During a special meeting on April 29, the Oak Park and River Forest High School Board of Education approved the hiring of LeVar J. Ammons as the district’s first director of equity and student success.
The appointment was the last action taken before the new D200 board was sworn in and seated later that evening.
In a statement released on Monday, district officials said Ammons will start on July 1. He comes to D200 from Willowbrook High School in District 88. Half the student body at the Villa Park high school is white with 28 percent Hispanic, 10 percent African American, 10 percent Asian and 3 percent multiracial. Roughly 44 percent of its students qualify as low-income.
At Willowbrook, Ammons was a member of the Equity Task Force that initiated a racial equity strategic plan for District 88. He had a hand in developing an equity action plan for the DuPage County Regional Office of Education and co-founded the Black Educators Network of Suburban Chicago. He is also a member of the Illinois Coalition of Educational Equity Leaders.
He has a doctorate in education from Olivet Nazarene University, a master’s degree in school counseling and guidance from Lewis University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Quincy University. Before he worked in education, Ammons was a finance specialist with the U.S. Army Reserves.
“Dr. Ammons has done impressive work at the national, state, and local levels around racial equity and its intersection with education,” stated D200 Supt. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams. “He has a passion for education, collaboration, and — most importantly — students. With his ability to teach both students and adults, and his solid grounding in racial equity work, he will be a tremendous asset as the district strives to achieve excellence and equity for all students.”
The hiring of Ammons comes just a week after the D200 board unanimously approved a racial equity policy. The equity director position was approved back in February, in anticipation of the policy’s implementation.
District officials did not disclose Ammons’ starting salary or the length of his contract.