A Message From Your New Superintendent

Welcome to District 219!

I am so pleased to have been chosen as the new Superintendent of District 219, and I am excited for the new school year to begin. I truly believe that public education is the best hope for the future of our country and that the more we can bring people together from different backgrounds, home languages, and faiths, the better off we will be, especially if we start really listening to each other. Thank you for choosing Bridges, Niles North, Niles Central, or Niles West as your academic home for these crucial years of your child’s life.

One of the reasons I chose to come here is because of the diverse voices.  Our hope lives in our children. The challenge before us, as a District, is to be a shining example to our community, state, and country of what is possible. We will do this by giving our students the tools necessary so that they graduate empowered to change the world.  I am committed to ensuring this happens. 

These words are easy to write and say, but they take action in order to bring them to fruition. It is a privilege that you have chosen to send your child to our schools. I am the parent of two children myself who are now young adults. They both attended the schools that I led. I made the same promise to my community then that I make to you now. I will do everything in my power to provide the same safe learning environment they had, one where every child is lifted up, and we see and focus on their promise, rather than perceived deficits. This is the same thing I demanded for Jack and Fallon when they were in school. I am particularly excited to meet your children because as Superintendent, I want you to know that I see them all as my kids.

For our schools to be successful, we have to have a true partnership between the district and our families. The foundation of this relationship is based on trust. Over the coming days, weeks, months, and years I hope to prove to you that you can trust my staff and me with the education of your children. We are all here to make it as easy as possible for you to navigate their high school experience. Communication between you and your child’s teacher is imperative in order to cultivate a fruitful academic environment. I know the hard work our teachers have done through these difficult years of the pandemic to help keep our kids on track. As the challenges continue to grow, I will prioritize their social and emotional needs and partner with you in support of our children.

I know that this is a time of great fear, trepidation, and angst. The horror we witnessed in Highland Park on Monday brought me right back to what was a neighboring community of mine almost ten years ago, Sandy Hook, Connecticut. I hoped then that something would be done about gun violence in America and in our schools. Sadly and unfathomably, these events continue as another American Plague. Our children need to know that they are safe in order to be able to learn. They are now a generation that knows the reality of this scourge and feels the burden of lockdown drills and rumored threats on Tik Tok and other platforms. Their resiliency is tested, as is all of ours. I want open dialogue about what will keep our schools safe. I plan to work with my Cabinet team to know the intricacies of our buildings and to ensure that we are doing all that we can while attempting to thread the needle of creating a safe and secure environment that is also welcoming. I take this task with the utmost care, as it is the area where we cannot fail. Every child has a right to feel safe, physically and emotionally in our schools. I will not tolerate this being threatened in any way. 

As the summer continues I hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy the presence of family members, and recharge. August is just around the corner with new challenges, new possibilities, and new friends entering our lives. I can’t wait for the first day of school. If you see me at a game, a student concert, around town, at pick up or drop off, please don’t hesitate to say hello so I can introduce myself. The 2022-2023 school year will be a great one that our children certainly deserve.

Take care and see you soon,
Tom