By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Burnham Elementary School Network Chief John Price introduced Ray Elementary School to its new interim principal Antonia “Toni” Hill Thursday evening at the schools monthly local school council (LSC) meeting.
Before coming to Ray, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave., Hill was the principal at Pershing East Elementary School, 3113 S. Rhodes Ave., for eight years. She worked as a scientist at Abbott Labs before starting her second career as an educator and then an administrator at Chicago Public Schools. Price also appointed Toni Campbell, the instructional support leader at the Burnham School District office, as the interim assistant principal.
On Monday afternoon Price held a meeting at Ray where he announced to parents and community members that Ray principal Tatia Beckwith and assistant principal Jeffrey Alstadt had been temporarily reassigned until further notice. Although Price would not explain why the two were removed, He said Beckwith and Alstadt did not resign, get fired or accept the a new job so technically the position of principal of Ray is not vacant. Former Ray principal Cydney Fields returned to lead the school for two weeks and Hill will now serve interim until there is an official vacancy. Once there is a vacancy, the LSC can begin its search for a full-time principal.
“We have an ending, which means a new beginning,” Hill said. “My vision [for Ray] is predicated upon the vision of the parents, teachers and community. I know Ray has a community rich in history, I want to respect that.”
Hill is having another meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 16 in the school’s lunchroom to speak with parents and community members about their memories and future hopes for the school. There will also be an evening meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25 during the Parent Teachers Association meeting.