AT CLARK AND ADAMS Daryl Okrzesik has been named controller for the School Board. Salary: $98,521. Okrzesik worked in the city’s Department of Revenue before joining the school system in 1996 as deputy controller. He was acting controller for the last six months of 1998.
PRINCIPAL CONTRACTS Teresa Moy, assistant principal at Alcott, has received a four-year contract at Clinton; Celia Coleman, assistant principal at Coles, has received a contract at Banneker. In addition, the following interim principals have received four-year contracts: Charles Kyle, Stowe; Noemi Esquivel, Addams; Maurice Harvey, Jordan; Saundra Jones, Nobel West; Nancy Mayer, Vaughn; Donald Pittman, Marshall; Vivian Redd, Morton. Valerie Doubrawa, who was named interim principal of Hubbard High school following the retirement of Charles Vietzen, also received a four-year contract.
INTERIM PRINCIPALS The following people have been appointed interim principal: Shirley Woodard, teacher at South Loop, South Loop. Commandant Charles Fleming, superintendent of Unit School District 3 in Cuba, Ill, and a colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard, has been appointed interim principal of the Chicago Military Academy/Bronzeville. The school is scheduled to enroll its first students in the 1999-2000 school year.
TEACHERS ON LOAN Teachers Marianne Flannagan (Metcalfe) and Toni Murff (Reed) are on loan to the Best Practice Network as full-time consultants through January 2000; their work will be funded by a grant from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
MOVING IN/ON Sarah Vanderwicken, an attorney who once taught in alternative schools in Chicago and Madison, Wis., has been named co-director of the Small Schools Coalition. … Clare Muñana, a management consultant at Ancora and Associates and a former executive director of the Financial Research and Advisory Committee (FRAC), has been appointed to the Academic Accountability Council, replacing Leslie Roman, who left the council when her term expired last year. … Suzanne Davenport has been named deputy director of Designs for Change; she will serve as acting executive director during Donald Moore’s sabbatical. Previously, she was co-director for leadership development. Victor Montañez, who worked part time as the other co-director, steps up to full-time work. Bernard Lacour, associate director at the Council for Disability Rights, is Design’s new policy reform director. … The Chicago Accreditation Project, a $16 million, five-year attempt to accredit 900 of Chicago’s Head Start and early childhood programs in low-income communities, has named Jamilah Jor’dan executive director. Previously, he directed a similar project for the Chicago Metropolitan Association for the Education of Young Children.
10TH ANNIVERSARY U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and Reform Board President Gery Chico were among the speakers at a December luncheon celebrating the 10th anniversary of the signing of the first Chicago School Reform Act. Riley called the Chicago school system a “model for the country,” applauding the city’s combination of local control and a strong central office, which Riley called “the best of both worlds.”
LABOR RELATIONS A group of reassigned teachers who have been dismissed by the board—including some who lost their positions in reconstituted high schools in 1997—is suing the board to get their jobs back. On Feb. 17, a judge will rule on their request for an injunction that would retroactively reinstate them. Board policy initially gave the teachers 10 months to job hunt while working as substitutes and earning their regular salaries; after extending the deadline twice last year, the board dismissed the teachers on Jan. 21. Eight teachers stepped forward as plaintiffs in the suit, which is meant to represent all 40 reassigned teachers who did not find permanent jobs after reconstitution, as well as 98 teachers reassigned for other reasons. The teachers allege that their due process rights have been violated. In a preliminary ruling on Jan. 20, the judge added the Chicago Teachers Union, which is sponsoring the lawsuit, as a plaintiff in its own right; the judge declined at that time to prevent the dismissals through an injunction, requesting additional legal arguments from both sides.
CHARTER WARNING A Washington, D.C. organization may sue the School Board over a charter-school proposal being prepared by a Catholic school. Under the charter plan, St. Sabina Catholic School would close and then reopen under the control of a non-profit organization. The Washington-based group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, says the plan could violate the state charter school law and the U.S. Constitution. The charter proposal has not yet been submitted.
