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New Administrators at Proviso West, PMSA, District Offices Add to Strong Team

September 20, 2013 08:50 AM
Forest Park, IL...Proviso Township High Schools District 209 had several new administrators begin in their positions during the summer at both the district and school levels.

In the district offices, three new administrators started their new positions, all familiar faces to the District.

Mrs. Kim Echols, formerly the principal at Proviso Math and Science Academy, became the new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction on July 1. In her position, she oversees curriculum planning and development for the District's three schools. She said that she is excited to work in a position that allows her to work with all stakeholders in the District, working on tasks such as implementing the Common Core Curriculum.

"I hit the ground running in July, and I will stay in the race for excellence ensuring that we have value added programs that increase student achievement across the district," Mrs. Echols said. "We began this school year welcoming our new teachers. I feel the positive Proviso energy, and I know that it is going to be a great year!"

Also starting new positions in the district offices are Mrs. Vanessa Schmitt as the director of special programs and special education, Mr. Todd Drafall as business manager/chief financial officer, and Mr. Dan Johnson as administrator for special projects. Mrs. Schmitt previously served as department chair and also special education coordinator at Proviso East High School. Mr. Drafall previously had worked as director of finance at Cary School District 26 and West Aurora School District 129 and business manager at Minooka Community High School District 111. Mr. Johnson had been an assistant principal at Proviso East High School and associate principal at Proviso West High School.

New_West_Admin_Team-smAt Proviso West, a new administrative team came on board on July 1. Mr. Oscar Hawthorne is the new principal, previously having served as principal and assistant superintendent at Evanston Township High School. He said that he and his new administrative team, which includes Mr. Calvin Davis as assistant principal of athletics and activities and Mr. Joseph Kosina as assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, have been well received by parents, teachers, staff, and students.

"We really appreciate the support we’ve received from parents as we address improving instruction and addressing parent concerns," Mr. Hawthorne said. "We look forward to establishing strong relationships with our parents."

Mr. Davis had spent the previous 29 years with the Chicago Public Schools, the last nine years as director of athletics for the district. Mr. Kosina has been at Proviso West for the last 16 years, most recently as chairman of the English department.

Bessie_KarvelasThe newest addition to District 209's administrative team is Dr. Bessie Karvelas as the new principal at PMSA. Dr. Karvelas has spent her 23-year career in the Chicago Public Schools as a teacher and principal, including serving at Lincoln Park High School and Hubbard High School. She said that her work at PMSA has been going very well.

"I feel the teachers have embraced me," Dr. Karvelas said. "We’re growing as a strong team."

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent for District 209, said that the new administrators make a strong team even stronger.

"Great leaders are needed for great things to happen," she said. "I believe that we have strong leaders in place to take our schools to new heights. I am excited and encouraged with the positive and productive start that we have had this year. It feels different."


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