New HR director hired in D97


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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

The District 97 Board of Education on Aug. 6 hired Stephen Cummins as its new director of human resources. His one-year salary, according to the district, is $125,000. The HR post has been vacant since June after the resignation of former D97 Director Joanne Schochat.

Cummins previously served as HR director for Adlai Stevenson High School District 125. He also spent nearly two decades at Aptakisic-Tripp elementary school District 102 in Buffalo Grove, including in human resources and as a junior high teacher. 

The D97 board voted 6-0 to hire Cummins, who said after the vote that he's excited to join the Oak Park school district.  

D97 and Oak Park and River Forest High School remain in talks about possibly sharing HR duties in the near future. OPRF, which also has an HR director opening, will have two part-time interims overseeing the department for the next school year.

D97 camera vote coming Aug. 20

The District 97 Board of Education has scheduled an Aug. 20 vote on whether to installed outdoor security cameras at its eight elementary schools. The cameras are being considered following a rash of vandalism and graffiti incidents at some of the buildings in the last year, according to district officials.

Seventy-nine cameras would be installed throughout the eight buildings, costing a total of $79,000. All of the devises would be in outdoor locations. Proposed cameras for elementary schools include: (13) Whittier, (11) Mann, (11) Longfellow, (10) Lincoln, (10) Beye, (9) Holmes, (8) Irving, and (7) Hatch.

Brooks and Julian middle schools already have outdoor and indoor security cameras.

Tri-board meeting on Early Childhood Collaboration

A tri-board meeting between Oak Park's two school districts and the village of Oak Park concerning the Collaboration for Early Childhood initiative could take place later this fall.

Elementary School District 97 is scheduled to discuss that possibility this week. D97, the village and Oak Park and River Forest High School are financial backers of the Collab's supportive care network initiative.

The three taxing bodies met in a joint meeting in April to approve funding for the effort. The Collaboration is looking to create what it calls an integrated network of services for families of at-risk children.

The initial startup funds from the village, D97 and OPRF are $115,000, $248,000 and $216,000, respectively. The three taxing bodies will also make payments to the Collaboration through 2018; the system is expected to launch in 2015.

When it was approved in April, officials from the four entities agreed to meet regularly to monitor the initiative. The tri-board meeting likely will take place in November.

—Terry Dean


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