Dist. 73 Head Gets to Know Students 'Dr. Joe' Visits 4th-Grade Class

Article excerpt

Byline: Gwen H. Jader Daily Herald Correspondent

The questions Hawthorn Intermediate School fourth-graders recently asked Youssef Yomtoob may have been just as challenging as those posed by the school board members who hired him in February.

Better known by the kid-friendly title of "Dr. Joe," the incoming Hawthorn District 73 superintendent visited fourth-grade classes recently on Leaders are Readers Day.

The program has guests read a short story to students and then explain why reading is important.

The future superintendent first asked if students had any questions. Many youths were curious about his likes and dislikes:

- Favorite baseball team: the Cubs, but he also like the White Sox.

- Favorite movie: Casablanca.

- Favorite television show: westerns and the news.

Some students also wondered about his job.

When asked by fourth-grader Julie Rotharmel what it was like being the "big boss," Yomtoob answered that it was a lot of responsibility.

"It feels as if there's a lot of weight on my shoulders," he said. "But I'm here for you kids."

Later, when asked what was the worst part of his job, Yomtoob cited making tough decisions and making sure that there was enough money.

Yomtoob also taught the children the pronunciation and meaning of his last name, which means holiday in Hebrew. …