The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.
Join the conversation
We encourage our readers to leave comments and engage in dialogue about our stories. But before you do, please check out our "rules of the road."
Recent Notebook Entries
Right Now On Notebook
Laptops would help with typing skills. The problem always seemed to be the poor wireless connections.
Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail
Comings & Goings: CPS appointments, New Leaders, United Way
Todd Babbitz has been named chief transformation officer to oversee CPS’ newly created Office of Strategy Management. He comes with extensive experience in corporate strategic planning and marketing, Previous employers include McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, and the Chicago-based law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, where he focused on antitrust law.
Markey Winston is CPS’ new chief officer for the Office of Special Education and Supports. Winston is the former director of student services in Cincinnati Public Schools. Before that, she was a school psychologist and a mental health consultant in Cincinnati. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton, the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University.
Luis Soria, a former principal at Mitchell Elementary, has been appointed chief of schools for the Midway Network. He is a National Board certified teacher who served as an advocate for teachers seeking National Board certification.
Jennifer Vidis, deputy chief of Alternative Schools and Pathways, has been named chief of the Alternative School Network. She also served as acting chief area officer for Area 30.
Nathan Pietrini, the assistant principal of Ogden Elementary, is now principal of Hawthorne Elementary.
Zipporah Hightower has been named managing director of programs for the Chicago team at New Leaders. Hightower is a former principal of Kellogg Elementary and of Bethune Elementary, an Academy for Urban School Leadership turnaround school. Allison Wagner, managing director of New Leaders, is leaving the organization in August. Wagner recently moved to Milwaukee to live closer to her family. She will become director of growth for Schools that Can in Milwaukee and will help bring national charter organizations to the city and develop teachers and school leaders for those organizations.
Richard Jones has been named senior vice president of community investment at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. He will be responsible for the leadership, planning, execution and measurement of the organization’s strategic investment in the community under LIVE UNITED 2020. Jones was administrator of employment and family Services at the Child Support Enforcement Agency for Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Before that, he was president and CEO for Metropolitan Family Services for 13 years.
Anna Clarke has been named vice president of marketing and engagement for United Way. Clarke was vice president of marketing and communications at the Chicago Zoological Society, the non-profit conservation organization that manages Brookfield Zoo. She has also held senior marketing positions at BP, Bank One, Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut.