy planning. The board declined to release his salary.

PRINCIPALS Interim Principal Sylvia Gibson received a four-year contract at Cregier Multiplex. … The following assistant principals have been appointed interim principals: Yvette Curington, Goldblatt; Voyia Davis, Parker; and Dr. Luvenia R. Williams, Collins High, formerly assistant principal at Tesla Alternative. … Reginald Brown, a former principal at Washington and Chicago Vocational high schools, has been appointed interim principal at Julian High. Brown is pulling double duty as the probation manager for Near North High, where he and the local school council have been at odds.

MOVING IN/ON The state Senate confirmed Chicago businessman Ronald J. Gidwitz’s appointment as Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education in May. Appointed by Gov. George Ryan, Gidwitz, 54, is the first Chicagoan to head the state board in 20 years. He previously was chair of Chicago City Colleges; he is a partner at GCG Partners, a private investment firm. … Paula DiPerna, a policy analyst and author, has been appointed president of The Joyce Foundation. DiPerna previously spent 15 years working as vice president of international affairs for the Cousteau Society, a New York-based environmental group. … Sylvia Puente, former public policy director for the defunct Latino Institute, is director of community services at the Pilsen Resurrection Project, a community development group that targets low-income residents. … Karen Girolami Barrett, former communications director at Latino Institute, is now a consultant and project manager for EXCEL, a principal assessment improvement project run by Leadership for Quality Education. … Another former staffer of the Latino Institute, Mario Garcia, is doing organizational development and training work as a consultant to FRAC, PENCUL and LSCs.

SCHOOL CLOSING Albert Einstein Elementary in Oakland will close at the end of this school year due to declining enrollment. The drop in student population is the result of a shift in nearby public housing stock from high-rise to low-rise structures, which caused many residents to relocate, says Principal Solomon Humphries. Future Commons High School, a charter school, is slated to move into the school. Future Commons Principal Constance Montgomery says both parents and teachers have expressed concern about the move because of the gang activity in the area. The move is pending a June meeting with CEO Paul Vallas.

NEW NAMES Robert Burns Elementary School in Little Village, has been re-named Rosario Castellanos Elementary, after the Mexican writer, educator and diplomat. William H. Byford School in Austin was renamed Milton Brunson Specialty School. Brunson was a community hero and education advocate.

OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP AWARDS The following principals received an Outstanding Leadership Award from the Chicago Public Schools, LaSalle Bank and the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association: Deborah Anderson, Christopher; Marietta Beverly, Clark Middle; Lee Brown, Shoop; Deborah Clark, Skinner; Joan D. Crisler, Dixon; Thomas J. Doyle, Byrne; Scott N. Feaman, Lake View High; Marcia Lee Hartnell, Suder; Gandy Heaston, Haines; Flavia Hernandez, Ortiz de Dominguez; John Jursa, Prosser Career Academy; Madeleine Maraldi, Irving; John C. Mazurek, Casals; Kenneth R. Millar, Dever; Frances M. Oden, Beethoven; Mary Ann Pollett, Montefiore Special; Reynes Reyes, Brentano; Mary Scannell, Kellogg; June G. Shackter, Decatur; Larry J. Thomas, Coles; Sandra Traback, Chavez; and Gail D. Ward, Agassiz. … The following assistant principals received awards: JoAnn M. Percel, Courtenay Language Arts Center; and Aida Latona-Lozano, Saucedo Scholastic Academy. The following central office administrators received awards: Karen Bertucci, Budget Office Deputy Director; Lula Ford, School Leadership Chief; Eva Nickolich, Region 1 Education Officer.

ETHICS CODE AMENDED The Code of Ethics for the Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees has been changed to prohibit contract principals from working at schools where a relative is employed or is a member of the local school council. It also forbids any CPS official or board employee to hire or advocate hiring a relative.

