January 12, 2024
Charting Staff Growth for District Success
This school year marked the kickoff of our bold new five-year Strategic Plan, setting the wheels in motion to make transformative changes across the District. With a spotlight on enhancing student experiences, championing staff growth, strengthening family/community bonds, and smart investments in finance and facilities, the District is headed in an exciting direction.
Among these four strategic goal areas, providing impactful professional development for the District's staff ranked high on the list of desired improvements.
“So many insights came out of the yearlong Strategic Plan process,” said Dr. Mary Gorr, Superintendent for District 57, referencing the extensive efforts put into developing the Strategic Plan. “We heard loud and clear from participants with differing stakes in our district: there is a significant need to invest in staff growth.”
As part of this effort, the District welcomed Aaron Wilkins as its new Assistant Director for Professional Learning. This new position was created to address the need for a dedicated staff support resource in the District. Wilkins’ responsibilities include providing professional learning opportunities for staff, overseeing the District’s New Educator Induction and Mentoring Program, and supporting staff with curricular implementation, among other things.
D57 Strategic Plan developments can be viewed on the D57 Strategic Plan Dashboard.
Student Voice Finds Home in Principal Advisory Committees
This fall, District students were invited to join Principal Advisory Committees (PACs) in each of our four schools. These exciting new committees are a purposeful effort to bring student voice into conversations about different aspects of school life. Directly connected to our Strategic Plan's goals, these PACs serve as outstanding student experiences that promote academic excellence, social-emotional growth, and lifelong learning.
PACs are now up and running! Students have been enthusiastic participants, offering insights and perspectives on a variety of topics from student connectedness to lunch cart cleaning processes to anti-bullying campaigns. It's incredible seeing student creativity, thoughtfulness, and investment on full display. Great job to all of you!
Lincoln Alums Give Epic Performance
Lincoln 8th graders were treated to an incredible performance by District 214's Prospect High School Marching Knights during an October assembly. This annual event is meant to encourage our 8th graders to get involved in extra-curricular activities after their transition to high school. The performance was punctuated by an incredible drumline performance that captured the attention of everyone in the gym.
After the performance two photos were taken of the band: one of the entire Marching Knights band (below, top), and one with just the Lincoln band alums (below, bottom). Take a look at the impressive Lincoln representation in the Prospect Marching Knights! If you look closely you can see Lincoln's band director, Kevin Acuna, beaming with pride.
Rockin' 5th Graders Show Off Guitar Skills at Lions
In September, Lions Park's talented 5th graders showed off their skills during the "Teach a Guest Guitar" event. Claire Koehlinger, Lions Park's music teacher, dreamed up this epic event to bring students, families, and music into one room to experience the connective power of music.
During the event, students acted as teachers to their guest(s) in a room filled with parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and staff. Guests could be seen strumming chords as students demonstrated technique, music-reading, and rhythm. This event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase Lions Park's music curriculum to the people our students hold most dear.
Gorr Named 2023 Superintendent to Watch
Our very own superintendent, Dr. Mary Gorr, was selected as a 2023 Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Dr. Gorr joins just 24 other superintendents nationwide who were selected for this honor in recognition of their innovative and effective use of technology to engage and inform the school community, and to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts.
"I am thrilled and humbled to be recognized as a 2023 Superintendent to Watch by NSPRA,” said Dr. Gorr. “This prestigious acknowledgment is a testament to the collective dedication of my extraordinary team. Together, we have not only prioritized improving communication with our stakeholders but have transformed ideas into impactful accomplishments.”
NSPRA’s recognition highlights Dr. Gorr’s innovative communication strategies around the District’s new Strategic Plan, from the plan’s development to its implementation. Read more about Dr. Gorr's accomplishment in the Journal & Topics!
Fairview 5th Graders Hit the Trails
The event took the collective effort of a variety of partners: Fairview parent volunteers acted as activity leaders for the day; Fairview staff coordinated and oversaw many aspects of the event; and staff from Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO) offered event training and oversight.
Lions Park 5th graders can look forward to participating in this outdoor education event later in the spring. Check out this video to learn more about this incredible experience!
Westbrook's Wee Ones - Immerse, Engage, Go!
A group of Westbrook educators - Librarian Carol Capra, Instruction and Technology Coach Kim Stortz, Instructional Assistant Darshana Shah, and classroom teachers Melissa Grossmayer, Amanda Bruns, Carly Fergus & Kristi Zakula - all partnered to fill October with incredible STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) programming meant to engage, immerse, and challenge kindergarten and first grade students.
The month's programming included coding, drawing, environmental education, engineering, videography, and more. Check out this District 57 Spotlight video to learn all about it!