Gower 62 Community Newsletter
December 21, 2023
Enjoy Winter Break and the Holiday Season!!!
The ongoing parent support and engagement in the Gower Community has been amazing this year! A recent example of this was clear with over 90% of our students participating in our 'practice eLearning Day' on November 21st. Having such a high percentage of students and our families being familiar with the eLearning process will be helpful should we face inclement weather in the coming months (knocking on wood). Thank you!
The strong community engagement in Gower continued last week with a packed house for the Gower Middle Winter Concert and a standing room only crowd to enjoy our 2nd grade holiday performance! With seating for over 300 guests in the new Gower West gym, we had quite a crowd! Our students and staff work so hard to bring these performances to life and there's no better compliment than having so many people come together from across our school community to cheer them on!
We do not take the level of support that we enjoy in our school district for granted. It is recognized as a huge advantage to the work we do across the district and we place the highest value on preserving and expanding it. From our weekly Teacher Team meetings to our monthly Board of Education meetings, 'Parent Engagement and Support' is an ongoing topic. If you haven't done so already, be sure to visit the Gower PTO and the Gower Foundation to connect with others and find new ways to get involved in the Gower School Community. And be sure to reach out to our Teachers, our Principals, or our District Office directly to let us know where we have things right and where we can improve. Living up to our district motto, 'Children at their Best!' requires ongoing feedback and coordination and we always enjoy hearing from you.
On behalf of our hard-working and dedicated staff, our experienced administrative team, and our supportive Board of Education, I wish you the happiest of holidays as we head into Winter Break and ring in the New Year.
As always, if you would like to discuss any other Gower Community topic further, please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With gratitude and holiday cheer,
Superintendent of Schools
Board of Education Meeting - Public Hearing & Regular Meeting 12/19/2023
Public Hearing Summary: Board President Ryan Asmus convened the Adoption of the 2023 Tax Levy Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Simon gave a brief overview of the 2023 levy and there were no questions or comments from the public. The public hearing was adjourned at 7:02 p.m.
Regular Board Meeting Summary: The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. There was no public comment from the community. Gower Middle Principal Tracy Murphy and Girls Basketball Coach Mr. Greg Hey recognized the Gower Middle JV & Varsity Girls Basketball Teams as part of a Board Salute; both were IESA Regional winners this season! The Board and Dr. Simon thanked Coach Hey for his work with the students and congratulated the girls on a successful season.
The meeting continued with a brief report from the district's auditors, Sikich LLP, followed by the monthly Superintendent's Report. The Superintendent's Report included a separate report and update on the English Language Learning Program, as well as the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 School Calendars.
The Board reviewed a series of reports, including a report from four Board members who attended this year's Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) Joint Annual Conference in Chicago in November. A number of Board policy revisions were also approved as part of a 4-year revision cycle, the final 2024-2025 School Year Calendar was approved along with a draft for the 2025-2026 school year, and the 2023 Tax Levy was approved as presented.
The Board did enter Executive (closed) session with the purpose of discussing (1) "Collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees." 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(2) and (2) "The employment, compensation, and performance of specific employees." 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1).
The Board returned to open session at 8:25 p.m. and voted to approve the Resolution Authorizing and Approving the Gower West Principal's Contract for the 2024-2025 school year, effective July 1, 2024. The Board and Dr. Simon congratulated Mrs. Melissa Capizzi on being named the new principal of Gower West beginning next school year. The Board also recognized the importance of leadership stability and gave praise to Principal Gina Rodewald for her ongoing service and support throughout the transition.
The Board adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting is scheduled for January 23, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Gower School District Board Room, Gower West, south end of campus Door #B22. As always, you are invited to attend and share your thoughts and feedback with the Board.
Congratulations to the Gower Middle JV & Varsity Girls Regional Champions Basketball teams! Both teams were IESA Regional winners this season.
Pictured left to right: Randi Anderson, Kendall Scheri, Caroline Kelly, Brooklyn Barnish, Oyin Gbotosho, and Lane Smith
Welcome & Congratulations to Mrs. Capizzi!
Congratulations, Mrs. Capizzi!
At Tuesday night's Board meeting and by a unanimous, 7-0 vote, the Board of Education approved Dr. Simon's recommendation to award Gower West's Assistant Principal, Mrs. Capizzi, the contract to serve as the next Principal of Gower West Elementary School beginning July 1, 2024. We are very excited to have Mrs. Capizzi join the Gower Family!
Gower has enjoyed stability in our school and district leadership roles for over a decade! This is not common and has served as an advantage in so many ways when it comes to providing a high quality educational experience in a public school setting. When asked about the new position, Mrs. Capizzi was quick to point to all of the amazing things we have in place and her commitment to working with others to ensure that such stability continues. "I look forward to creating opportunities in the coming months to collaborate with various groups to make sure that I can learn everything that you love and cherish about Gower so that we can preserve those aspects and grow together in the years to come." Well said, Mrs. Capizzi and perfectly aligned to the point made in Gower often; 'Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.' New potential and opportunity is exciting! And that's what learning is all about!
This action represents the culmination for a lengthy transition plan and starts the official passing of the Gower West Principal baton from Mrs. Rodewald, one of the best to ever do it, to Mrs. Capizzi, to ensure a smooth transition this summer. Mrs. Capizzi is a learner by nature and is always looking for ways to problem solve and continuously improve. Be sure to reach out to her with your ideas and input as she prepares to step into the role. Let's join in a 'Gower welcome' to Mrs. Capizzi! As Mrs. Rodewald shared after the Board meeting, "We are thrilled to have you here at Gower West!!!"
2024-2025 School Year Calendar Finalized
Happy New Year!!!
Reminder that tomorrow, Friday, is an Early Release Day! Have a safe and wonderful Winter Break!