A tribute to Jerry Succes from Willard Elementary School teachers

Willard’s longtime assistant director Jerry Succes sits on a bench of friends dedicated in his honor, surrounded by Willard’s professors. Credit: Photo sent

Editor’s Note: Below is the full text of a tribute article that many Willard Elementary School teachers wrote in honor of Jerry Succes, who served as Willard’s assistant principal for the past nine years.. To read more about his success, read our profile of him and his career here.

“He is known as the heart and soul of the Willard School.” There’s no better compliment to give a person and that’s how Jerry Succes was viewed during his nine years as Assistant Principal at the Willard School. Jerry Succes will be sorely missed and Willard will never be the same without him.

Jerry grew up in the Evanston/Skokie neighborhood. He, along with his family, attended District 65, Walker, Chute and ETHS schools.

Since then, Jerry has devoted his entire career to District 65, totaling over 30 years of service in various capacities. He has served as cafeteria supervisor, day care assistant, reading specialist, and administrator. Jerry worked on every building in District 65. He spent five years at Walker and two years at Oakton as a reading teacher, two years as co-principal of Haven Summer School, and one year as principal of Kingsley Summer School.

Jerry was the assistant director at Oakton for four years and then went to Willard as assistant director for another nine years. According to Jerry, “Building healthy, trusting relationships is essential for morale and school success.”

He made the decision early on to not just stay in Evanston for a job, but for his career. His wife, also an ETHS graduate, returned to Evanston after college and is currently an educator at Chute. Jerry says, “Evanston is a great place to live, work and raise a family.” Now Jerry watches as his own son attends Chute Middle School.

Jerry’s brother is also a long-time teacher at ETHS and has followed the family tradition of remaining committed to the community. Outside of teaching, Jerry has devoted his time to training and participating in various community events.

Jerry has always had an amazing work ethic. He went above and beyond for everyone he knew.

During the pandemic, Jerry has delivered everything you could possibly imagine for families. This includes hotspots for internet, computers, books, food, furniture and more. Jerry always made things happen. He is a pillar and integral part of the community that makes a daily effort to make not just Willard, but Evanston, the best they can be.

He helped and encouraged educators to participate in conferences, professional development, and classes to improve themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.