AT CLARK STREET Mayor Richard M. Daley named Chicago Park District Chairman Michael W. Scott as president of the Chicago School Board. At a press conference, Scott told reporters his priority would be improving reading and math test scores. Scott, a government relations executive for AT&T Broadband, has served three Chicago mayors and had a brief stint on the School Board in the early 1980s. He succeeds Gery Chico, who resigned abruptly in late May, amidst reports from City Hall sources that the mayor wanted a new school leadership team. Shortly after Chico left, CEO Paul Vallas stepped down from his post. The two had served together since they were appointed in 1995. At press time, Daley had not announced Vallas’ successor.
MOVING IN/ON The Chicago Community Trust has hired Terry Mazany as director of its education initiative, expected to be unveiled this fall. Mazany was most recently associate superintendent for planning and data systems for a suburban Detroit school district, and has previously worked as a consultant for one of the partnerships sponsored by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. … Samuel J. Meisels will succeed Barbara Bowman as president of the Erikson Institute. Meisels is currently a professor and research scientist at the University of Michigan’s School of Education. Bowman, the institute’s founder, will remain an active member of the Erikson faculty. … Jane Mentzinger is the new executive director of Chicago Communities in Schools. She formerly served as senior vice president for Common Cause, a D.C.-based non-profit government watchdog group. Mentzinger replaces G. Marie Leaner, who left CCIS for health reasons. … Peter Martinez is leaving the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation after 10 years to become director of the Center for School Leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At MacArthur, he oversaw grants for Chicago school reform. At the center, he will develop a training program for urban school leaders, including superintendents, principals, teachers, union officials, parents and local school council members.
NEW PROGRAMS Jose Rodriguez, president/CEO of Aspira, Inc., of Illinois, has announced the creation of the Chicagoland Latino Educational Research Institute (CLERI), to be headed by Virginia Valdez. Previously, Valdez was the fiscal analyst at the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which last year published her report on student overcrowding in CPS schools. The program, to be funded by the Joyce Foundation, will provide Chicago policymakers with ongoing research-based information on the Latino student community. The Institute will focus mainly on dropout and graduation rates, alternative schools, and pre-elementary and post-secondary school readiness.
PRINCIPAL CONTRACTS Joan Forte, formerly assistant principal at Austin High, has succeeded James Felton as contract principal of Randolph. Shirley Talley-Smith, assistant principal of Lafayette, succeeds Carlos Munoz as principal at Carpenter, and Carol Ann Lang, assistant principal at McCutcheon, is contract principal of that school. Other principals who have received contracts are: Maureen Connolly, Kellogg; Wilhelmina Kenan, Mollison; Linda Layne, Brooks College Prep (formerly Southside College Prep); Janice Ledvora, Woodson South; Nathaniel Mason, Lincoln Park High; Parasine Moore, York Alternative High; and Anthony Spivey, Corliss. The following principals’ contracts have been renewed: Ginger V. Bryant, Sexton; Beverly D. LaCoste, Phillips High; Christina Gonzalez, Zapata; Mary T. Malone, Whittier; Sandra L. Morrow, Graham Training Center; Janice Ollarvia, Fenger High; Casey Scott-Rzechula, Reilly; JoAnne Grey, Burnham Academy; Linda McCarthy, Hale; Joy Panko-Donovan, Ravenswood; and Lucille White, Caldwell.
HONORS/AWARDS Maria Blank of the Daley College Child Development Lab School and DeCarla Burton of Ms. “D’s” Jump Start Group Home Day Care were two winners of this year’s Kohl/McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Awards. Winners were chosen for their “best practices of quality early childhood teaching.” … The following Chicago high school students were named National Merit Finalists: Rachel C. Hohner and Nicola M. Wells, Lincoln Park; and Sanjay P. Shah, Whitney Young. … CPS Health Services Management Program, the Illinois Partners in Care and Education, and the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois have been named semifinalists in the 2001 Innovations in American Government Awards program. Fifteen finalists will be chosen in September; five winners will be named on Oct. 17. Winners will each receive a $100,000 award; each finalist will get $20,000. … Five CPS teachers were among 10 winners of the Chicagoland Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. First Lady Laura Bush presented awards to: Murray K. Fisher, Southside Occupational Academy; Jacqueline Gnant, DuSable High; Elizabeth Kirby, Kenwood High; Sarah Levine, Curie High; and Tracy Van Duinen, Austin High.
PRINCIPAL RETIREMENTS Louis Armstrong Principal Margaret O’Keefe will be retiring in August after seven and a half years with the school. Succeeding her will be Assistant Principal Eugenia Bradfield. Karen Gyenfie will replace her as assistant principal.
OUTSTANDING PRINCIPALS The Chicago Principals and Administrators Association and CPS honored the following 22 principals with Outstanding Leadership awards at a ceremony held on May 7: Aurello Acavedo, Lozano; Patricia Bauldrick, Bontemps; Beverly Bennett, Simpson Alternative; Lona Bibbs, Westinghouse High; Linda Coles, Keller; James Conway, Sutherland; Sandra Crosby, Hay; Deborah Esparza, Stockton Specialty; Joyce Jager, Eberhart; Johnetta James, Kilmer; Glenda Johnson, Brighton Park; Linda Layne, Brooks College Prep; Darlene McClendon, Northside High; Leonard Moore, Dvorak; Virginia Rivera, McCormick; Faye Terrell- Perkins, Tilton ; Effie Vinson, Melody; Lucille White, Caldwell; Fran Williams, Powell; and Denise Winter, Stone. Also receiving leadership awards were Roger Prietz, assistant principal of Whitney Young High; and Armando Almendarez, chief, CPS Office of Language, Cultural and Early Childhood Education.