May 20th, 2022

Voice Recognition

May 20th, 2022

May 20th, 2022

Dear District 57 Families,

At last night’s School Board meeting, we were pleased to recognize Lincoln’s girls basketball team for an amazing season. We’re so proud of the players and coaches! Here are a few other important updates from the meeting, plus some good news from the schools.

girls basketball team

New Hires
The School Board approved the hiring of Lincoln’s new principal, Eric Larson, effective July 1. Eric is currently the principal of Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights District 25. He was previously associate principal of District 25’s South Middle School, and he started his career as a middle school math teacher.

I’m excited to have Eric on the team, as he has a strong track record of working collaboratively with staff and families to serve children and ensure high-quality outcomes for learning. Also, with his administrative and classroom experience, he has a unique perspective that, I believe, will serve him well as the leader of students and staff at Lincoln. We conducted a thorough principal search that drew many quality applicants and included multiple rounds of interviews by administrators and a committee of staff and parents. I thank everyone who participated in the process, including the parents who provided input via the online survey.

Eric replaces Paul Suminski. I would like to thank Paul for his years of service and his leadership at Lincoln. We wish him all the best!

The Board also approved the hiring of Breanna Pustai as assistant principal of Lions Park, effective July 28. Breanna is currently a second-grade teacher at Windsor School in District 25, where she has held several leadership roles. Breanna is getting married and will go by Mrs. Grzybek by the start of the school year. I know she’ll be an excellent addition to the Lions Park community. Breanna replaces Elise Dean. I thank Elise for her leadership this year and wish her well.
In addition, I’m pleased to share that we’ve hired Karen Schwartzwald as the District’s director of human resources. She comes to us from Glenview District 34. This is an essential position on our administrative team, and we’re glad to have Karen on board.

New SEL Curriculum
Also last night, the Board approved the District’s new Second Step social-emotional learning curriculum for kindergarten through eighth grade and Second Step Bullying Prevention for kindergarten through fifth grade. This curriculum was selected after being heavily researched and piloted by District administrators and staff. The leadership team that worked on this project found Second Step, which is aligned with state standards, to be robust, comprehensive, user friendly and relevant to students’ lives today. We feel SEL is an integral part of what we do, and we look forward to rolling out these new materials next school year. We plan to use funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) program to pay for the new curriculum.

Thanks to the staff members at all four schools who researched and piloted SEL curriculum. I also want to recognize the team that did a wonderful job on the detailed SEL presentation to the Board last night: Dr. Kristin Vonder Haar, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning; Alana Davidov, Lions Park fifth-grade teacher; Una Durkan, Fairview assistant principal; Dan Ophus, Fairview principal; Lisa Ryno, Westbrook social worker; and Sara Tyburski, director of student services.

Good News from the Schools
I’m proud to share that Lincoln's Project Lead the Way program has received a Distinguished School designation for the 4th consecutive year! Congratulations to teacher Elizabeth Straczek and to everyone at Lincoln and D57 who make this program happen. Congrats also to the students for their enthusiasm and dedication to this popular class!
I also want to recognize our stellar D57 team members who competed in Special Olympics last Sunday at Prospect High School. They received one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals! Thanks to their families, the schools, and the community for all of the support, and to the D57 staff members who helped make this special day possible -- Katianne Olson who coached the team and oversaw our Special Olympics involvement this year, and Carol Bemben, Tim Benka, Sara Cilia and Krystal Luce who helped the athletes.

I invite you to check out this Daily Herald story about the return of the Mount Prospect history field trips for our second graders. District 57 teachers created our local history curriculum and have turned the field trip into a wonderful community partnership!

I know it’s a busy time as we near the end of the school year. Thank you for everything you do to support students, staff, and our schools! Have a great weekend!
In the spirit of education,

Dr. Mary Gorr
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