Superintendent's Corner

Avoca School District 37 - November 28, 2022

Inspire Curiosity, Cultivate Academic Growth, Nurture Diversity

In this important update...

  • December 8 - Help Hire the Next Superintendent
  • Illinois School Report Card for District 37- Recap
  • Town Hall Meeting on Finances - Recap
  • Shout Outs - Intercultural Dinner & Talent Show
  • Supporting Community Members During Holiday Season - Roots & Shoots' Giving Tree

You Will Help Hire the Next Superintendent

The Board of Education has contracted with BWP Executive Search Firm to help find the next Superintendent for District 37 upon my retirement in June, 2024.

BWP will be host a feedback session on Thursday, December 8 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the library at Marie Murphy.

Only parents & guardians should attend.

No administration will attend.

All parents and guardians are encouraged to attend. Please email me at if you have any questions about this.

Illinois School Report Card for 2022 - Recap

In mid-October, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued its school report cards for every school and district in Illinois.

A memo was issued to the Board of Education on October 20th (click here) and a full report - including on state test scores - was presented to the Board on November 17 (click here).

Highlights from the November 17 report include:

  • Avoca scores among the top 5% of elementary districts statewide on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR)
  • Student growth on IAR has returned to pre-pandemic levels
  • Student growth on IAR far exceeds the state average
  • The District can improve in its support for students with IEPs, students receiving EL services, and students facing financially challenging circumstances
  • The Districts's Professional Learning Community (PLC) initiative and Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) initiative will contribute to staff's ability to support student academic growth

November Town Hall Meeting on District Finances - Recap

The full video will be released after Winter Break, but thanks to all who attended the November 10 Town Hall Meeting on District Finances. During the feedback portion of the meeting, attendees communicated that some inaccurate information is circulating in the community.

When the video is released in January, I encourage you to view it and email me with any questions. However, in the meantime, a summary slide at the presentation was identified by attendees as very helpful. It highlighted the following strengths and vulnerabilities in District finances:


>Low indebtedness
>Low tax rate for area districts
>Annual operating surplus is improving due to local & state revenue increasingly slightly
>Cumulative fund balance is improving slightly


>Zero balance in funds for capital/infrastructure projects

>No money to maintain or invest in buildings
>Annual operating surplus projected to decrease
>Operating surplus too small to invest in new programs or capital projects
>Surplus should be 3% to 5% instead of lower current range

The Facilities and Finances Committee meets monthly and will continue to examine finances, then launch into a detailed review of facility needs.

A Town Hall on Facilities will be held in March.

The Committee will issue a report with recommendations to the Board by June, 2023.

Shout Outs - Intercultural Dinner & Talent Show

"Nurturing Diversity" is in our mission and the highlight of our year in Avoca District 37 is often the Intercultural Dinner & Talent Show. Not being able to hold this event for the last two years has been a hard.

That is why the IDTS on November 18th brought such extra measures of joy and gratitude.

Thanks to our committee members who made it all possible, to our custodial and maintenance crew who supported the event, to Tim Furman who helped with audio and visual tech, and to all of our parents and guardians who were able to come and their students (past and present) who performed.

And thanks to three groups who served as sponsors for the first time:

  • Galileo Learning (summer STEM at Avoca West)
  • Byline Bank
  • Right at School (after learning and care at Avoca West)
  • Xilin North Shore Chinese School
  • Torino Restaurant
  • GoGreen Wilmette

I know we are already looking forward to next year's event!

Roots & Shoots' Giving Tree

The Roots & Shoots Club at Marie Murphy is again sponsoring The Giving Tree project this year.

If you would like to participate and support a family in need, then please follow these steps below and the students in Roots & Shoots will do the rest!

1. Sign up using this link.

2. Receive a wishlist of what your assigned child wants as a holiday present

3. Go shopping

4. Wrap your gifts (or a club member will wrap them for you)

5. Drop your gift off at Marie Murphy

And club member will do the rest. Out of respect, all recipient families retain their anonymity and no private information is shared without consent.