Mann principal resigns to take administrative role

Faith Cole moves into newly created role

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

The principal of Mann Elementary School, 921 N. Kenilworth Ave. in Oak Park, announced on June 25 that she will resign to take an administrative position within District 97. 

Faith Cole, who has been at Mann School since 2014, was recently selected to be D97's director of the Multi-Tiered System of Support, an educational model the district employs to provide students with data-based academic and behavioral resources. 

In a statement released June 25, D97 Superintendent Carol Kelley explained that the school board is expected to accept Cole's resignation and approve her appointment as the new MTSS director at a regular meeting on July 16. 

During the same meeting, the board is expected to approve the appointment of Cheryl Sullivan as Mann's interim principal for the 2019-20 school year. Sullivan is currently a student support specialist at Mann School.

In a letter sent June 25 to Mann families and staff, Cole said that she was excited about the new opportunity, but sad "because it means leaving the position, place and people that have meant so much to me over the past five years. However, it is the success we have enjoyed as a school community during that time, as well as the growth I have made both personally and professionally in my role as principal, that motivated me to pursue this position." 

In her statement, Kelley praised Cole's "hard work, passionate commitment to education and tireless advocacy for students," which "have helped Mann School build on its long and impressive history of success." 

Kelley said that Sullivan was selected as interim principal based on the "skills, knowledge and expertise" she's exhibited in the district for more than 15 years. 

"The appointment of an interim will afford us ample time to conduct a formal and comprehensive search to find a permanent replacement for the position," Kelley explained. "As part of this search, which we anticipate will begin in December, we will work closely and collaboratively with our various stakeholders to identify a candidate who will build on Mann's tradition of excellence and help our students learn, grow and achieve." 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com  

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Nick Polido  

Posted: July 1st, 2019 8:39 AM

Unfortunately good qualified principals wouldn't get near district 97 for a job. The current board is wrestling with pressing issues of the day, like destroying murals painted during the depression by down and out artist employed by the WPA program. (The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an ambitious employment and infrastructure program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression. Over its eight years of existence, the WPA put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work.)(wiki)

Jim Frenkel  

Posted: June 28th, 2019 2:26 PM

Given the teacher morale and student behavior issues described elsewhere in this paper, this is not particularly surprising. Would be great if either OP middle school could do a better job of reducing turnover of principals, assuming good ones are found and brought on board.

Eric Molas  

Posted: June 28th, 2019 9:34 AM

Mr. Ellwanger has been at Beye for 33 years - the last 18 years being principal Now that's awesome. It would be nice if D97 didn't populate the rest of its elementary schools with folks who are just looking for stepping stones.

Jennifer Malloy Quinlan  

Posted: June 25th, 2019 2:58 PM

And this makes 30-something administrators at D97 now? Mann will miss her and her day to day contact with the students.

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