D65's new Early Childhood Director, Narishea Parham, at school board meeting Monday night.

Narishea Parham thanked her mom, emotionally, and repeatedly.

After being appointed Monday night by the District 65 school board as the new head of the Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Center, Parham told the board that her late mother “pushed me to achieve and succeed,” and the appointment was proof that her mom did the right thing.

Parham, currently the assistant principal at D65’s Dewey Elementary School, replaces Sharon Sprague, who is retiring from JEH.

Parham said that in replacing Sprague, she has “big shoes to fill.”

But the 20-year veteran of early childhood education also said that she “will work tirelessly for our district’s youngest learners.”

The Early Childhood Center has 300-plus children enrolled, from birth through age 5 (pre-K).

Parham has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Governors State University. Before joining District 65, she had been assistant principal and principal at Richton Square preschool in Matteson, a program that D65 says was given a Gold rating by the state.

Parham begins her new job July 1, but her #1 supporter will not be there.

In her remarks to the board, Parham said that her mother passed away in 2018.

Monday, Parham added, the very day she was appointed to the new position, would have been her mom’s 69th birthday.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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