Superintendent's Corner

Avoca School District 37 - October 14, 2022

Inspire Curiosity, Cultivate Academic Growth, Nurture Diversity

In this issue...

  • Portrait of a Graduate - Balanced
  • COVID and Flu Vax as Winter Approaches
  • National Principals Appreciation Month
  • Reminder for Marie Murphy Parents/Guardians: Important Science Olympiad Info.
  • Save the Date: November 10 - Town Hall on District Finances
  • Apologies for a Missed Message!

Portrait of a Graduate - Balanced

It used to be called "well rounded," but in reviewing parent, guardian, staff, and student input, our Strategic Planning Committee determined being "Balanced" is something important we seek for our graduates to be when they leave District 37.

Specifically, someone who is balanced in their search for knowledge. Later in life, expertise can play an important role in success, and we encourage characteristics to foster that later (see "Academically Prepared" among others). But when in elementary and middle school, encouraging a breadth of knowledge, especially as a way to foster balance, diversity of insight, is more likely to lead to a student who is healthy, happy, and successful in the future.

So, whether it is in music (during the day and/or extra curricular), athletics, visual or performing arts, technology, or academics, 'balanced' students are those that have had a rewarding amount of learning in each area so that they can better make connections and explore a wider world when they leave Avoca District 37.

Consider COVID / Flu Vaccines Before Winter

Any vaccination decision, especially for a minor, should be made in consultation with a medical professional. And all the major health agencies are recommending anyone eligible get a COVID vaccination or booster and get a flu vaccination.

Flu in the southern hemisphere is often a predictor of flu here during the Winter and southern hemisphere cases suggest there could be increased flu this year.

Likewise, there is a COVID booster that now addresses multivariants.

No vaccine is proof against infection, but for those eligible, vaccinations reduce the risk of serious illness and can reduce spread in populations.

National Principals Month

Some people balefully admit they are not sure what principals do.

FYI: They do pretty much everything.

I was a high school principal and loved it, and I can see the joy our two principals feel in doing their jobs. Whether it is subbing for a teacher, working lunchtime supervision, facilitating reconciliation between students, temping for the nurse, supervising pick up/drop off traffic, visiting classes to observe teaching and learning, listening to parent concerns, leading meetings about curriculum, instruction, testing, researching the latest science on learning to keep up, making sure lunch runs smoothly ... you get the idea.

And I feel lucky, and know that we are all lucky to have Jess Hutchison at Avoca West and Elena Ryan at Marie Murphy.

If you get a chance, drop them a note of appreciation before the end of the month.

Reminder for Marie Murphy Parents/Guardians: SciOly Information

Our nationally ranked Science Olympiad team at Marie Murphy generates a lot of student interest. Not every interested student can make the team, and it is important that everyone who wants a chance to tryout know what the program provides and requires of students.

  • Informational Meeting for prospective students: October 24, 3:30-4:30 in Room 151
  • Tryouts: November 1 and November 3 after school, Rooms 151 and 155

If you have any questions, please email Mr. Darren Persino at

Save the Date - Town Hall on District Finances

Financing is the single biggest determiner of a school district's success. As part of our strategic planning last year, I made substantial presentation in a Town Hall format to review the District's financial state.

Aspects of our finances and financial projections have improved, largely due to changes in state of Illinois financing.

However, other aspects of our financial future remain uncertain.

On November 10, I will make a presentation updating the community on our current financial state and our current financial projections for the next few years. The goals for this town hall will be:

  • Inform you of the District's financial strengths, weaknesses, and near-term projections
  • Solicit your concerns about District finances
  • Understand what questions you have about District finances

A brief survey will be given after the presentation and focus groups will be run for more in-depth understanding.

Please mark your calendar. The presentation will take place on November 10 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.


I always send a link to my posts to parents, guardians, and staff via email.

On September 29, I sent a link to the post for that day, but failed to include the proper email addresses, meaning most of you did not receive it.

That timely information is now no longer so, but I include the link here in case you have time or interest to review it. Click here.