AT PERSHING ROAD George Ruckrich, a 37-year Chicago Police Department veteran who retired last year as deputy superintendent for the department’s bureau of investigative services, has been named director of safety and security. … Powhattan Collins, recently promoted from principal of Whitney Young High School to Region 6 officer, is now the officer for High School Services and Support. Salary: $90,000. Jacqueline Simmons, former principal of Robeson High School, is now his top assistant. Joining them are three high school principals on loan: Charles Vietzen of Hubbard is director of vocational education. Linda Lane of Fenger is in charge of articulation. Tam Hill of Calumet is in charge of restructuring. Ronald Beavers, formerly education administrator in Region 3, is now the administrator for alternative schools. … J. W. Smith, head of support programs/sports is in the high school office as well.
Carlos Azcoitia, former principal of Spry Elementary and briefly director of policy studies for the Chicago Panel on School Policy, has rejoined the system as director of School and Community Relations. Salary: $88,000. … Bennie Currie now has the title Communications Officer. Salary: $70,000
NEW NAME Burnham Elementary on the Far South Side, and its branches, Goldsmith and Anthony, have been renamed as the Burnham\Anthony Inclusive Academy. The three buildings serve severely disabled children from ages 3 to 5, and non-disabled children in 7th and 8th grades.
NEW PRINCIPAL Sylvia Gibson, former assistant principal at Reilly Elementary, has been selected as principal of the Cregier Multiplex, a group of three small schools set to open in the former Cregier High building at 2040 W. Adams. The Nia Community School, an African-centered school serving about 100 students in grades 4-8, is slated to move from Bethune Elementary in February. Foundations, now housed at Phillips High, and the new Best Practice High are scheduled to begin classes at the Multiplex in September.
RESTRUCTURING WAIVERS 125 elementary and middle schools, and 10 high schools, have received waivers to extend their regular school day and thus “bank” additional time for teacher training. The number is up substantially from 1991, when a dozen schools were the first to restructure their day, taking advantage of provisions in the Reform Act that allow for waivers from board and teachers’ union rules.
PTA TURNS 50 Mark Cribben, a Chicago Police Department youth officer, has been elected president of the Chicago Region PTA. He is the first male to hold the post in the Chicago Region’s 50-year history. The Region will celebrate its 50th anniversary at dance on Feb. 17. For more information, contact Doris Sams at (312) 786-1476. … Betty Durbin, former Chicago Region PTA president, is now Illinois PTA president.
IN STUDS’ SPOTLIGHT Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel includes former Chicago public school librarian Rochelle Lee, founder of the Rochelle Lee Fund, in his new book Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century by Those Who’ve Lived It. The Fund provides small grants to teachers to purchase books for classroom libraries. For more information and to receive an application, call (312) 989-8582.