The search for a replacement for Principal Sandra Carlson ground to halt in May when Chicago Public Schools officials informed the Portage Park school's council that its pick for the top job — Assistant Principal Catherine Sugrue — failed the principal selection test twice and was not eligible for the position.
Heather discusses the situation, and what a pricinpal void could mean for Gray:
Carlson, who led Gray Elementary School for 15 years, retired Monday to spend more time with her family.
CPS officials did not respond Tuesday to repeated requests for information about whether CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Anna Alvarado, the chief of elementary and high schools on the Northwest and Far Northwest sides, planned to appoint an acting principal for the 2014-15 school year.
At a contentious meeting of the local school council in May, Alvarado promised to do just that, saying the school could not afford to be leaderless during the summer months.
Liz Miller, a member of the Gray council, declined to discuss the matter, saying she had not been authorized to speak publicly.
Members of the council vowed to protest CPS' decision to prevent Sugrue from taking the top job at the school, which they said was not in the best interest of the school's students or the Portage Park community, and declined to offer the job to another candidate.
Sugrue, the sister of Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th), has been an assistant principal at Gray for a year.
In 2013, Sugrue served as the district's director of school transition and oversaw 30,000 students displaced by the closure of 54 public schools in 2013, most on the South and West sides. Sugrue also served as the No. 2 official in the district's Office of New Schools, overseeing charters.
O’Connor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s floor leader, is one of the most powerful aldermen on the City Council.
Sugrue was selected from 12 applicants and three finalists and was by far the most qualified, the local school council said.
More than 1,300 students attend Gray, which is ranked among the best in the city and offers a technology magnet program.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: