Memorial planned for Hitch School principal


Hitch School principal Debby Reese died of cancer last week at the age of 63.

Ms. Reese was named the school’s principal in 2004, and during her tenure Hitch experienced large increases in its test scores and in local enrollment. She often lobbied for resources to address the school’s overcrowded conditions.

A Chicago Public Schools crisis management team has been meeting with students following news of Ms. Reese’s death. She recently took a medical leave.

"It was just devastating to find out that she was ill and that she passed away so quickly," Hitch School Local School Council member John Garrido said. "There was not a person more devoted to the school than Ms. Reese. It is definitely a loss to the Hitch community and the community at large."

Hitch acting principal A.J. Stich and assistant principal Diane Kieres said in a statement, "She led by example, and her never-ending efforts to nurture our school and community makes Hitch uniquely wonderful. Students and staff benefited from her commitment to excellence within the teaching and learning process. She was an inspiration in the education profession, and we are thankful for her guiding spirit."

The school plans to hold a memorial ceremony for Ms. Reese. Her family asks that donations in her memory be made to the Misericordia Home, 6300 N. Ridge Ave.