New administrative hires were made at the May 11 meeting of the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 board meeting.
Changes include not just the administrators themselves, but the structure of the administration. One notable change is the addition of grade level principals at each school, who will be responsible for working with the same group of students as they progress throughout their years, from freshmen through graduation.
Many residents and parents were shocked that Proviso East’s current principal Dr. Patrick Hardy will not be returning next year. The new principal will be Rodney Hull. According to information from the district’s website, Hull is currently the principal at Hazelwood Central High School. Previously, he worked as the principal of a school in the Miami area and has also worked in Chicago communities.
The four grade level principals at East will be Fred Aguirre, Dr. Alexander Brandon, Dr. Melvin Caldwell and Latoya McIntosh. Aguirre has served as assistant principal at East for six years. Brandon has been with the district for a year and is currently serving as principal of Educational Services. Caldwell currently serves as dean of administration at Proviso East. McIntosh is new to the district. The presentation by the district includes little about the specifics of her background but says she has “18 years experience in education. Diversity and inclusion are the pillars of her educational mantra.”
At Proviso West, Bessie Karvelas will remain the principal. Four grade level principals will serve with her. They are Dr. Albert Brass, who is new to the district; William Breisch, who is currently the principal of Proviso Math and Science Academy; Joseph Kosina, who currently serves as the assistant principal at Proviso West; and Kisha Lang, who worked in the district previously.
According to information on the district’s website, Brass has worked for 23 years in high schools in Wisconsin and Illinois.
In January 2020 the Chicago Tribune reported that Brass, principal of Rich East High School in Park Forest at the time, had been placed on administrative leave. According to the Tribune, the district had said the matter was a personnel issue. A letter was allegedly sent to parents from the superintendent saying the district was aware of rumors circulating about Brass, and the superintendent said it was “inaccurate” that Brass had been arrested. The superintendent also said in the letter that there are “no allegations that [Brass] engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student.” Because it was a personnel issue, the superintendent couldn’t provide any additional information.
Lang formerly worked in D209 as assistant principal at Proviso East. She joined the district in 2011 and was named in a 2014 lawsuit filed by a Proviso East security manager against the district for retaliatory discharge, according to previous Forest Park Review reporting. In the lawsuit, the former employee accused Lang of using district employees to perform personal errands, and Taylor claimed he was fired in retaliation after informing others of what Lang was doing.
At Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA), the new principal is Elizabeth Martinez, who is new to the district. According to her Linked In page, she most recently was the founding head of SIAS International in Zhengzhou City in China.
Grade level principals at PMSA will be Cristin Chiganos, who is currently serving as the department chair for English, Social Studies and World Languages at PMSA, and Shaylon Walker, who is new to the district.
Other administrative positions include:
Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services – Dr. Kevin Brown
Executive Director of Teaching, Learning and Accountability – Dr. Greta Mitchel-Williams
District Coordinator, Mathematics – Dr. Lisa Luna
District Coordinator, Science – Alexander Aschoff
District Coordinator, ELA – Angela Mariono
District Coordinator, Social Studies – Stephen Ngo
Executive Director of Student Services and Equity – Dr. Kathy Richard-Andrews
District Coordinator, SPED – Vanessa Schmitt
Coordinator, CCR/Counseling – Kate Hendrix Foster
Coordinator for Federal Programs/Grants – Michelle Hassan
Deputy Superintendent of Operations – Dan Johnson
Athletic Director – Cyrus McGinnis
Assistant Athletic Director – Calvin Davis
Manager, Facilities and Maintenance – LT Taylor
Manager, Transportation – William Garrett
Manager, Security – Levertis Robinson
Director of Technology – Michael Pritchard
Public and Community Relations Officer – Nicole Wilson
During the May 11 meeting, board member Claudia Medina said the job of Director of Technology was posted on a Tuesday and the recommendation for Pritchard came to the board on Friday. Medina asked Superintendent James Henderson if he had received any other applications, and he said he had.
She then asked if he had interviewed anyone else for the position.
Henderson answered, “I interviewed Pritchard. This is my recommendation. You can vote it up or you can vote it down.”
Pritchard served as senior IT project manager at Normandy School District in Missouri from 2008 to 2011. Henderson served at that district as chief of staff during those years.
Pritchard and a group of 17 other of the new administrators were approved by a five to two vote of the board, with Medina and board member Amanda Grant voting no.
Foster, Marino, Luna, Aschoff, Ngo, Mitchell-Williams, Brandon, Caldwell, Chiganos, McIntosh, Taylor and Robinson were approved by a six to one vote of the board, with Medina voting no.
A list of the administrators, with photos and bios, can be found on the district’s website at https://www.flipsnack.com/PTHSD209/district-209-s-new-administration-team/full-view.html.