Despite the sudden resignation of Superintendent Hardy Murphy, the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board anticipates a “smooth” opening of the new school year in two weeks, according to its president, Tracy Quattrocki.

Speaking at the opening of the board’s monthly Finance Committee meeting Monday night, Quattrocki said the board hopes to name an interim superintendent “as quickly as possible” and that it will begin its search for a permanent replacement in mid-September.

“We know this is a difficult time,” she said, “but we have incredible confidence in our team of administrators and our talented teachers and principals.”

She offered her best wishes to Murphy for his 13 years of service to the district.

Quattrocki said Murphy resigned at this time, effective Friday, in order to pursue some consulting opportunities, to spend more time with his family, and because the board was just beginning the process of drafting a multi-year strategic plan.

His resignation came less than three weeks after the board held its annual evaluation of the superintendent’s performance at a special closed board meeting on July 24.

Quattrocki said the board plans to call on specialists at the Illinois Association of School Boards to train District 65 board members in recognized “best practices” for finding a new superintendent and that the board wishes the process to be both thorough and transparent.

“We would like to involve many of the stakeholders in District 65,” she said, including “community members, family members…people who would like to help us find a visionary leader for the next generation of students.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Finally! Too late for many

    Finally! Too late for many students who have experienced poor education under Murphy's tenure. Let's not forget the many D65 Board members who continued to renew his contract but neglected to asses his performance.

    Even in this situation, poor board leadership is apparent with the resignation occurring two weeks prior to the start of a school year. Where was the Board's succession plan?  Murphy's departure was imminent, why wasn't a plan in place for a successor?

    Let's hope the board finds a superintendent that supports innovation and collaboration versus derision and pettiness but also one that has the success of Evanston students as his/her motivation. Long ago Murphy forgot why he was here and let his ego drive his decisions.  Good riddance.  

  2. After Murphy, what’s next

    As a District 65 parent and an educator, I am more than happy to see the Murphy era end. Now we need to make sure that we don't bring in someone even worse –Evanston has not so far seen the insanity of corporate education "reform" policies that are sweeping the country. We've held the line against charter schools and the worst of the Race To The Top/ teacher bashing/testing mania that is destroying public education in so many other communities, as advocates like Diane Ravitch, have well documented.  We need to look at the next superintendent's educational philosophy very carefully.

  3. Worst Practices start the year off

    Here we go again.   Maybe the new Superintendent will hold Principals accountable for best practices – not let them get away with the worst.

    For the second year in a row – students will start middle school at Haven without any information about their teachers or their classmates.  God forbid you have a kid with anxiety or processing issues or any other middle school related social anxiety.

    Each grade is called into the gym and the homeroom teachers call off the names of the kids in their class.  Imagine being in middle school in a room with all the other kids in the class as they put together the "teams".  Maybe you get the super strick lady or the teacher from "the Black Lagoon"?  Maybe no one you know is in your homeroom?  Maybe that kid you can't stand is there?  Maybe you get your best friend?

    Whichever way the dice roll, you've got to be cool with it and adjust in a flash.

    Now I'm not sure if this is strategic – so that parent's can't lobby for better fits for their students or it's lack of planning and an acceptance of not having everything done until the last minute.   

    But it's certainly not best practices and not in the best interest of the students.  

    We have to be able to do better than that – for the students sake if for no one else.

    …. and oh, how I'd hate to be the kid who's name doesn't even get called out.  Last year they had some.   They will again.




    1. How you can say it is not best practice?

      I am curious why you say it is best practice? How do you define best practice? And it sounds like you have spoken to the Haven administration and I am curious about what their response is. 

      We have so many comments about how we think things should work, and I am wondering how we all base our opinions. We are a diverse community in Evanston and are proud of it. The byproduct of diversity is learning that there are many reasons for differences and often our assumptions about diversity do not take into consideration the reasons for the differences. 

      How as a community can we explore this without denigrating everything?

      1. Thank you

        For an excellent response. Why do so many people lead off with attack mode? Perhaps this mild discomfort and uncertainty will help ease your child into adulthood? If it is a legitimate problem for your child, perhaps you could address it in their IEP (if they have that much anxiety I'm sure they have one).

        1. ‘Mild Discomfort”‘ at Haven

          I don't understand how you can applaud Haven's system as being "best practice" or preparing kids for adulthood.

          With the exception of middle school, every other year of an individual's education provides her or him with the name of her or his instructor-all of elementary school, all four years at ETHS, as well as college.

          How does depriving an 11-year-old of this information serve as a "best practice" or prepare him for adulthood when at no other time this type of  ridiculous practice occurs?  As I posted before, if this is truly the process at Haven for 6th graders, I am one parent who will rally the troops to ensure that my son and his peers do not suffer under this misguided practice.

          IS this the practice? Can someone at Haven respond officially? And to the reference regarding IEP's and any child's need of one who suffers as an incoming sixth grader "discomfited" by Haven's alleged system, shame on you — please research IEP's before using them as a tool to denigrate kids just to support your specious argument.

          Using an IEP as support in this fashion is not only misguided, but offensive. Again, please, Haven, respond to these posts and clarify the process for incoming 6th graders' teacher assignments.

    2. Haven Middle School 6th grade class lists

      I think I MUST be misunderstanding your post regarding class lists for Haven's 6th grade.  If what you describe is true, then the principal needs to be accountable, and the school board must be alerted.  My son is in fourth grade.  If this is really happening, I will be happy to get in line as a parent calling two full years in advance to ensure that my child doesn't live through this ridiculous practice.  Again, I truly hope that this isn't happening in any Evanston school and that Haven's principal comes forward and clarifies the school's policy.  

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