At its regular meeting this evening, the District 200 Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring of Gregory Johnson as the next superintendent, effective July 1, 2021. He will replace Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams, who is retiring after five years in the role. Mr. Johnson has been with the district since 2017, when he was hired as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. He was promoted to associate superintendent in 2019.
The Board contracted with Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates to conduct a national search, which drew 14 applicants from seven states. The Board believed it was important to cast the widest net possible to ensure that it found the right leader for the District. “No matter how much confidence a board has in an internal candidate, you can’t just go by that,” Board President Sara Spivy said. “The focus groups that the search firm conducted were enormously helpful in clarifying the qualities and priorities that are important to our community, and in ensuring that our selection aligned with that data.”
Ms. Spivy went on to add that of all the candidates the Board interviewed, Mr. Johnson had the clearest vision and plan for how to move the District forward. “Since his initial hiring, Greg has been instrumental in the District’s progress toward racial equity, and he has taken on this work whole-heartedly and fearlessly,” Ms. Spivy said. “He thoroughly understands the complexities of leadership in our community, and his integrity is unimpeachable. As a taxpayer with children in the district, he is deeply invested in the success of all students who walk through our doors. He’s done great work at OPRF, and now that work will continue.”
Mr. Johnson echoed Ms. Spivy’s sentiments about continuing the District’s progress. “Oak Park and River Forest High School has a long tradition of providing a high-quality education,” he said. “Under Dr. Pruitt-Adams’s leadership, we’ve focused on removing barriers to ensure that this outstanding education is available to all students. We’ve charted a course forward that’s brave, rigorous, and equitable, and I am extremely excited to see that work through.”
Retiring Supt. Dr. Pruitt-Adams expressed her unequivocal support for Mr. Johnson as the incoming leader of the District. “Some people are trained to be educators and some are born to be educators. Greg Johnson was born to be an educator,” Dr. Pruitt-Adams said. “I can honestly say that in my 44 years in education--30 of them in administration--Greg is one of the two best hires I have ever made. He is without a doubt ready to serve in the position of superintendent.”
Mr. Johnson lives in Oak Park with his wife and their two sons, both of whom currently attend OPRF High School. Prior to his arrival at OPRF, Mr. Johnson served as principal of Centennial High School in Champaign, Ill., and before that as associate principal of Urbana High School. He began his career at Urbana High School, where he was an English teacher for nine years.
Mr. Johnson is working toward a Ph.D. in educational policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for which he will complete the requirements this May. He holds a B.S. in secondary English education and an Ed.M. in educational administration, both from U of I.