District 211 board members, teachers union leader discuss Cates' legacy
On the eve of Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Superintendent Dan Cates' retirement, the Daily Herald asked the members of the publicly elected board of education and the president of the district's teachers union what they believe would be the most important legacy of Cates' six-year tenure as top administrator.
The following are their responses.
• Board of Education President Robert LeFevre Jr.: "The most important legacy Dr. Cates leaves us with is the people who will be working in the district after his last day. Our people are our most important asset in every aspect of what the district does and Dr. Cates has been responsible for recruiting, training, and retaining all of them. His responsibility for the district's culture and motivation of all of our people has been critical during his tenure and he will be leaving the district in a great place."
• Board of Education Vice President Anna Klimkowicz: "When I think of Dan, I continue to see an individual who demonstrates empathy for all. We will be able to look back at Dan as a 'doer,' for when action was needed he did not hesitate to take the action. This is what has moved District 211 forward. He was strategic and deliberate in response."
• Board of Education Secretary Ed Yung: "Dr. Cates had an excellent rapport with the students. I witnessed several times at basketball games where students would walk up to Dr. Cates and ask him to lead the students' section in a cheer. Amazingly, with no hesitation, he would get up, stand by the student's section and lead them in a cheer."
• Board of Education Member Mark Cramer: "His legacy is the special education program that he was really the architect of. I have an appreciation of how tough and how important it is. He is definitely making a difference in people's lives across the spectrum. And his attention to detail is impeccable."
• Board of Education Member Steven Rosenblum: "Due to his leadership and contributions, our school district is one of the best in the state and country. Over the years as superintendent, Dr. Cates has recommended, designed, developed, implemented and supported many programs, as well as a culture and structure that have maintained and improved the school district's status while meeting its mission of 'serving the educational needs of the community inspiring all students to successfully contribute to the world.' His style, thoughtfulness and demeanor has rubbed off on those he has worked with and I believe he will have a very long-lasting positive impact on our district, community and everyone he has touched over the years."
• Northwest Suburban Teachers Union Local 1211 President John Braglia: "I believe Dan's contribution to D211 focused on an emphasis of teaching to the holistic student and re-establishing our seven buildings as community schools that provide support and expanded services to the students and families we serve. Enjoy your retirement, Dan."