Superintendent's Corner

Avoca District 37 - August 7, 2022

Inspire Curiosity, Cultivate Academic Growth, Nurture Diversity

In this important issue...

  • For Avoca West - Demolition of Hunter House starts August 10
  • Our New Mission, Portrait of a Graduate, and Strategic Plan
  • Reminder to See the School Re-Opening Plan
  • Village of Wilmette Sesquicentennial Party - September 10

For Avoca West - Demolition for Hunter House starts August 10

This summer, District 37 finalized the sale of Hunter House and the 1 acre parcel in the Southwest corner of Avoca West's property to The Glenview Park District.

Now will start the process of turning that 1 acre parcel into a neighborhood Nature Park with a path and a place for outdoor instruction to take place. The final design of the park will include input from neighbors and from students and staff at Avoca West.

But first, the "Hunter House" property will be demolished.

On Tuesday, August 8, the Park District will have a fence erected around the house so that demolition can safely occur. All such work will be finished well before school begins on August 24 and at no time will anyone outside the park face any risk while demolition is taking place.

Click here to access a letter from Glenview Park District Superintendent Tim Beckmann for more details.

A New Mission, A Portrait of a Graduate, and a New Strategic Plan

Our community engagement and strategic plan process in 2021-2022 involved nearly a thousand point of feedbacks, from focus groups with parents/guardians, staff members, and students, to multiple surveys to more than 20 hours of on-the-ground work by our 25 member

Strategic Planning Committee.

The goals of the work were to articulate a new mission, a set values that define our work with and for students embodied in The Portrait of a Graduate, and a new strategic plan that prioritizes our most important actions in the coming years.

Those goals have been realized and as the year progresses, I will regularly be sharing with you the details of our work. In this post, I will simply delve into our new Mission Statement.

Our New Mission

A mission states succinctly and broadly the most important work we (students, staff, parents/guardians, community) do every day.

Inspire Curiosity, Cultivate Academic Growth, Nurture Diversity

This three-part, action oriented mission speaks to well grounded values and aspirational ones.

Increasingly, we can identify CURIOSITY as a key ingredient to long-term success and happiness, in the workplace and in life. Additionally, curiosity is at the root of transformative innovation. The world won't change for the better if our future leaders are not curious about how it can be better.

ACADEMIC achievement has long been a hallmark of the Avoca community and its importance came through in the community engagement process. But real achievement is not possible without growth and, in fact, whether its out of the mouth of Carol Dweck or Adam Grant, growth is the achievement we want to see our students obtain. Once someone learns how to grow, they cannot undo that.

Another cornerstone of the Avoca community identified in our months-long feedback process is its DIVERSITY. Many families move here and stay here because of our diversity. And this is not something to take for granted. Anything worthwhile must be nurtured, cared for, supported. Our students come from many different backgrounds and we want to make sure that that diversity is honored and shared and made integral to every student's learning.

Ultimately, the meaning of our mission will both broaden and deepen over time, as any meaningful insight does. And this mission will play a key role in our decision making on a daily basis. When confronted with a new decision, we must make sure we frame it in terms of our mission: Does an action align with our most important daily work with and for students? Does this work now or will it lead to our ability to inspire curiosity, cultivate academic growth, and nurture diversity? The answer can only be yes if we are to move forward.

Reminder: School Reopening Plan 2022-2023

Per the federal requirements to receive American Rescue Plan grant monies, the District must post for public comment a "Reopening Plan" for 2022-2023, including protocols related to addressing COVID.

You may access this document by clicking here. It is a slightly revised version of what was sent out in a July, 2022 email to all parents/guardians, and staff.

Please read this document, and if you have any questions or comments, please email me at

This document will be reviewed by the Board of Education on August 11.

Wilmette's Sesquicentennial Party on September 10 - Avoca Students Perform

The Village of Wilmette is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and the highlight is a HUGE BLOCK PARTY on Saturday September 10.

All day there will be music, great food, activities for kids, and more in downtown Wilmette.

Even better, Avoca choir, strings, and orchestra students will be performing too.

  • Avoca West Choir performs at 1:15
  • Avoca West Suzuki Strings perform at 3:30
  • Marie Murph Orchestra performs at 4:15

Come celebrate Wilmette's anniversary and support our kids who will be highlighting for the community one of the best elementary choir and music programs in Illinois!

A big thanks to Ms. Weismehl, Ms. Stubbs, Ms. Parisoli, and Ms. Oppenheim for bringing our kids together to make this happen.