School District 65 announced a shift in some of the administrative roles and functions at a principals’ meeting on Aug. 20.

Superintendent Hardy Murphy told the RoundTable the changes were designed to improve collaboration and create a more comprehensive system of accountability from the central office to the school level.

In the past the District had one assistant superintendent responsible for curriculum and instruction and another assistant superintendent responsible for school operations.

Under the reorganization, each assistant superintendent will be responsible for all aspects of curriculum, instruction and operations but will divide responsibility by school.

Assistant Superintendent Susan Schultz will be responsible for all aspects of curriculum, instruction and operations for Chute, Haven, Nichols, Bessie Rhodes, King Lab, Park and Rice. Assistant Superintendent Michael Robey will be responsible for all aspects of curriculum, instruction and operations for Dawes, Dewey, Kingsley, Lincoln, Lincolnwood, Oakton, Orrington, Walker, Washington and Willard.

They will jointly coordinate the Curriculum Advisory Council, District Improvement Plan, Response to Intervention (RtI), Differentiation and Enrichment, and other Districtwide program implementation.

Other shifts include the following:

  • Special Services Director Geneva Oatman, in addition to supervising special education services, will also supervise the directors and program coordinators for the District’s family center, school-age child care, early childhood education and 21st Century grant programs and services.

  • Communications Director Pat Markham will be responsible for managing the development of the school calendar and coordinating school and District crisis planning to ensure that each school and the District have current and responsive emergency plans.
  • Family Center Coordinator Angela Johnson will supervise the District’s African-American and bilingual family liaisons.

    Foundation 65, the education foundation that supports School District 65, has hired Yolanda Knight as its first-ever executive director. Ms. Knight will work with the foundation’s board and community partners to develop program initiatives to build the foundation’s capacity and increase fundraising.

     “Yolanda brings a wealth of experience to her new role with Foundation 65, and we are fortunate to have someone of her caliber to take the foundation to the next level,” said Patty Barbato, president of the foundation.

    Ms. Knight has 14 years experience as an executive director of non-profit organizations. Most recently she served as an education program officer for the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. 

    The hiring of a full-time executive director is another stage in the growth of Foundation 65. The Foundation received more than $200,000 in grants earlier this year from Northwestern University, the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation and the Cless Family Foundation to fund significant organizational development initiatives, which included a three-year strategic plan and hiring and funding an executive director.

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