February 2018

Dear District 39 Community,

Here are some D39 updates:

Community Survey

D39 participated with other Wilmette government bodies in a survey conducted by an outside firm. I encourage you to review the results, which give D39 high marks in a number of categories. Notably, 89% of those surveyed rated the education provided in D39 as excellent or good – this included parents as well as community members without school age children. We appreciate the good feedback from our community.


New Administrators

We will sadly be saying goodbye to two MEC administrators who are retiring at the end of the school year – Business Manager Gail Buscemi and Administrator for Student Services Dr. Denise Thrasher. Happily, we have two D39ers ready to step into these roles as interim administrators: current D39 Controller Ellen Crispino will be the Interim Business Manager and Dr. Romy DeCristofaro, current Assistant Director of Student Services, will be the Interim Student Services Administrator. The District is fortunate to have two such experienced and capable people to ease the transition.


D39 Art on Instagram

The D39 and school-based social media accounts are all great places to learn about the happenings around D39. Be sure to check them all out, but don’t miss one very active and creative one for d39art. It is a cooperative effort of art teachers across the District, and you can find postings from different schools and grade levels. These postings are a great way to showcase the creativity of our students in action, and make it easy to share within the District and with the larger art education community. Thanks to our art teachers who keep posting all the beautiful student creations! Find links to all the social media sites on the District and school home pages.



The adoption of the D39 Statement of Inclusion last year has led to many inspiring new activities as each school has developed ways to celebrate differences. For example, elementary students engage in Community Circles where all participants face each other in a circle to facilitate open, direct communication. This format provides a safe, supportive space where sensitive topics can be discussed and differences worked through. Student Advisory Boards have been formed at HMS and WJHS; each month they focus on a new hashtag movement such as #wearegiving, #wearegrateful, and #weareupstanders. Learning about being an upstander is part of the student experience in the elementary grades as well. The District has also prioritized the need to clearly distinguish age-appropriate social conflicts from bullying to help students, teachers, and parents have a common understanding. I was very pleased we were able to have parent education events last fall that focused on navigating social conflicts; it’s important that we all remember that social conflicts are a healthy and normal part of growing up.  


Your partner in education,


Dr. Raymond Lechner

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