By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
The Ray Elementary School local school council received notice from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Wednesday that the contract of its estranged principal, Tatia Beckwith, has been terminated. After almost a year in leadership limbo, the council is now eligible to begin its search for a new principal.
The local school council at Ray, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave., will meet on Tuesday, April 8, to vote on starting the principal search process. The council has 10 days to post a notice of the job opening and 90 days to hire a new principal.
In April 2013 then-CPS Burnham Elementary School Network Chief John Price held a meeting at Ray where he announced to parents and community members that Tatia Beckwith had been temporarily reassigned until further notice. Although Price would not explain why Beckwith was removed from the school, He said Beckwith did not resign, get fired or accept a new job so technically the position of principal of Ray was not vacant. Later that week, at the school’s monthly LSC meeting Price introduced Antonia “Toni” Hill as the school’s interim principal. Hill was the principal of Pershing East Elementary School, 3113 S. Rhodes Ave., at the time of the transition.
In July of 2013, Hill gave up her position at Pershing East and the Ray LSC sent a vote of confidence letter to Price stating that Hill is doing a good job in her appointed position. The CPS law department said actions against Beckwith were still pending so the principal position was not yet open.
If Beckwith had maintained in her position at Ray this would have been her third year at the school.
Hill has expressed her interest in officially becoming the school’s principal and the LSC has expressed interest in hiring her for the position but must review all qualified candidates before making a final decision.