LaRaviere wins presidency of principals’ group–and a bigger platform to criticize the mayor

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Troy LaRaviere , the new head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, sat down in 2014 for a roundtable interview with other principals at Catalyst.

Photo by Michelle Kanaar

Troy LaRaviere , the new head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, sat down in 2014 for a roundtable interview with other principals at Catalyst.

After a highly publicized election, the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association announced Thursday that outspoken mayoral critic Troy LaRaviere will become the organization’s next president.

Winning 69.1 percent of the vote, LaRaviere will begin his three-year term on July 1. The association won’t say how many ballots were cast in the election, in which LaRaviere faced off against current CPAA Vice President Kenneth Hunter. Hunter’s arrest on misdemeanor electronic harassment charges drew even more attention to an election for a group that has typically never drawn much public notice.

“It is a humbling honor to have been chosen by my colleagues to lead the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA). I want you all to know I plan on bringing everyone’s voice to the table,” LaRaviere posted on his blog Thursday.

LaRaviere, who served as principal of Blaine Elementary in Lakeview, was thrust into the national spotlight last month after CPS removed him from his post. LaRaviere, an outspoken critic of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s education policies, and his supporters viewed the reassignment as a political move to keep LaRaviere from gaining a more public platform at the CPAA president’s office.

The district’s charges against him included insubordination for encouraging students to opt out of the required PARCC exam and refusing to finish paperwork for teacher evaluations.

As president of CPAA, LaRaviere will leave his post at Blaine. It is unclear how CPS’ efforts to fire him will be affected, DNAinfo reports.

Outgoing CPAA President Clarice Berry said she and others noted that the highly controversial and public reassignment—presidential candidate Bernie Sanders even weighed in, after LaRaviere appeared in an ad on behalf of Sanders’ campaign—gave LaRaviere access to free publicity that his opponent did not have. LaRaviere countered that his opponent was able to campaign during school hours and on school property, something he couldn’t do since he was banned from CPS property under the reassignment.

Hunter’s arrest on harassment charges, for allegedly texting a woman repeatedly even after she asked him to stop, cost him the support of top district officials Janice Jackson and Denise Little.

Jackson and Little withdrew their support after signing his petition to run against LaRaviere. The Chicago Sun-Times later wrote that, while still principal at Prosser Academy, Hunter had been formally warned by the district for failing to tell staff about required background checks for employees. As a result, two coaches were hired who were later involved in improprieties involving students.

  • Concerned Parent

    Glad principals did the right thing and elected this truth teller.

    Berry who criticizes that he got extra publicity from Sanders – really? She supported the candidate who harasses a woman and caused CPS to settle a lawsuit for $25000? Did she even read the suntimes about candidate Hunter?

  • Concerned Parent

    Went to CPS website-searched under Hunter’s name. Warning resolution came right up. How do these two ladies, experienced CPS employees, who answer directly to CEO, now withdraw their support for Hunter, as Troy wins? Smacks of going after Troy for speaking up against the mayor. Shame on them. Did their boss put them up to this and then make them withdraw support?

  • Concerned Parent

    Just got back from parent/community meeting-don’t try to find it CPS FACE people as we do not want you to co-opt it-we keep meetings private and do not meet on CPS or city property. Instead of the topic of 20/20
    tonight, principal Troy’s case and today’s suntimes article was discussed. This is our summary:
    Ms. Berry should resign as president immediately.
    Ms. Jackson should quietly be sent to a non-selective enrollment school.
    Ms. Little should retire immediately.
    They supported a person whose warning resolution and current
    arrest exposed in the suntimes, is a lifetime ahead of (exaggerated) charges
    brought against principal Troy.
    These three seemingly selected a candidate who clearly violated CPS policy, was untruthful to an investigator and cost the taxpayer settlement
    money, besides the suffering of the student(s) and their parent(s).
    If they are protected by Mr. Claypool, then they may have been following his directive against principal Troy. Therefore, the charges against principal Troy should be quietly dropped by the end of this month.
    How do you expect Springfield to take your seriously Mr. Claypool with this mess?