The principal at Evanston’s Lincoln Elementary School, Michelle Cooney, sent an email to parents of students at the school Wednesday morning announcing that she’s resigning.

Cooney says she’s leaving to become principal of The Skokie School in Winnetka District 36.

In addition, she says, Lincoln’s assistant principal, Luke Larmee, is leaving for a job as assistant principal for student services at Pleasant Ridge School in Glenview School District 34.

District 65 is already looking to fill three other principal jobs for the fall — at Dewey Elementary School, the Rice Children’s Center and the planned new Fifth Ward school.

In addition, a new principal for Lincolnwood Elementary School, Laura Pinsof, and a new principal for King Arts School, Rebecca Calloway, have been chosen to start July 1, and a new principal at Oakton Elementary School, Chris Robinson, started on Jan. 10.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. It’s a miracle any principals are staying given how regularly the Board vilifies them and their staff in order to deflect blame and avoid responsibility.

    How about we elect new people to the Board? I think the current group has shown us the best they can do, which really isn’t very much, or very positive for Evanston’s kids.

  2. This is my son’s school and we are all very bummed by this news. Principal Cooney is awesome and did a great job. Parents and kids loved her. I can’t blame her, though. It must be terrified to work under an administration that would publicly throw you under the bus for any slight misstep. I’m concerned that the district is going to start having a hard time retaining good teachers and staff, especially with so many of these good people leaving for private schools. The D65 compensation seems relatively competitive, so the problem must be upstream at the Board and Superintendent level. I look forward to finding out who backfills these roles and whether due diligence is done during the hiring process or if we end up with one of Horton’s friends.

  3. Almost complete turnover of principals throughout District 65 in the two years since Horton became superintendent. Gee could there be something wrong here?

    How about $500,000 for personal security when there is no serious threat?

    How about using a supposed “hate crime“ to deflect criticism of his Haven teacher transfers?

    How about him stating that the bathroom walls scriblings at Nichols reglect deep-seated racism and white supremacy?

    What will it take for people to wake up and realize that this board fired a good man, Paul Goren, to replace him with — and I’ll state this gently — someone who is taking this district down a very wrong path?

  4. How very sad! My grandson graduated from Lincoln, and we were so pleased with the school. There were difficult times with an incompetent principal, but that seemed to have been fixed. I remember Ms Cooney as an extremely competent and amiable principal. She personified the best of Lincoln.
    It sounds like the problem is with the Board and the system’s administration.

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