I called Hanks to ask her about her decision to leave Chicago. She responded by e-mail. “A great opportunity presented itself that I thought I could really grow and learn from. You know I am still pretty young, too. I don’t have kids, so it’s easier for me to move around now versus one day when I am more settled.
“I had a great experience leading Melody and I’m proud of the work that we did,” she went on. “That work prepared me to take on this role.”
A spokesperson for CPS told me in an e-mail: “We never like to see talented leaders like Nancy Hanks leave the district. We wish her success in her new role and hope she returns to CPS at some point.” He added that the district’s “extensive professional development, training, and recruiting programs . . . help ensure that we always have a pipeline of qualified leaders ready to replace principals who may move, retire, or leave the district for new opportunities.”
The Madison superintendent who recruited Hanks, Jennifer Cheatham, had herself recently left CPS. Cheatham, 41, who was chief instruction officer here, was named superintendent in Madison in February.