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.

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