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Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond resigns as D215 Superintendent, Board announces interim replacements

LANSING, Ill. (June 2, 2023) – Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond has resigned as the superintendent of Thornton Fractional High School District 215, ending a three-year tenure during which she dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw the implementation of multiple new projects and programs in the district.

According to a statement from the D215 Board, Jones-Redmond resigned at the board’s May 25 meeting. At a special meeting on May 30, district board members approved Dr. Rena Whitten and John Robinzine as acting co-superintendents.

Three-year tenure

Succeeding Dr. Teresa Lance, Jones-Redmond was appointed as superintendent at the D215 Board’s May 26, 2020 meeting. Jones-Redmond inherited a district that includes TF South in Lansing and TF North, TF Center for Academics and Technology, and TF Center for Alternative Learning in Calumet City — and she did so just a few short months after the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the education landscape.

“She led us through the pandemic, which was not easy for anybody,” said Rich Dust, current District 215 Board President, and Board member at the time of Jones-Redmonds’ appointment. “She was able to pull things together very well during that.”

Dust also praised Jones-Redmond for her involvement in multiple new programs and projects during her three years at the district’s helm, specifically citing curriculum updates, dual credit programs, and D215’s new cosmetology and barbering studio, located at TF North. Another feather in Jones-Redmond’s cap, said Dust, was the reorganization of the Career and Technical Education department.

“We realize that not all of our students are going to college, and I think it was a good idea to reorganize our technical education department. A number of our students are going to apprenticeships with the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers] when they graduate,” Dust said.

Dust also said Jones-Redmond “fast-tracked” the creation of student equity clubs and esports teams within the district.

Jones-Redmond’s departure

District 215 Public Relations Officer Anita Howard said Jones-Redmond’s resignation was effective immediately.

In a text message, Jones Redmond told The Lansing Journal she offered a transition plan along with her resignation, and did not intend to leave the district right away. She said the board did not accept the transition plan.

“I love 215 and would have never left it immediately,” she said.

Dust declined to comment on the details of Jones Redmond’s transition plan, saying such details were discussed in the closed session portion of the D215 Board meeting.

Whitten and Robinzine appointed

Dr. Rena Whitten and John Robinzine are now acting co-superintendents for District 215 after Jones Redmond’s departure. Whitten currently serves as the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Equity, and Robinzine serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Career Development.

“The Board of Education is confident that Dr. Whitten and Mr. Robinzine, both of whom have many years of service to District 215, will keep the district’s operations running smoothly over the next weeks as we move forward with constructing the leadership plan for the 2023-2024 academic year,” said part of a message sent to District 215 staff on the morning of May 31.

“They both have superintendent certification,” said Dust, “so we decided to appoint them to run the school district for awhile until we make our next step, which is not determined yet.”

More information about District 215 is available at


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.