The new principal hired for Proviso Math and Science Academy resigned before she even started July 1. Cheryl Hudson, former principal of Rich South High School in District 227, had been hired by District 209 to become the new PMSA principal.

But after a school board election shake-up in Rich Township, the new board voted to fire the district’s superintendent and Hudson was offered the assistant superintendent job in her old district.

Hudson told PMSA she wasn’t coming, so the search is on for a new principal.

“The search was subsequently re-opened and was facilitated by the Illinois Association of School Boards,” said D209 Communications Director Rob Daniel. “Interviews of 29 applicants will take place over the next two weeks, and we anticipate having the principal at PMSA in place the first week of August and before staff and students arrive.”

Hudson would have earned $130,000 as PMSA principal.

“I have no doubt we’ll find someone really good,” said D209 Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart. “This is a desirable school.”

The former PMSA principal, Kim Echols, was kicked upstairs to the position of assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Her base salary was boosted $11,000 to $144,000.

The D209 school board was introduced to four new administrators at Tuesday’s board meeting including a new principal and vice principal for Proviso West High School.

New administrative hires and their salaries are:

  • Vanessa Schmitt, director of special education: $111,000
  • Todd Drafall, CFO, business manager: $140,000
  • Oscar Hawthorne, principal, Proviso West: $139,000
  • Joseph Kosina, asst. principal, Proviso West: $106,000


Former board president’s brother promoted


Billy Welch, former Proviso West High School night custodian and brother of former D209 board president Emanuel “Chris” Welch, got a $9,200 raise and a job transfer in June. Billy Welch was transferred to the maintenance department as a receiving clerk and now receives a salary of $65,973.


Proposal to move Proviso graduation to Rosemont


The school board is talking about moving the graduation ceremonies for all three high schools to Rosemont Theater.

“This would possibly get us off Memorial Day weekend,” Supt. Collins-Hart told the school board. The district has been encouraged by the D209 Financial Oversight Panel to look for alternatives to the University of Illinois Pavilion, which they rented for the past few years. In 2012, D209 paid $33,285.53 to rent the pavilion.

Proviso sporting events may be live-streamed

The board heard a proposal at their July 9 meeting exploring a partnership with a local high school sports webcasting company to broadcast sporting events via live-stream and video recording.

Broadcasting sporting events is a way to connect with alumni and the community, the report said, and “explore[s] different ways to get more exposure for the positive aspects of our schools.”

Proposals by High School Cube and PlayOn! Sports allowed games to be filmed and broadcast on the school’s website.

“Highlight videos can be cut from games, valuable to student athletes seeking athletic scholarships,” said D209 Communications Director Rob Daniel, adding that students could learn video editing and broadcasting skills by helping with the web-streams.

Proviso has partnered with High School Cube to broadcast the Proviso West Holiday Tournament live on their website since 2010, Daniel said. High School Cube also proposed advertising sales revenue-sharing. “If the school produces the event and High School Cube sells the advertising, [D209] receives 20 percent of ad revenue,” Daniel said. “But if the school produces the event and sells advertising, we receive 50 to 75 percent of the revenue.”

High School Cube would provide the service at no charge to the district, but PlayOn! Sports would charge a one-time setup fee of $1,500 and a yearly fee of $500. PlayOn! provides recording equipment and a laptop, as well as hosting a dedicated school sports website, the proposal said.

 This article has been updated to correct the names of the Business Director and Assistant Principal of Proviso West High School and the title of the Proviso West Holiday Basketball Tournament.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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