In his first visit to one of Oak Park's elementary schools last year as District 97's new superintendent, Albert Roberts noticed many things. One that caught his eye was a TV set strapped to a cart on wheels. He was so struck by the sight that he brought it up at one of his first board meetings.
The Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter. Chronicles of Narnia. The Ancient Lands? Never heard it? Probably because it's the first in a series of fantasy novels recently published by Oak Park resident Jason McCammon. Never heard of him? That doesn't surprise the 36-year-old Roselle native, who, prior to becoming an author, worked mostly on Hollywood movies and TV shows as a cameraman and electrical technician.
Oak Park and River Forest High School plans to hire a new substance abuse counselor this summer through the same local social service agency it has contracted with for a number of years. The District 200 school board is expected to renew its contract with Thrive Counseling Center of Oak Park next week.
What a difference a year makes with respect to retiring faculty from Oak Park's public elementary schools. Last year, more than 50 teachers retired from District 97, taking advantage of a generous state retirement plan that ended at the close of 2010.
The idea of reforming education in Illinois, which includes rethinking how the practice of teacher tenure works, is not a new concept for Jim O'Connor and Advance Illinois, the group he works for. O'Connor, one of two newly-elected board members in Oak Park's elementary school District 97, has been project director for Advance Illinois since last year.
The District 200 school board is now seeking applicants to find a replacement. Jacques Conway resigned at the end of the board's May 26 meeting, citing time constraints with a new job and a personal financial matter as reasons for stepping down.
Thirteen-year-old Casey Carey probably wasn't expecting to have such a bad hair day at school Tuesday morning. But the seventh-grader probably didn't mind that her long blond locks were flailing away from the cool, jet-stream of two big fans that blew air inside a large hot-air balloon.
Oak Park and River Forest High School will likely hire an assistant principal this week, whose focus will be on curriculum. OPRF, 201 N. Scoville, is poised to select a finalist for the newly created position, according to Principal Nathaniel Rouse.