Superintendent's Corner 😎 👩‍🎓 😎

June 2, 2021

In this issue...

  • Winding Down and Looking Ahead - Nuts & Bolts
  • Board Recognizes Student Excellence
  • Our Retirees & Careers of Service
  • Before & After Care at Avoca West Next Year
  • HEROS Events & Juneteenth

Winding Down ... Looking Ahead

As our school year only has this week left for 8th graders and 10 days left for the rest of our students, please make sure to keep up with emails from your students' teachers and principals about end of year events for classrooms and grades. Individual classes and/or grades will be planning small scale enjoyments to mark the end of the year.


The last day of student attendance is Thursday, June 10 (June 4 for 8th graders).


Next year will start with school on site for every student, every day. Information will go out over the summer for students who are potentially not able to attend school onsite due to medical reasons related to COVID.


Finally, more communications will go out over the summer and as school's start approaches. The first day of student attendance will be Wednesday, August 25. You can find next year's calendar at a glance by clicking here.

Board Recognizes Student Excellence

In lieu of an onsite ceremony that would have strained room capacities, at its May 27 meeting, the Board of Education recognized the following students for excellence in regards to their contributions to the Avoca school community this year:


Avoca West - Amplify Avoca

Owen Smith, Audrey Kiley, Tyler Molloy, and Neera Patel.


Sponsor: Janis Michael


Marie Murphy - Roots & Shoots

Isabelle McNulty, Margot Swibel, Zayaan Dadwani, Tenzin, Yaksang, Natasha Diercks, Maddie Long, Anisha Vasudevan, Amelie Lucie Kolot, Maeve Gaspar, Stella Baber Ciavarella, Amalia Baber Ciavarella, and Haven Turner


Sponsor: Jenn Rachmiel


Please see the video from the Board meeting, where I speak at length about the accomplishments of these amazing students. See the 33 minute mark where I start speaking about these amazing students.

Avoca School District 37 Board of Education

Our Retirees: Careers of Service

The following staff members are retiring at the end of this year. Please take a moment to read just a little about them, and if you have a chance, drop them a note of thanks:


Michael Catthouse

Mr. "Mike" has driven a bus and supported our maintenance and custodial work for nearly 20 years. Mike sees our kids before they start the day in school and sees them before their day ends at home. He has been a special colleague who we wish the best.


Roxann Giovannini

Roxann has been a welcoming and supportive presence in our main office for nearly a decade. During the "normal" times the kids also see her helping supervise the lunch room and she has taken up lunch duties even during the Hybrid and MOD schedules. We hope she comes back and visits often.


Michelle Katz

Ms. Katz's career in music education spans more than 30 years and a dozen of them have been at Avoca West, supporting our world class strings and orchestra program. A consummate professional who wants to see our students practice and perform their best, Ms. Katz has been an integral part of the strings and orchestra team.


Patti Patrick

Ms. Patrick has not been as well known, since her specialty only brings her to help a select few students per year in learning how to accelerate their reading skills. However, she has also helped her colleagues accelerate their learning and she will be missed.


Peter Ogden

What a long strange trip it's been for this Dead fan and world traveler. Mr. Ogden has put in more than 25 years at Marie Murphy teaching 6th grade science. Before that he taught internationally. In addition to his amazing Science instruction skills, he has coached and helped organize Marie Murphy's world class Science Olympiad team. Also, he has been a team leader and a valuable teacher representative to to the Parent Teacher Committee (PTC).


Mary Rudzinski

Often referred to as "The Queen" of Marie Murphy, and rightly so, Ms. Rudzinski has presided over one of the most storied elective music programs in Illinois, causing Marie Murphy to be a real driver of success for New Trier's own strings and orchestra programs. Up until a few years ago, Ms. Rudzinski was also the orchestra teacher in Wilmette District 39 when that programming was shared between the districts. When people think of the strings and orchestra program, they have first thought of our amazing students, then immediately thought of Mary.

Before & After Care Services at Avoca West

Thanks to all who completed a survey indicating interest in a Before & After Care program at Avoca West for the 2021-22 school year. The District is currently in discussions with an accomplished and veteran outside provider of such services and will have registration materials out before the end of June.


The pricing will be similar to the 2020-2021 school year and space will be limited, meaning there could be a lottery for available spots. Thank you for your patience as we transition away from Avoca District 37 operating this service and back to an external provider.

Healing Everyday Racism in Our Schools - June Panels and Juneteenth Walk

The local non-profit group HEROS will be holding ZOOM panels June 2 (with local pastoral leaders), June 9 (with local educators), and June 16 (community leaders) about how we can better address racism and its history on the North Shore. The panels are part of a month-long series that lead to a community walk on June 19th to recognize Juneteenth and raise awareness about the legacy of racism in the communities served by New Trier.


To learn more, click here.