SD 227 hires interim superintendent
The Rich Township High School District 227 Board has hired the district’s interim human resources director to take over as interim superintendent.
The board voted unanimously Wednesday evening to give Doris Langon the top job, at least for now. Because she’s retired, Langon, 61, can work in the position for no more than 100 days without reducing her pension.
Board members Betty Owens and Sheila Friday were absent from the meeting.
“The main issue is making sure everyone is ready for the (school) doors to open (in August), which is our main focus, and working with the board in terms of ... transforming these three schools,” Langon said.
Board president Cheryl Coleman said the district will likely hire a firm to conduct a national superintendent search.
The District 227 board voted June 15 to terminate former Supt. Donna Simpson Leak in a highly charged meeting. Coleman said Leak was fired due to her process for student expulsions, for recommending that the board enter into unenforceable contracts with several administrators and for improperly denying a board member access to the district’s administration center.
Only a few people attended the meeting Wednesday, although there were at least six security guards present.
Coleman said seven people were interviewed for the interim superintendent post, and Langon was chosen from among three finalists. Langon, who was hired May 10 for the human resources position, lives in Olympia Fields, which is part of District 227.
Coleman said Langon will be paid the same salary as Leak on a pro rata basis. Leak’s salary was $200,000. As a part-time employee, Langon will not receive any benefits, Coleman said.
Langon is a member of the Olympia Fields Education Commission, a private group that works to improve the schools that serve the village. District 227 board member David Morgan is also a member of the commission.
“It’s paramount for her to see this school district turn around, that’s for certain,” Coleman said.
Langon, who retired as an educator in 2010, said after Wednesday’s meeting that she was hired in April to help the principal at Wadsworth Elementary School in Chicago prepare for the closing of the school as part of the Chicago Public Schools school closings plan.
Langon previously worked as a principal at Simpson Alternative High School in Chicago and as a regional administrator under former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas. Her last full-time position was as superintendent in Fairmont School District 89 in Lockport Township.
While there, she was involved in a controversy over receiving $83,572 in commissions for writing grant applications during the 2007-08 school year and $2,486 during the 2008-09 school year.
Langon defended the extra pay, telling the Herald-News then that grant writing wasn’t in her job description, so she was paid extra for it as part of her contract. She said other school districts hire consultants or have staff to write grants but that District 89 did not.