HYDE PARK — After a marathon 4½-hour meeting, the Ray Elementary Local School Council whittled its list of principal candidates to two from three.
“I don’t think we’ve had a meeting that was less than three hours,” said Tim May jokingly about the principal selection process he has led since April 9 at Ray, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave.
Eric Fay, assistant principal at Jones College Prep, was taken out of the running after the council met for more than three hours in closed session.
Bazer and Dallacqua will be invited back to the school in the coming days to meet with parents and teachers, many of whom said they did not have enough information to make an informed decision.
“It’s really about buy-in,” May said.
The school community was divided at the Wednesday night meeting, with many parents upset that interim Principal Antonia Hill was not among the finalists and the remaining candidates were all white assistant principals from North Side schools.
“I’m really disgusted by the process we’ve gone through,” said TeeNeka Gueye, whose son is in fifth grade at Ray. “I’m not interested in a career resume builder.”
Members of the Local School Council said they decided to extend the process so parents and teachers could find out more about the candidates and why they were chosen over Hill.
“We certainly considered not selecting anyone tonight and we certainly considered going back to Hill and asking her to stay at the school,” said Gordon Mayer, chairman of the local school council.
Hill was brought in from Pershing East to run Ray after the former principal, Tatia Beckwith, was suddenly removed from the school a year ago by CPS for undisclosed reasons.
“Whomever we pick, we need to rally behind them,” said David Spearman, the parent of a seventh-grader, who was on the principal selection committee. “I’m not a cut-and-run parent, I’m going to be here next year and so will my daughter.”
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