This July, the Evanston/Skokie School District welcomes four new members to its Leadership Team – Dr. Maria Allison, Mr. John Mitchell, Mr. John Price, and Mr. Jesch Reyes. “Each brings a wealth of knowledge to their new positions and has proven to be an outstanding leader. We are thrilled to welcome them to our district and hope the community will join us in giving each of them a warm welcome,” said Paul Goren, District 65 Superintendent.
As Chief Strategy Officer, Maria Allison will provide support and direction for the development of a strategic framework for District 65 and assist central office administration and school leaders in working towards that vision. Dr. Allison will be responsible for developing processes that will assist in streamlining work and improving internal and external coordination with staff members, families, and the community. She will also provide direct support to the Superintendent’s Office to coordinate cross-functional district and community initiatives.
Most recently, Dr. Allison served as the Director of Assessment and Continuous Improvement at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning where she led the development of a Five-Year Strategic Plan to support the organization through a change in leadership structure and funding strategy. Prior to that, she held the position of Director of Strategy, Research & Analytics for Chicago Public Schools. She was responsible for building systems to support strategic planning and continuous improvement across the Chief Instruction Office. She also led initiatives around data use including the development of a K-12 system of early warning indicators, the annual student, teacher, and parent surveys, and the creation of analytic reports on topics such as student discipline, attendance and truancy, and dropout prevention.
As Coordinator of the Rice Children’s Center, John Mitchell will provide support to the instructional process with specific responsibility for directing overall site operations, services, and staff. He will provide support and guidance to staff and will oversee the coordination of school activities. Mr. Mitchell will also ensure the adherence to established policies and regulatory requirements and will be responsible for addressing any issues, situations and/or problems that may arise at the campus.
Prior to coming to District 65, Mr. Mitchell served as the Dean of Students and most recently, the Assistant Principal at Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School (OLHMS) in District 123. During this time, he also served as the PBIS external coach for the district and coordinated the special education programming for OLHMS. Mr. Mitchell began his tenure in District 123 where he served as the school social worker for five years prior to moving into administration.
As the Assistant Superintendent for Schools, John Price will be responsible for leadership and oversight of all schools. He will work directly with principals and teachers to manage the overall delivery of curriculum services and instructional improvement. In addition, Mr. Price will serve as a resource to school administrators by providing support in the areas of school budgets, grant proposal preparation, special education services, attendance improvement, and other educational programming for the purpose of improving student achievement.
Prior to coming to District 65, Mr. Price served as the Chief of Schools (Network 4) for Chicago Public Schools. During this time, he spearheaded a dramatic increase on all five measures of the Chicago Consortium’s 5Essentials School Climate Survey and showed the second highest kindergarten achievement in the City of Chicago on the early childhood literacy assessment. He has supervised and evaluated elementary principals; created learning communities for principals focused on student achievement; and led efforts to reduce school suspensions. Dr. Price also served as the principal of Audubon Elementary School in Chicago for five years. In this role, he led a successful effort in closing the achievement gap for African-American, Hispanic, and Students with IEP subgroups.
As Director of Instruction for STEM, Jesch Reyes will collaborate with teachers and administrators to coordinate program development and professional development, and will work collaboratively to create a vision and strategy for STEM in District 65. Through a standards-driven approach to teaching and learning, Mr. Reyes will help to ensure that students gain the necessary competencies and skills to compete and succeed in the global economy. He will lead the roll-out of Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards and will emphasize strengthening content learning while devising ways to differentiate and enhance student learning.
Before joining the District 65 Leadership Team, Mr. Reyes served as a member of the curriculum development team for the 4th edition of Everyday Mathematics at the University of Chicago, Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education. In this position, he leveraged his experience as a classroom teacher, professional developer, and district administrator to collaborate and support development of 3rd-6th grade mathematics curriculum. Prior to that, Mr. Reyes was the Director of Mathematics and Science for Chicago Public Schools where he led departmental staff to define district instructional expectations and to provide guidance and support services allowing all students to have access to high quality math and science education.