A high-level administrator at Oak Park and River Forest High School has resigned. Dec. 2 was the last day of work at OPRF for Ron Anderson, who has been the executive director of operations at the high school since June 2020.
In that role Anderson oversaw the buildings and grounds department, the campus safety team and construction projects.
According to his LinkedIn page Anderson has taken a job as the vice president of environmental, social and corporate governance plus workplace solutions at the National Institute of Building Sciences in Washington, D.C. Anderson will be working for AC Powell who until being hired in September by the organization was the executive director of the Association of Facilities Engineering (AFE), a professional organization that Anderson is a member of. Anderson currently serves as the president and chairman of the board of AFE.
The new job came about quickly after Anderson was approached at an industry conference.
“I didn’t anticipate this happening with Ron,” OPRF Superintendent Greg Johnson told Wednesday Journal. “This happened quick. Ron wasn’t looking; he got poached. He was at a conference and somebody pulled him aside.”
Anderson was one of nine administrators at OPRF who report directly to Johnson. He played an important role in the high school’s Project 1 renovation, the planning for a geothermal heating and cooling system, plans for a new track and new athletic fields, and planning for the nearly $100 million Project 2.
“We were incredibly fortunate to have Ron leading our facilities improvement efforts through some of the most significant building changes we’ve had at OPRF in the past 50 years,” Johnson said in statement emailed by Karin Sullivan, the school’s communications chief. “His work to develop a sustainability policy will help to ensure that OPRF is leading in this area for years to come.”
Anderson did not directly respond to a phone call or an email from Wednesday Journal but instead also issued a statement sent via Sullivan.
“Completing the new renovations, including the Student Resource Center, is an accomplishment I’m very proud of,” Anderson said in his statement. “I also was honored to work with students, administration, staff, board, and consultants to finalize a sustainability policy and create a plan to implement it. Most of all, my time was well spent working with a great team of administrators, a passionate and devoted board of education, and a hard-working and dedicated administrative assistant.”
Anderson served for two years as the chairman of the planning and construction professional development committee of the Illinois Association of Business Officials.
Johnson said OPRF is currently looking to fill Anderson’s position on an interim basis. He said the position of executive director of operations has only existed at OPRF for four years.
Since OPRF will be hiring a new chief financial officer to begin next year and overlap for one year with current CFO Cyndi Sidor, Johnson said he will be reevaluating the future of the operations position.
“It’s posted as an interim job right now,” Johnson said. “I don’t know yet what I’m going to do for the long haul.”
Wednesday Journal asked for Anderson’s salary this year but was told to file a Freedom of Information Act request, which the Wednesday Journal did. Wednesday Journal could not find Anderson’s salary posted on any of the three compensation reports which are, as required by law, posted on the OPRF website.
Prior to coming to OPRF in 2020 Anderson worked for 13 years as a project manager and manager of buildings and grounds at Proviso Township High School District 209.