Dr. Patrick Hardy, who was hired last summer as executive director for equity and student success at Oak Park and River Forest High School, will become principal of Hinsdale South High School in July.

Hardy will take over as the new principal of Hinsdale South in Darien. The school, which enrolls about 1,400 students, is part of Hinsdale Township High School District 86.

The District 86 school board approved Hardy’s two-year, $176,000 contract during a regular meeting on Feb. 24. Hardy’s first day as principal will be July 1.

In a statement, Hardy, who came to OPRF after serving roughly six years as principal at Proviso East High School in Maywood, expressed his enthusiasm about the appointment.

“The school and district have a long and proud history of academic excellence that reflects the high quality of instruction that is available to all students,” Hardy said.

“I hope to continue building on this strong foundation by working with the members of the South community to create a learning environment where every student feels welcomed, supported and empowered to reach their full potential.”

Just before his departure was announced, Hardy shared with District 200 school board members the equity work he and his coworkers in the equity office had performed, which included “expanding the understaffed office; creating trauma-informed care practices; building a better resource program for families; and recruiting and retaining students for the department’s main counseling program, Motivational Mentorship,” according to previous Wednesday Journal reporting.

In the long term, Hardy said during a board presentation on Jan. 27, “it is our belief that Oak Park and River Forest High School should be a model school for racial equity. That’s the vision. And we believe these goals and the projects associated with them will help us begin and continue the process down the road.”

Now, that vision will be left to someone else to carry out. The district posted the vacant equity and student success director position more than a week ago, with a salary range of between $122,000 and $152,000.

Hardy is the second equity head at OPRF since the position was created in February 2019.

Dr. LeVar J. Ammons, who was hired that year as the school district’s inaugural director, served for roughly two years before resigning in March 2021 to pursue other career opportunities.

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com

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