Improvements to Community Schools

The 47th Ward is home to eight public elementary schools and four public high schools, including a specialized high school program at DeVry Institute. Gene understands that keeping 47th Ward schools competitive is an important part of making our community vibrant. To accomplish this, Gene pushed millions of capital funds towards improvements to area schools.

Capital Improvements

During the summer of 2010, both Coonley Elementary School and Amundsen High School received improvements to enhance accessibility for students with disabilities.  Bell Elementary School also received a new play lot and new turf.

Both Coonley Elementary School and Waters Elementary School recently received major improvements to the landscaping surrounding the schools.  At Coonley Elementary School, the improvements included a new field and the creation of an outdoor classroom.  Waters Elementary School landscaping was improved to create an environmentally friendly campus that features permeable paving, recycling stations, and an expanded community garden.  Waters School was also expanded to create new classroom and lunchroom space.  The expansion includes sustainable and green features.

The recent ADA improvements represent $15 million in capital funds.  

Supporting Academic Excellence

Gene, who attended Audubon Elementary School and graduated from Lake View High School, has remained active in working the improve the educational opportunities for students in the 47th Ward.  Through Gene’s leadership, Coonley Elementary School was designated a Regional Gifted Center in 2008.  While Alderman, Gene worked with school principals and the local school councils to advocate for the needs of each school, fighting to creating additional programming and to keep good teachers in the classroom.  Gene recently formed a task force to examine ways to improve local high schools to ensure that public school continue to be a viable option for children growing up in our neighborhoods.  
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