Superintendent's Corner

Avoca District 37 - January 18, 2023

Inspire Curiosity, Cultivate Academic Growth, Nurture Diversity

In this first 2023 issue, find out more about

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s Legacy and Avoca
  • The November Town Hall on School Finances - Watch It Here
  • Superintendent Search Update - Profile, Survey Results, Timeline
  • PTC Silent Auction & Fun Fair - Here They Come
  • Fun with Cricut on January 28 and Family Coding on February 11
  • SciOly Dominates at Home
  • Equitable Access - Give to the Viking Fund Today

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Avoca

Sunday was Dr. King's 94th birthday and Monday was the National Holiday honoring his legacy.

Assassinated in April, 1968, Dr. King's legacy cemented him as the most important and influential American of the 20th century. His leadership to end legal segregation, to end the suppression of black citizens' right to vote, to end unfair housing and labor practices and much more mark him out as a role model for each of us.

And his inspiration informs aspects of what we impart to our students today, most of all in our Portrait of a Graduate. Our Portrait calls for students to graduate exhibiting 7 distinct characteristics, including that they be graduates who are:

Confident Advocates - Asking questions, taking risks, seeking new experiences, and speaking up for themselves and others.

Socially Grounded - Developing healthy relationships with self and others, rooted in respect, empathy, integrity, and justice.

Culturally Competent - Seeking, learning from, and valuing diverse peoples, perspectives, and experiences in school and life.

Effective Communicators - Listening, speaking, and writing from caring and critical perspectives.

November Town Hall on District Finances - Review It Here

If you missed the November Town Hall presentation on school district finances, you may access it by clicking on this link.

The Town Hall attendees provided excellent questions and feedback, and our Facilities & Finances Committee continues to develop the understanding necessary to issue a report and recommendations to the Board of Education in June.

Save the Date: A Town Hall on Facilities is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14th at Marie Murphy. More details to follow.

Superintendent Search Update

Thanks to the more than 250 parents, guardians, staff, and community members who completed the Superintendent Search Survey conducted by BWP and to those who participated in Focus Groups.

As a result of that work, you can see the Candidate Profile by clicking here.

And you can see the Superintendent Survey results by clicking here.

Both will be posted on our website for the next ten days.

With that being said, there has been a robust pool of applicants for the Superintendent (Elect) position that will begin in July, 2023 and work side-by-side with me until fully assuming the Superintendency here in July of 2024 when I retire.

Interviews have begun and will continue for the next three weeks and it is anticipated that if the Board finds a suitable candidate, that person will be introduced to the community some time in the second half of February.

PTC Silent Auction & Fun Fair - Here They Come

Thanks to the dogged work of our PTC members and leadership, last year's Silent Auction was the most successful ever.

Be on the lookout - this year's auction begins January 26.

And mark your calendar: The Fun Fair is February 26 at Avoca West.

PTC funding helps support Innovation Grants, special event meals for staff, and other classroom enhancements. To find out more about the PTC, click here.

And Have Fun 1 - CRICUT for Beginners

Did you get a CRICUT as a holiday present?

But you're not sure what to do with it?

Come have fun and learn at the same time.

Our own Tech Integration Specialist Kelli Lane is going to conduct a CRICUT for Beginners class on January 28 from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the ITC at Marie Murphy.

Bring a friend and let the fun begin. Click here to sign up.

And Have Fun 2 - Hour of Code: Family Edition

Do you know your student wants to be into coding, but you don't know where to start?

Coding is everywhere and fun is a good place to start.

Come to Hour of Code: Family Edition at Avoca West on February 11th from 10 - 11 a.m. Move through multiple stations with coding and robots. (Donuts also might be there.)

Click on the image to the left to access the QR Code to register or email Kelli Lane at

Congrats to Science Olympiad for Home Meet Victory

Back and live this season after a remote competition season last year, our Marie Murphy Science Olympiad Team dominated the competition on Saturday, January 14.

Hosting 16 teams from 8 schools, Marie Murphy's Varsity team won decidedly, taking first in 13 of 23 events and runner up in another 5 events.

In second place? That's right, Marie Murphy Junior Varsity, which won 7 events and was runner up in another 8 events.

Congrats to all our staff and volunteer coaches!

Equal Access - Help Shine a Light

The diversity of high quality opportunities inside and outside the classroom helps distinguish Avoca as one of the best K-8 school districts in Illinois.

Students whose families qualify for free-or-reduced lunch under federal guidelines have most or all of their fees waived for many fees that make access to school possible - transportation, instructional fees, etc. The District absorbs the costs to make education equitable.

But often those additional programs - Science Olympiad, Strings, Sports, Clubs - are what can make a difference in a student's experience.

And the District cannot cover all of those additional costs for families in economically challenging circumstances.

This is where the Viking Fund comes in.

Started in 2019 and seeded by the PTC, the fund requires approximately $12,000 in donations per year to sustain itself. Right now, the balance is down to approximately $4,500, which means not all students in need can access the programs that help Avoca Inspire Curiosity, Cultivate Academic Growth, and Nurture Diversity.

Please click here and consider donating something to the Viking Fund today.