Nettie Collins-Hart

Proviso Township High School District 209 Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart announced Thursday that she will step down at the end of the 2015-16 school year. Collins-Hart has served for seven years.

“I will do everything I can to make my transition both seamless and positive,” she wrote in a public letter to the board of education. Collins-Hart asked that her contract not be renewed in June 2016, when it expires.

“As I reflect on my tenure in the district, I marvel at where we were when I arrived and where we are today,” she wrote.

In the letter, Collins-Hart looked back at the changes she witnessed in the district since 2007. These included digging out of a multi-million dollar deficit and achieving financial recognition status from the Illinois State Board of Education since 2010.

She also praised an increase in student participation in Advanced Placement and honors classes, the introduction of the International Baccalaureate program at Proviso Math and Science Academy and improved vocational education choices.

Collins-Hart also listed administrator stability and a district-wide curriculum overhaul as her achievements.

She praised the “high-volume good-natured working relationship with board members past and present.”

“When I leave I will carry many fond memories and, yes, some not-so-fond memories with me,” she wrote. 

Collins-Hart said she would focus the next 10 months on school board training and education, an evaluation of admission procedures for PMSA, working with the new Proviso East principal and staff, ending the district’s relationship with its state-appointed Financial Oversight Panel and continuing to build a new partnership with the Illinois Center for School Improvement.

Collins-Hart’s eight-year leadership of the district was a change from the revolving door of superintendents leading up to her hiring in 2008.

Between 2005 and 2008, the district employed Gregory Jackson, Robert Libka, Stan Fields and Phylistine Murphy to lead its schools. Collins-Hart came to the district from a position as superintendent for the Bertie County Schools in North Carolina.

On the District 209 website, Collins-Hart’s base salary is listed as $280,123.62 annually, with around $54,000 in bonuses, annuities and other enhancements. 

She did not indicate she would be retiring. 

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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