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Foreman High School Principal Resigning, Forum To Help Pick Replacement

 Foreman High School
Foreman High School
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Foreman High School

PORTAGE PARK — Foreman High School Principal Daniel Zimmerman will step down at the end of the school year, officials said.

Zimmerman, who has led the neighborhood high school for four years, is leaving to take a job as the principal of an elementary school in Reno, Nev., said Terry Smith, the chairman of the Foreman Local School Council.

A Chicago Public Schools spokesman confirmed Zimmerman has resigned.

Smith said Zimmerman would be missed at the high school on the southern edge of Portage Park that also serves residents of Belmont Cragin.

"We made a lot of progress under Mr. Zimmerman," said Smith, whose son is a senior at Foreman, 3235 N. Leclaire Ave. "I saw a big improvement during the last four years."

The Local School Council will host a forum at 5 p.m. Wednesday to gather input from parents, staff members and community residents about what they should look for in a new principal, Smith said.

"We are definitely looking for a strong leader," Smith said.

During his time as principal, Zimmerman helped started a gay-straight alliance at Foreman and worked to improve the school's rating, although it is still has the second lowest of the five CPS academic ratings, which means district officials believe the school needs "intensive support."

Foreman was in the news twice this year, once when school officials tossed out hundreds of books that Zimmerman said hadn’t been used in at least three years, sparking outrage among parents and teachers.

In March, a senior was charged with intentionally setting a fire at the school that forced officials to cancel classes.

Whoever is selected as Foreman's new principal will have to cope with the "financial tsunami" engulfing CPS.

Officials have warned principals to expect budget cuts of about 26 percent as city leaders continue to push state lawmakers to change the way schools are funded and close CPS' $1 billion budget deficit.

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