Updated: June 10, 2014 7:12AM
Rich Township High School District 227 has a new superintendent — Carole Collins-Ayanlaja — who previously worked as the chief academic officer for the Hartford, Conn., school system.
The school board this week voted 6-1 to appoint Collins-Ayanlaja to the top post previously held by Donna Simpson Leak, who was dismissed by the board in June. At least two administrators, Doris Langon and Ronald Patton, served as interim superintendents since Leak’s controversial departure.
“I look forward to working together to support the ongoing achievement and success of each and every one of our students here in District 227,” Collins-Ayanlaja said in a written statement.
Details of her contract, such as its length and her salary, were not available from the district Thursday.
Collins-Ayanlaja holds a doctorate in education administration from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree from Concordia University in River Forest and a bachelor’s degree from Lake Forest College.
Collins-Ayanlaja was appointed at a special school board meeting on Monday. Board member Antoine Bass was the lone dissenting vote.
“She will be an asset, not only to our students and stakeholders, but to our community at large,” board member Emmanuel Imoukhuede said.
Imoukhuede traveled to Hartford in April as part of the selection process and found that Collins-Ayanlaja was well-respected both in and outside the school district.
“She’s very loved by the community, by her peers and to everyone who reports to her in Hartford,” Imoukhuede said.
District 227 serves more than 4,500 students from Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Matteson, Park Forest, Olympia Fields, Richton Park, University Park and Tinley Park.
Collins-Ayanlaja will oversee the more than 600 employees who work for the district and its three high schools, Rich East, Rich Central and Rich South.