Superintendent's Corner 😁 🏫 😁

Avoca District 37

In this issue...

  • Staff Excellence - Opening Days
  • Student Excellence - Opening Days
  • Superintendent Goals for 2019-20
  • Meet the Superintendent - State of the District, Finances, and More
  • Board Meeting Review / Preview
  • Want to be a sub? It's a great gig!

Staff Excellence - Opening Days

Our opening days as a staff were amazing. From articulation between grades (teachers meeting to talk about students strengths and how to support students in changing grade levels), to grade-level collaboration to building meetings and more, it was a great two days of learning together. New for us was collaboration around summer reading we did. Some staff read a chapter from Dan Pink's WHEN and some read from Shawn Achor's BIG POTENTIAL. We "jigsawed" and taught each other the main ideas of each chapter and brainstormed on how lessons from these books might improve our own lives, our students' lives, our schools' lives, and our community's lives.

Student Excellence - Opening Days

It's a toss up deciding what's more impressive: How our teachers prepare for opening days down to a "T" or how our students step up and jump right in, eager to learn. While doing things on Day 1 is always fun, our teachers know that it all happens in the context of the teachers learning about the students - who they are, how they learn, and what they bring to class with them each day.

Superintendent Goals for 2019-20

For this year, I have some very straightforward goals. What I share here is are the "high level" version; for each of these goals, there are pages of sub-goals, metrics, deliverables, and identified outcomes. I am excited to accomplish these this year and lay the foundation for long-term success in Avoca.


  1. Demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the operations, climate, and culture of the District.
  2. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the District's financial status and make recommendations to achieve financial stability to fulfill its mission and achieve its goals.
  3. Develop rapport with respective stakeholder groups in preparation for assessment and development work related to the vision for District 37.
  4. Collaborate with the Board of Education to establish a high performing Board which fulfills its agreements and legacy and is consistent with the IASB best practices.
  5. Successfully execute the Strategic Plan items confirmed for the 2019-20 school year.


If you have any questions about these please do not hesitate to contact me.

Meet the Superintendent - State of the District, Finances, and More

If you want to hear more from me, please come to a Live District Update Event. Both will take place in the Joseph Porto Community Room at Marie Murphy.


October 3 at 7 p.m. OR October 4 at 9:30 a.m.


I will be highlighting the following:


  • My background and leadership perspective
  • Broad overview of learning and achievement in the District
  • District financial status and projections
  • Seeking Feedback on a Framework for Budgetary and Expenditure Decisions


The last two items are ones where I am seeking direct feedback from parents and staff. As you may know, the District is facing mounting financial challenges. I will be explaining those in some detail and seeking feedback from you about how to approach our budget for next year. Please mark your calendar and try to make one of these sessions.

Board Meeting Review & Preview

August 22
  • FY20 Budget (first discussion)
  • Approval of Facilities Rental Rates
  • Approval of Substitute Teacher Rates

September 5 (forthcoming)

  • Finance Committee Report
  • FY20 Budget (second discussion)
  • Agreement with DLA Architects (demo on Avoca Center)
  • Agreement with DLA Architects (Summer 2020 Construction)

Want to be a Substitute Teacher? It's a Great Gig!

You might have heard in the news that generally there is a teacher shortage nationwide and in Illinois. There is also a sever Substitute Teacher shortage, due to such low unemployment. On some days, we have had to have the schools' principals substitute, which can cause a lot of disruption to the operation of school. If you have an undergraduate degree, getting the paperwork to be a sub is easy. And Avoca pays the most competitive rate on the North Shore:


$125/day (after 20 days = $130 day; after 30 days = $250 bonus; after 50 days = $250 bonus)


To find out more, contact the North Cook Intermediate Service Center at https://www.ncisc.org/licensure