ADVENTURES IN PR: A recent CPS press release touted $2.6 million in annual savings from upgrades to the board’s computerized employee timekeeping system, supplied by Kronos, Inc. The savings, according to the press release, would come from more closely monitoring the time spent traveling between schools by 2,000 social workers, counselors and other employees who work at more than one school. Asked to explain how savings could be wrung from salaried employees, payroll director Mike Edwards concedes that expenses would not decline $2.6 million. “It’s productivity time,” says Edwards, pointing to a national study indicating that employers can lose up to 15 minutes a day, per employee, in the absence of precise monitoring. The study calculated that a firm with 10,000 employees paid $5 an hour could capture $2.6 million worth of efficiency. Reminded that the board said only 2,000 employees were in question, Edwards replies, “Well, I didn’t write the press release.”
NEW NAMES Cook County Alternative High School is now Consuella B. York Alternative High School. Morse School of Fine Arts is now Morse Tech. … Lindblom Technical High School will become Lindblom College Prep next fall, tweaking its selective enrollment policies to add an entrance exam for incoming freshmen. The school, which had served the city south of Roosevelt, will serve primarily Region 5, between 55th and 83rd Streets. … John Hope Community Academy, a former K-8 school that now offers classes through 12th grade, is now John Hope College Preparatory High School.
NEW LSCAB MEMBERS The following six people were elected to the Local School Council Advisory Board (LSCAB): Dale Salzman (parent, Wildwood, Region 1), Norberto Paredes (community rep, Funston, Region 2), Charles Muhammad (parent, Whitney Young, Region 3), Ismael Vargas (parent, Finkl, Region 4), Peggie Chatman (parent, Simeon, Region 5), and Patricia Pratt (parent, Bennett, Region 6).
The following nine people were appointed to LSCAB by the Board of Trustees: Thomas Gray, chair (parent, Douglas, Region 4), Regina Valsamis (parent, Hawthorne, Region 1), March Ochoa (teacher, Logandale, Region 2), Renaud Beadoin (principal, Newberry, Region 2), Geneva Harris (parent, Spalding High, Region 3), Marina Rey (teacher, Seward, Region 4), Ruby Chan (parent, M. Sheridan, Region 4), James McQuirter (community rep, Park Manor, Region 5), Janie Ollarvia (principal, Fenger, Region 6).
Four members, Gray, Valsamis, Paredes and Rey, have served since 1996. All new members took office Jan. 11 and will serve for two years.
UNO SCORES In December, the United Neighborhood Organization received a $55,000 contract to develop and carry out a parent training program for the Office of Language and Cultural Education. UNO will train officers of school bilingual advisory committees, regional bilingual advisory committees and of the Citywide Multilingual Parent Council. The bulk of the money is earmarked for training, with $5,000 slated for program development and $6,800 for evaluation.Trainers will walk committee members through the board’s recentl revised policies on bilingual education, says Gaea Gomez, UNO’s associate director.
AWARDS/HONORS Four Chicago public high schools were among 25 cited by U.S. News and World Report in its Jan. 18 issue as outstanding in the Chicago metropolitan area. The schools are: Kenwood, Hyde Park, Von Steuben and Whitney Young. U.S. News looked at state test scores, the number of students taking college-entrance tests and other factors, weighted to reflect demographic differences among schools. … Chavez Multicultural Academic Center was one of five schools to receive Hispanic Magazine’s 1998 award for “Schools of Excellence.” … Schools and Regions Chief Blondean Davis has been awarded the 1998 Frederick D. Patterson Award by the United Negro College Fund, in honor of her volunteer work on behalf of the organization. Davis has chaired the school system’s employee giving campaigns since 1994, helping raise $2.4 million for the Fund. … Charles Balesi, a French teacher at Sayre Language Academy, was given the honorary title “Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters” by the French government in recognition of his writings on the French colonial period in North America.
THE FOUNDATION WORLD Jonathan Fanton, president of the New School for Social Research in New York City, has been named president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He previously served as associate provost at Yale University and vice president for planning at the University of Chicago. He begins his new position in September 1999. He succeeds Adele Simmons, who is stepping down following 10 years at the helm. … Deborah Leff will resign as president of The Joyce Foundation in early 1999 to become president and CEO of Second Harvest, a national hunger-relief organization based in Chicago. No replacement has been named.
BOARD PHONE DIRECTORY School Board’s Ombudsman’s Office has published a full directory of schools at www.csc.cps.k12.il.us/ombuds/schools/ … A directory of central-office departments (but not of individual staffers) can be found at www.cps.k12.il.us/AboutCPS/Departments/.