The search for a new superintendent of Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 has come to an end.
During a regular meeting on April 22, the D200 school board voted unanimously to appoint Assistant Supt. Greg Johnson as the next permanent superintendent.
For nearly four years, Johnson has served as the school’s assistant superintendent, working closely with current Supt. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams, who is set to retire at the end of this school year.
“I’ve been an educator for a very long time, and there are some people who become educators and some people who are born to be educators,” said Pruitt-Adams, addressing the board and Johnson during comments at Thursday’s meeting.
“Greg Johnson is one of those people who was born to be an educator. I knew from his first interview that he was different — different in a way that he understood education and all that goes into it,” Pruitt-Adams said. “It is his time. He is ready.”
Like Pruitt-Adams, several board members took a moment and congratulated Johnson on his promotion, as well as shared their thoughts on why he was the right fit.
“You’ve been able to step in, challenge things that needed to be challenged and you’ve made an impact during your tenure in your current role,” board member Tom Cofsky said. “And I am very confident that you’ll have an impact as you move into this role.”
“You, from day one, have been a valuable resource to our community and to our school,” said outgoing D200 board member Jackie Moore. “The bar you had to reach, to be honest, was a little higher than every other candidate because of what we already know, and you not only met that, but transcended [the bar] in ways that will continue to benefit our district.”
During the meeting, D200 board President Sara Spivy shared the details behind the process to find Pruitt-Adams’ successor.
With the help of hired search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the board was able to bring district faculty, staff and families into the conversation and learn more about their ideal school leader.
Spivy explained further that the D200 community wanted a superintendent who understood their needs, especially when it came to the racial opportunity gap and who could create and maintain a culture of trust and belonging.
“We have the luxury of working with him for the past four years,” said Spivy, as she tried to hold back the tears while announcing Johnson’s name.
“I know his character and work ethic first hand,” she said. “He has been an unwavering champion of racial equity.”
After the board spoke, Johnson reflected on his new position and thanked his colleagues, especially Pruitt-Adams, and his family for their support.
“What I have seen during my time here has been absolutely jaw dropping,” Johnson said. “I know that we can continue the great work and we can build on it.”