Greg Johnson
D200 assistant superintendent Greg Johnson, stands for a photo on Friday, April 30, 2021, outside of Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Ill. Johnson will be taking over the role as superintendent this summer. | ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

As incoming superintendent at Oak Park and River Forest High School, Greg Johnson has been aggressively building out his administrative team through a combination of promotions and recruitment.

In the most recently approved hiring on June 10, the district brought over a key member of the District 97 elementary school administration. Also hired were two administrators most recently part of the Proviso Township High Schools system. That school district is currently purging administrators under the leadership of a new superintendent.

Faith Cole has worked at D97 for nearly 20 years and, in fact, is a graduate of the district. Most recently she has served as director of a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) at D97 working closely with principals and other leaders, developing plans to meet students’ academic and behavioral needs. Earlier Cole was principal of Mann School and assistant principal at Percy Julian Middle School.

Cole will take on a new position as the director of student services at OPRF. The news of Cole’s hiring comes after the district just announced its list of new employees and staff promotions two weeks ago. 

During the June 10 special school board meeting, Cole, Julie Lam, Carla Williams and Nicholas Browder were named the newly hired staffers, filling out the rest of incoming Johnson’s administrative team. 

Cole replaced Lynda Parker, the district’s current director of student services. Parker was recently promoted to assistant superintendent and principal. 

Lam will succeed Laurie Fiorenza as the director for student learning. Like Parker, Fiorenza also received a promotion and will be the assistant superintendent for student learning in the coming school year. 

Lam comes to D200 with prior experience as an assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at Oswego East High School, the release stated. Lam, who began her career in education in 2005, taught in Maine Township East and Downers Grove North high schools, as well as in Chicago Public Schools. 

Other hires include Williams and Browder, both of whom have worked at Proviso Township High Schools District 209. Williams has been named dean of students, while Browder has been appointed assistant athletic director. In an earlier hiring, Dr. Patrick Hardy, principal of Proviso East High School, was named OPRF’s new director for equity and student success.

Since 2009, Williams has been with Proviso West High School in Hillside and served as division head for counseling, special education and social work, the release also stated. Williams looks to replace Brian Beyers, the high school’s current dean of students who is set to become head of the physical education, health and driver education department. 

As for Browder, he comes to D200 with experience as a professional athlete and an educator. Throughout his decades-long career, Browder has taken on several administrative roles, including his most recent position as the athletic director at Proviso East High School in Maywood.

He was also the athletic director at Argo Community High School in Summit and Rich Center High School in Matteson.

Before Browder jumped into a career in education, he played football at Valparaiso University in Indiana and spent nine years as a professional quarterback in the Arena Football League.

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