Palmer principal resigns


After 3 years at the helm of Palmer School, principal La Shawn Ray has decided to move back to his wife’s home state and take a principal’s position in Minneapolis.

“I was born and raised in Chicago, and it will always be my first home. Unfortunately, my wife and three small children never quite adjusted to life in Chicago,” Ray wrote in a June 3 resignation letter to parents. He will continue to serve at Palmer, 5051 N. Kenneth Ave., until June 30.

“There are other things that factored into this decision, but the happiness of my family means the world to me,” Ray said.

In the past 3 years, Palmer students have made great strides, and the school is “a much better place now,” Ray said.

“Our school was almost a Level 3 (performing school) when I became principal in July of 2013. We were a Level 1 school the past 2 years. I would be very surprised if we aren’t a Level 1+ at the end of this school year,” Ray said.

Palmer’s teachers go “beyond the call of duty” each day and deserve credit for the school’s success, Ray said.

“Next, our students wouldn’t have achieved at high levels without you the parents encouraging and supporting them each and every day,” he wrote in the letter.

Ray also praised the North Mayfair Improvement Association for its support of the school and said that Palmer has established successful partnerships with Northwestern University, Urban Initiatives, Chicago Cares, Achievement Network, Lutheran Social Services and several other organizations.

The Palmer School Local School Council is responsible for selecting the next principal, who would receive a 4-year contract. However, when a principal’s position opens up less than three months from the start of the next school year, it is not unusual for the school system to appoint an interim principal who would serve for a year.