Taft High School plans 75th anniversary


Taft High School has been receiving an increasing number of inquiries from alumni and others about how they can donate to the school as part of its upcoming 75th anniversary.

"We’ve come up with a wish list of $1 million for our school," Taft acting principal Carolyn Rownd said at the April 22 special meeting of the Taft High School Local School Council. The school plans to hold a diamond jubilee dinner on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Ridgemoor Country Club in Harwood Heights.

The list includes the purchase of 25 Smartboards at $4,800 each, 200 laptop computers or tablets for faculty members at $1,250 each, 10 bike racks at $750 each, 10 picnic tables at $1,250 each and 10 outdoor benches at $650 each. The lists totals $1,108,810, but the amount will increase after prices are obtained for the installation of new audio systems in the gymnasium and the auditorium, Rownd said.

The school asks that inquiries about donations be sent to the Taft High School Foundation via the contact button on the foundation’s Web site at www.tafthsfoundation.org.

Also at the meeting, the LSC decided to invite its newly elected members, who will not be not seated until July 1, to serve on the council’s Principal Selection Committee. Chicago Public Schools community liaison Julissa Cruz said that the position should be filled by July 1, which is the start of the fiscal year, but it is not required.

A principal vacancy was created at Taft on April 11 when Mary Kay Cappitelli submitted her resignation. Cappitelli had been on medical leave since last fall.

The council scheduled a special meeting for April 29 to approve an advertisement seeking applicants for the principal position. The ad must run at least 10 days before the council can choose a candidate.

The LSC inquired about the availability of Rownd to continue to serve at Taft after June 30, when she is scheduled to return as an assistant principal at Jones Prep High School. "Ms. Rownd has done just a phenomenal job," LSC chairwoman Lisa Schwieger said.

Network One chief of schools Anna Alvarado told the LSC that she cannot answer that question until after she discusses the issue with Rownd and Jones principal Dr. Joseph Powers.

The council also certified the results of the recent LSC election. The six elected parent representatives are incumbents Schwieger, Joe McFeely and George Wilson, as well as Lisa Collyer, Sherry Riojas-Drury and Anita Bernacchi. Goran Davidovac and Nick Savich were re-elected as community member.

The non-teaching staff member will be incumbent Mary Kay Cobb, and one of the two faculty members will be Leslie Plewa. Incumbent Sam Duarte and Melissa Morris tied for the second teacher position on the council, and a winner has not been determined.

Cruz said that unless a candidate withdraws from the race or is ruled out because a previous disciplinary issue, the school board will randomly choose the winner.

The next LSC meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6.