AT CLARK STREET Peter Cunningham, formerly a speechwriter for Mayor Daley, has been hired as a consultant to oversee CPS communications staff and implement the district’s strategic communications plan. Cunningham will be under contract through next June and will be paid up to $107,000. … Hosanna Mahaley, deputy chief of staff to CEO Arne Duncan, has been promoted to chief of staff to Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins. … Jack Harnedy, who oversees magnet schools and programs, has been named academic enhancement officer. He will be responsible for coordinating student transfers under the No Child Left Behind Act. … Anita Andrews, director of Proctor Academic Prep Center, will now oversee all seven as director of academic preparatory centers. Loretta Young-Wright replaces her at Proctor. … Amanda Rivera, principal of Ames Middle, was named director of the CPS Teachers Academy for Professional Development. … CPS has created the Office of Business Diversity to oversee and increase school spending with minority- and women-owned firms. Rosalinda “Rusty” Castillo, a construction contracts administrator, has been named director.

TEST CHEATING More elementary schools may face investigation for cheating last spring on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, according to a spokesman for the School Board. So far, the board has investigated 14 schools. At four of them, six teachers and one aide now face dismissal. Principals at three schools will be reprimanded for lapses in test security. Two schools were exonerated, and investigations are underway at the other five schools.

Last year, the board adopted a computerized statistical model created by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt to detect cheating. (Catalyst, September 2001) About 150 classrooms were retested last spring when the model flagged them for possible cheating. The board followed up at schools where signs of cheating were most evident, spokesman Peter Cunningham says. “There may be other investigations,” he adds. “We haven’t determined that yet.”

PRINCIPALS Four interim principals have been awarded contracts at their schools: Jose Barrera, Davis-Shields; Mark Berman, Daley; Leonor Karl, Pulaski; Carol Lovely, New Dawes. … Ron Shields, associate principal at Copernicus, is now contract principal. … Diann Wright, assistant principal at Haines, is contract principal. . . .These principals have had their contracts renewed: Victoria Cadavid, Pickard; Deborah Clark, Skinner; Delores Rease, Schmid.

MAGNET DEADLINE The deadline to apply to magnet high schools and programs for the 2003-04 academic year has been moved up to Dec. 20. The deadline for elementary magnet schools and programs remains Jan. 17.

LSC EXCHANGE LSCs will have an opportunity to network at a Dec. 7 event hosted by Chicago Successful Schools Project. The exchange will be held at Jones College Prep, 606 S. State St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call 312-344-6403.

NEW REGIONS Management support directors handle the day-to-day management issues—such as transportation and parental concerns—in each of the district’s 24 new area instructional offices. The new management support directors and their former positions are: Area 1, Catherine Sugrue, coordinator, CPS Schools and Regions; Area 2, Vivian Moritz, Region 1 instructional coordinator; Area 3, Shirley Dukes, principal, Coles; Area 4, Diana Scatton, Region 6 administrator; Area 5, Maria Rodriguez O’Keefe, Region 2 administrator; Area 6, Alice Painter, Region 5 coordinator; Area 7, Harry Hardwick, Region 5 coordinator; Area 8, Dean Thompson, Region 6 coordinator, and Susan Milojovic, principal, Dodge; Area 9, Virginia Bautista-White, director, Rodriguez Academic Prep, Arthur Slater, Region 3 administrator and Karen Wilson, principal, South Loop; Area 10, Elba Reyes, administrator, Schools and Regions.

Area 11, Katherine Harris, Region 5 administrator; Area 12, Carlos Munoz, principal, CPS Schools and Regions; Area 13, Lydia Butler Williams, Region 4 administrator; Area 14, Deborah Shurney, Region 5 manager; Area 15, Ruth Wallace, Region 2 administrator; Area 16, Lawrence Swanson, administrator, Academic Preparatory and Middle Schools Office and State Rep. Monique Davis, instruction coordinator, School and Community Relations; Area 17, Dorothy McCormick, Region 3 administrator and Ceola Barnes, principal, Terrell; Area 18, Julienne Mallory, Region 6 administrator and Linda Langhart, administrator, early childrhood education; Area 19, Carlos Collazo, Region 2 administrator; Area 20, Alejandra Alvarez, director of CPS world language programs; Area 21, Constance Montgomery, principal, Future Commons High; Area 22, Lester Gaines, administrator, CPS Office of High School Development; Area 23, Ronn L. Gibbs, interim principal, Bogan High School; Area 24, Vernal Breshears, Region 5 principal administrator.

NEW SCHOOL In October, the Public Building Commission of Chicago approved construction of a new $15.8 million facility at 6315 S. Claremont Ave. to house Anderson Elementary, currently leasing space from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

PRINCIPAL EVALUATIONS CPS has adopted a new process for local school councils to evaluate their principals. The model for the new process, called EXCEL, was developed by Leadership for Quality Education (LQE), a business-supported school reform group, in collaboration with the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. EXCEL was piloted in over 100 schools and promotes an on-going dialogue between principals and LSCs. By contrast, CPS had been using evaluations that were one-shot reviews at the end of each school year.

TEACHER WINS Rosa Covarrubias of Ninos Heroes Elementary is one of 100 educators nationwide to win a $25,000 Milken National Educator Award. Covarrubias, a kindergarten and 1st-grade bilingual teacher, began as a teacher’s aide at Ninos Heroes in the late 1980s.

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