AT PERSHING ROAD Susan Ryan, formerly study director of the local school council project at the Consortium on Chicago School Research, is now an assessment specialist for the Office of Accountability. … Natalye Paquin, formerly an assistant attorney in the School Board’s law department, is now senior assistant to Reform Board President Gery Chico. … Ruth Asher-Becker, specialized services administrator in the Office of Specialized Services, has retired.

MOVING IN/ON George Lowery has been named dean of the College of Education at Roosevelt University, succeeding George Olson, who remains on the faculty but will do research and evaluation for the Chicago Education Alliance. …Georganne Marsh, associate director of Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE), has resigned to complete her teaching certification. Johnny Holmes, the former LSC chair of Revere and a PURE board member, joins PURE as an advocate/trainer. … Ester Mosak, outreach director of the Small Schools Coalition, is now a research associate on a Chicago small schools study by Bank Street College of Education, New York.

ANNENBERG BOARD The Chicago Annenberg Challenge Board of Directors has four new members. They are Edward S. Bottum, managing director of Chase Franklin Corporation; Connie C. Evans, president of the Women’s Self-Employment Project; Susan Blankenbaker Noyes, a retired labor attorney from Sidley & Austin; and Scott C. Smith, president, publisher and CEO of the Chicago Tribune Company. Also, Chryssa Atkinson and Catherine Cristofani have been appointed communications specialists at Annenberg.

PRINCIPALS The following principals have retired: Arthur Fumarolo, O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy; Paul Jordan Jr., Mount Vernon Elementary; and Cynthia Wnek, Schubert Elementary. …The following people have been named interim principals: Joel Avron, teacher at Ruiz, Whitney; George Huff, teacher at Brownell, Brownell; Thomas Little, assistant principal at Black Magnet, Black Magnet; Amanda Rivera, teacher at Funston Elementary, Ames site middle school (scheduled to open in February); Pamela Strain, assistant principal at Ruggles, Ruggles.

NEW CHARTERS The Reform Board approved six new charter schools in December. The school names and their sponsors are: Alain Locke (Inner City Teaching Corps and the Pat and Shirley Ryan Foundation), North Kenwood (Center for School Improvement, University of Chicago), Great Builders of Cities (Edison Project), Golden Apple (Golden Apple Foundation), North Lawndale College Prep (I Have a Dream Foundation), UNO-Advantage (United Neighborhood Organization and Advantage Schools). … Meanwhile, the board revoked the charter of Student Builders, citing failure to meet a variety of conditions and standards.

HIGH SCHOOL EVALUATION The Reform Board has awarded a $650,000 contract to the Center for Urban School Policy at Northwestern University to evaluate implementation of its High School Restructuring Initiative in all 77 high schools. The work will include case studies of the changes in staffing, program, school culture and classroom practices in reconstituted high schools and an assessment of the external support provided to high schools on probation. Fred Hess is directing the work.

PRINCIPAL SELECTION Ninety-eight would-be principals went through the Chicago Principal Assessment Center in December to get a reading on their strengths and weaknesses; they were selected from 220 applicants who took a multiple-choice screening test in November. Meanwhile, by mid-January, 152 principal candidates had submitted their credentials for review by the Chicago Principal Review Board. Principal contracts at some 208 schools expire this year.

AWARDS AND HONORS The Illinois State Board of Education selected Reform Board President Gery Chico as the state’s outstanding school board president. “The turnaround in the Chicago Public Schools is incredible under any circumstances and one that is particularly amazing, given that the systemwide changes are only in their second year,” said ISBE chairman Lou Mervis. … Chief Education Officer Cozette Buckney has received the Girl Scouts of Chicago’s first “Girl Scouts’ Own” award for her “significant contributions to education.” A former Girl Scout, she is the organization’s immediate past president.

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