AWARDS/HONORS Paul Vallas received an honorary Doctor of Human Letters degree from Roosevelt University during the school’s 118th Commencement in May. Vallas also delivered the keynote address. … Gery Chico was a featured speaker at Loyola University’s 1999 commencement. … Patricia Anne Barbato, a 4th-grade teacher at Hendricks Academy in Fuller Park, is among 10 winners of the national Reading is Everything contest, which recognizes unique and effective reading instruction. … Head Start teacher Cora Petty of Graham School in Canaryville, is one of six Chicago-area teachers receiving a 1999 Kohl/McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award. Petty was praised for empowering her students through creative expression, as well as for teaching conflict resolution. … Boone Elementary in West Ridge won the International Reading Association’s 1998-1999 award for Exemplary Reading Program of Illinois. Boone was commended for Project Boost, a program for early readers, and for its tutoring programs involving parents, peers and older students.

STUDENTS TAKE A BOW The Robotics Team from Roosevelt High in Albany Park placed third in a national robotics contest in Orlando, Florida. Members from Roosevelt, the only Chicago high school to enter the competition, also won two scholarships which will send a student to Washington D.C. for a week, and another student to Space Camp. … Seventy-four percent of the Chicago Public School students who entered the Illinois Junior Academy Science Exposition received Outstanding Awards, the top prize for science exhibits.

Comings and goings

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MOVING IN/ON Armando Almendarez, Region 2 education officer, has been named chief of the Department of Language and Cultural Education, replacing Alice Perez Peters, who was named deputy chief accountability officer. Domingo Trujillo, principal of Whitney Elementary, succeeds Almendarez in Region 2. … Jean Franczyk has been named chief of staff to the Reform Board, replacing Robert Markin, who resigned. Franczyk previously served as chief assistant on education issues to Mayor Richard M. Daley, a senior staff associate at The Chicago Community Trust and a reporter at both the Miami Herald and The Chicago Reporter. Salary: $110,000. … Bill McKersie, a former education program officer at The Joyce Foundation who just completed his PhD at the University of Chicago, has been appointed senior program officer for education at The Cleveland Foundation in Ohio.

PRINCIPALS The following have been named interim principals. Ivette Robles, assistant principal at Burns, Davis. Patricia Walsh, Office of Accountability administrator, Overton. Daisy Bell, teacher at Corliss High, Hirsch High. Thomas Brown, assistant principal at Taft High, Taft. Sherman Chambers, assistant principal at Reavis, Reavis. Delores Evans, assistant principal at Randolph Magnet, Reed.

McKAY ACCREDITATION The preschool program at McKay Elementary has been granted accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Of the school system’s 326 preschool sites, 37 have NAEYC accreditation. Nationally, recognition has only been granted to about only 5 percent of early childhood programs—some 4,600 programs as of March 1997.

SMALL SCHOOLS “From Dream to Reality: Three Chicago Small Schools,” a booklet examining the creation and operation of Best Practice, Connections and Telpochcalli small schools, is available from the Small Schools Coalition, LQE, One First Natonal Plaza, Suite 3120, Chicago, IL, 60602. Phone: (312) 853-1216. The author, Ben Joravsky, is a staff writer at the Chicago Reader and author of “Hoop Dreams” and “Race and Politics in Chicago.”

AWARD NOMINATIONS Nov. 17 is the deadline for nominations for the School Leadership Awards for Outstanding Principals, sponsored by the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA), and LaSalle National Bank. Winners receive $5,000. For information, call CPAA at (312) 263-7767. … Dec. 1 is the deadline for nominations for the 13th annual Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching, which this year will honor high school teachers. For information, call the Golden Apple Foundation at (312) 407-0006.

LSC CONFERENCE The Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Association of School Boards are offering a training conference for LSC members on Nov. 17 at the Fairmont Hotel. LSC chairs or their designees can earn 6 hours of training credit; topics include parliamentary procedure, tort liability and grassroots organizing. There are 500 spots available. Registration costs $100 per person and can be paid from the LSC training budget. For a registration form, call the CPS Office of School/Community Relations at (773) 535-5966.