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McHenry superintendent might get honorary street sign

Published: Saturday, June 1, 2013 12:08 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, June 1, 2013 12:17 a.m. CDT

McHENRY – A street sign honoring District 156’s retiring superintendent will be considered at Monday’s McHenry City Council meeting.

If the council approves the application, the intersection of Main and Green streets, across the street from McHenry East High School and adjacent to the District 15 administrative building, would be designated “Honorary Dr. Gina Swinney Way.”

Swinney capped her 35-year career with McHenry’s school districts as District 156’s superintendent, according to the application submitted by her daughter, Sarah Swinney. Her retirement is effective at the end of June.

Swinney moved to McHenry in 1980 for a job as an English teacher at East Campus, where she expanded the theater department and helped develop the American studies curriculum, the application said.

Over her career, she has worked at both high schools, was an assistant principal at Valley View Elementary School and Parkland Middle School, and held administrative positions at both Districts 156 and 15.

She took over as District 156’s superintendent in the winter of 2011.

“Though there have been many instances where people disagree with the decision she has had to make, Gina has never lost sight of what is really ­important; educating the children of McHenry,” the application said.

Since the program was created in 2005, the McHenry City Council has approved 13 honorary signs, including for a few soldiers who died in combat; Jackson Grabow, a 2-year-old McHenry boy who inspired the first St. Baldrick’s Day event in McHenry; and Jim Althoff, a business and civic leader.

If the application is approved, Swinney would be the first superintendent recognized, Deputy City Manager Bill Hobson said.

No applications have been rejected, he said.

If you go

The McHenry City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, at the McHenry Municipal Centre, 333 S. Green St.

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