Three new assistant principals expected to help revamp the embattled Proviso Township High School District will begin patrolling the hallways next year after undergoing an interview process in which they never met with their immediate supervisors.
Superintendent Stan Fields recruited the new hires from outside of District 209’s ranks and said he conducted the hiring process in a somewhat isolated manner. The intent, he said, was to find a new style of leadership that will help reverse a number of troubling trends that have hindered student achievement, staff morale, professional development and accountability for years.
Principals Alexis Wallace and Milton Patch, who are expected to begin working with the newcomers this summer, did not meet the assistant principals until the evening of the school board meeting at which they were hired on May 21.
“The district needs a new type of leadership, a different type of leadership,” Fields said. He declined to comment further on why the building principals were not included in the hiring process.
Kelvin Lane, Diona Kelley and Don Parker will each begin their employment with the district on July 1. Exactly where they will work has not been determined and Fields said he plans to meet with Wallace and Patch to discuss those assignments.
Ed Moyer, the principal of the Proviso Math and Science Academy in Forest Park, will not work directly with any of the new hires. Several months ago Moyer promoted Clotilde Frankiewicz to be his assistant principal after interviewing prospective applicants.
“I know Stan has been looking to bring some new leadership into the district and this is a step in that direction,” Moyer said.
Fields would only explain the hiring process through an analogy to a sports program. If a team consistently performs at a superior level and the franchise is pleased with the overall direction of the program, Fields said, it makes sense to promote from within those people familiar with the tools for success. An organization that consistently fails to win is more likely to do some recruiting.
“Generally, you bring somebody in from the outside,” Fields said.
Neither Wallace nor Patch returned phone calls seeking comment.
Lane brings with him nearly 30 years of teaching and administrative experience, garnered mostly from public schools in suburban Wheeling. Since 1999 he served as an associate principal in District 214, the second largest public school district in the state. Lane resigned from that position in February after being placed on unpaid administrative leave. According to Lane, he asked for the leave of absence to care for an ailing family member in New York.
The newly hired administrator said he’s looking forward to working with Proviso’s students.
“Everything I do is strictly kid-centered,” Lane said. “I’m coming in to raise some test scores.”
Between 2001 and 2006, Kelley was a special education teacher and athletic director, also in Wheeling’s District 214. Since June of 2006 she has been the director of student services at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park.
Parker is also a former athletic director and since 2002 has been the dean of students at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Ill.
Both Kelley and Parker will earn a salary of $112,000. Lane was hired at an annual rate of $120,355.