Wednesday, January 29, 2014 || By Jean Lotus, Editor, The Forest Park Review
Nettie Collins-Hart will continue as superintendent of Proviso Township High School District 209 for another two years, after a joint meeting of the D209 Board of Education and the Financial Oversight Panel voted to renew her contract, Jan. 28.
Collins-Hart is the district’s longest-serving superintendent in decades. She is finishing her sixth year at the district’s helm. She earns $238,791.13 base salary after receiving a $5,000 raise in December. She also gets a $9,000 annuity and $48,888.60 in other benefits.
The vote was not unanimous. Board members Theresa Kelly and Kevin McDermott voted against the contract. The oversight panel voted unanimously to approve the contract.
McDermott had harsh words for Collins-Hart’s performance. He read a prepared statement before the board voted.
“I have lost faith, and lost my trust, in her ability to lead,” he said in the statement.
McDermott complained in the statement that Collins had presided over the “shocking dropoff in test scores” for Proviso Math and Science Academy. Prairie State Achievement Exam math scores fell at PMSA by 11 percent and science scores tumbled 20 percent in one year.
McDermott also said Collins-Hart ignored requests from the board to explain the test-score drop and “actively obstructed board initiatives.” McDermott summed up the superintendent’s six-year legacy as leading to “a few marginal improvements.”
“I believe she has been untruthful with me and with others on this Board,” he added.
Member of the oversight panel worked with board members in an ad hoc group to craft a contract for the extension.
This story has been updated to reflect that board member Kevin McDermott read a prepared statement during the D209 board meeting.
Read more about the superintendent’s contract in the Feb. 5 Forest Park Review. VFP