Students react to Michael Milkie resigning from Noble

Screenshot from The Noble Network's facebook page. Full letter can be read on Facebook.

By Alex Bahena ’19 and Jazlyn Jimenez ’20

Here is what’s known at the moment:

  • A Nov. 6 letter from Noble’s Board President Allan Muchin announced Michael Milkie’s retirement
  • Noble’s current president, Constance Jones, will become Noble’s CEO
  • Students 4 Change posted on Facebook claiming responsibility for Milkie’s decision to resign; however, there is no confirmation of the accuracy of their statement

The resignation of the founder of Noble, Michael Milkie, was announced on Nov. 6. The Chairman of the Noble Board of Directors, Allan Muchin, released a statement on behalf of the  Noble Board that Milkie will be “retiring from Noble for personal reasons effective at the end of the calendar year.” As a result, Noble President Constance Jones will be taking over as the CEO.

“I was surprised. I never pictured the Noble Network without Mr. Milkie in charge since he was the one to make Noble what it is now,” expressed Pritzker junior Emily Pereznegron.

The specific reason for Milkie’s decision is still unknown, as The Pritzker Press waits on a response from Milkie. However, due to the vague wording of the letter, which stated, “The board intends to further review this situation,” and the timing of this announcement, there were some speculations surfacing on social media.

The statement was released shortly after the Noble Board Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Although there were multiple topics discussed at this board meeting, the most known topic of this meeting was the petition from Mansueto High School students. They presented a petition with over 6,000 signatures to Noble’s Board of Directors. The petition consisted of three things that they felt should be changed throughout the Noble Network. Their requests included the removal of bathroom escorts, the change to homework policies, and more freedom of expression.

While the true reason on why Milkie decided to resign as CEO after 20 years is unknown, the Facebook page “Students 4 Change,” claimed on Tuesday afternoon, “[We] got Milkie to resign.” However, this post has since been  deleted from the page. Mansueto junior Diego García, who started the petition, stated, “I believe that we may have made that final push. [We] put all sorts of pressure for the past few months, [which] played a role in this decision.” It is important to note, however, that the Pritzker Press has received no confirmation from Noble or Milkie that this is the reason for his resignation.

Nevertheless, Noble Street senior Rosie Contreras mentioned that it was time for change, and she’s hopeful with what is to come with the new CEO.

The Pritzker Press has reached out to Noble’s Board for their minutes (record) of Tuesday’s meeting to gain a better understanding of what exactly occurred. However, as with many boards, the minutes from one meeting are not made public until they get approved at the following meeting, so they are not yet available. Once the minutes get approved, they will be made “public for everyone,” according to the Lead Counsel at Noble Brianne Dunn.

Pritzker senior Fatima Huazano expressed her opinion on Milkie’s departure. She said, “Though I am a little upset that he is leaving, I respect his decision. All I can say to him is, thank you so much for teaching me to become the best version of myself throughout my years at Pritzker.” Huzano added, “I do not think the petition was a factor on Mr. Milkie leaving. I know that Mr. Milkie has put so much work into making Noble Schools a different learning environment, so I don’t think a single petition would be a factor into leaving all those years of hard work behind.”

Pereznegron also added that she finds it “unacceptable” for Students 4 Change to claim responsibility for Milkie’s decision to leave Noble as “there is no evidence” to prove this statement.

As a result of the Students 4 Change claim, some students made a Facebook page on Tuesday called “Students 4 Milkie” to provide a more positive perspective on Noble.

In discussing the overall situation, Pritzker junior Maria Ramirez said, “We will always stand behind people using their voices to make a change.” In her opinion, however, “The approach taken by the use of this petition was done negatively.” Ramirez also acknowledged that Noble is not perfect and has room to grow, but she also believes that “isolated instances do not reflect the Noble Network on a whole.”

The Pritzker Press tried to speak to Milkie at yesterday’s Math Team meeting, but he did not attend and has not yet responded to an interview request.

The Pritzker Press reached out to Jones on her plans for the future of Noble and if she plans on making any changes based of the “Students 4 Change” petition; however, The Pritzker Press is still awaiting a response.

 

We will continue to update this article as we get more information on the following:

 

  • Noble’s Board meeting minutes
  • Milkie’s response
  • Jones’ plans for the future of Noble