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Well, it took two rounds, but the school board at Proviso Township High Schools District 209 has chosen its next superintendent. Dr. James Henderson will arrive shortly with the goal of continuing the turnaround of this historically troubled school district.

This reform-fueled school board has now made its most important decision, hiring their single employee, the superintendent. Henderson, a native of Mississippi will arrive from Mississippi where he helmed, for just the past two years, a school district seemingly in worse shape than Proviso when Dr. Jessie Rodriguez took the lead here four years back.

While graduation rates lag in Proviso, progress has been made in orienting the district toward its students, fostering deeper connections with the communities, stabilizing leadership and building an ambitious, and funded, plan for a wide remaking of the decayed and antiquated physical plants of the district’s three schools.

Henderson will have plenty to do, but a foundation to work from. Of course, he arrives in a new district in the midst of a deadly pandemic which stresses out families, students and faculty as they work to adapt to new ways of teaching, tracking, motivating, and connecting with our children.

We wish him the best and trust he will continue to move Proviso high schools forward.