D209 Superintendent James Henderson's previous school district is in hot water over a recent financial audit. | File photo

Three top administrators at Proviso Township High School District 209 are heading for the exits amid an anticipated central office restructuring that Supt. James Henderson said he plans to outline to the board later this month.

Nicole Howard, the associate superintendent for Academic and Family Services, is leaving the district to take a job in Indian Prairie, Henderson said.

Tracy Miller, the district’s director of accounting, resigned on Feb. 15. Henderson said she took a job closer to her home, which is nearly three hours from the district’s administrative offices.

Paul Starck-King, the assistant superintendent for finance, is retiring. Stark-King and Howard will both stay in their jobs until June 30.

During a phone interview on Feb. 15, Henderson said the administrators are leaving as he works on implementing a larger central office realignment.

“I will be bringing to the board a recommendation to reconstitute the district and that is what’s happening,” Henderson said, adding that “some positions will stay the same and some will be different.”

He said he anticipates presenting the proposed realignment to the board after he hosts his upcoming town hall meetings that are scheduled to take place on Feb. 18 and Feb. 25.

At a regular board meeting on Feb. 9, Henderson praised Howard for being “a trooper” and the “voice of reason” during his six months at the helm.

Starck-King said Miller “has done tremendous work for us” and that she’ll be “difficult to replace. We’ll do our best, but she has worked very, very hard for the couple of years she’s been here. We’ve caught up on a lot of things. The board has seen some old invoices that have come through that we’ve finally gotten paid … So, she’s done yeoman’s work with a high degree of excellence.”

“I want to thank you as well,” D209 board member Della Patterson told Stark-King. “I wish you well.”

“My family and I would like to thank the board for the support they’ve given us,” Stark-King said.

Henderson’s anticipated realignment will be D209’s second major central office restructuring in roughly three years. The realignments are often a courtesy school boards grant superintendents and typically happen with new administrations, but they’re not always without controversy.

Former superintendent Jesse Rodriguez’s proposed realignment prompted heated debate between board members in 2018 about “administrative salaries and the process for hiring and promoting administrators,” according to previous Forest Park Review reporting.

At the time, Rodriguez said his staff restructuring was cost-neutral, and designed to “transform” the district and challenge the status quo.

Henderson said his staff restructuring would realize some significant cost savings, improve the district’s organizational structure and processes, and put the district in the position to “spend funds more strategically.”

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com