District 64 on September 15 kicked off the inaugural meeting of its new Superintendent Community Relations Council under the leadership of Dr. Laurie Heinz. Dr. Heinz welcomed 19 local residents selected from a pool of almost 40 volunteers interested in creating a direct line of communication with the Superintendent and strengthening relationships between the schools and local residents.
“Although I hated to disappoint any of the outstanding volunteers who stepped forward, our goal was to keep the group small and provide a range of stakeholder views from throughout the community so we could have a free-flowing dialogue and make sure everyone’s voice is heard,” Dr. Heinz said.
“The first meeting certainly did not disappoint, as we talked and shared beyond the two-hour agenda we had planned as we exchanged information, insights and engaged in lively and candid discussions,” she noted.
“I am really pleased to see the genuine interest in our District and our schools that council members expressed, and I look forward to maintaining my personal connection to them through the year ahead,” Dr. Heinz added.
At its inaugural meeting, Dr. Heinz and council members briefly shared what inspired them to serve on the council, before Dr. Heinz briefed the group on initiatives currently driving the District’s work. The council reviewed the results of an audit conducted by the Consortium for Educational Change earlier this year, and also delved into the new 2020 Vision Strategic Plan.
Conversation focused around how to better communicate the District’s points of pride, current initiatives and opportunities for improvement, such as adopting a “growth mindset” for students in their learning and for staff in their professional development, too.
Council members shared what they’re hearing other community members say about the schools, and started developing ideas regarding key messages that are important for local residents as well as District 64 families to know about how the schools are helping every child grow in a 21st century learning environment.
“As their ‘homework,’ council members will be building their understanding of current District 64 issues and will serve as communication ambassadors to increase the community’s understanding of District 64’s mission and commitment to delivering a high-quality education for all students. I also invited members as they are out and about in the community to provide me with feedback about what misconceptions the community might have about what is or isn’t happening in our District,” Dr. Heinz added.
The council will meet again on January 12 and April 12.
Council members for 2015-16 include: Marlene Arteta, Chris Bauer, Anne Camarano, Mariana Eguren-Cosma, Jeff Flyke, Kathleen Kornely, Terry Krahl, Dale Lasky, Robert Leurck, Maureen McGuire, Annette Miller, Sheri Roche, Philip Salemi, Rob Schoenstedt, Franco Scimeca, Paul Sheehan, Michael Shields, Jennifer Steurer and Kara Vormittag.