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District 215 co-superintendents present first report at last board meeting of school year

LANSING, Ill. (July 15, 2023) – The two new co-superintendents presented their first report at the final District 215 school board meeting for the 2022-23 school year.

Co-Superintendent Report

Dr. Rena Whitten, District 215’s Superintendent of Student Services and Equity, and John Robinzine, District 215’s Assistant Superintendent of Career Development, led the superintendent report as newly appointed co-superintendents.

At the May 30, 2023, Board of Education Special Meeting, Dr. Whitten and Mr. Robinzine were appointed as co-superintendents of the district after the resignation of Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond at the May 25 regular meeting.

Dr. Rena Whitten (photo provided)

As stated in a letter on the District 215 Website, District 215 Board President Richard Dust expressed his trust in their ability to lead.

“Both Dr. Whitten and Mr. Robinzine have many years of service at District 215. The Board of Education is confident in their ability to keep the district’s operations running smoothly as the leadership plan for the 2023-2024 academic year is constructed,” said Dust.

Dr. Whitten mentioned that each school is working on their school improvement plan, a process that will include student leaders.

“We have goals focused on academic achievement, building professional capacity as well as climate and culture. Each building has a goal of incorporating students in that process,” said Dr. Whitten.

District 215 hosted its first English as a Second Language course for families, with all 15 spots filled.

Mr. John Robinzine (photo provided)

Mr. Robinzine shared updates about the future teachers program, which is entering its third year. The annual banquet for participants will take place on August 3.

School updates

At TF South, all six school sports were awarded the Illinois High School Association’s Team Academic Award. The award is given to school sports teams who earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The teams that were awarded were Badminton, Baseball, Boys Tennis, Softball, Boys Track and Girls Track.

TF North celebrated the students who participated in the National Speech and Debate tournament:

  • Saniya Boyd Morris finished fifth in the nation in Original Oratory category
  • Destinee Owens was the overall national champion in the Poetry category
  • Christiana Oluwole was the overall national champion in the Storytelling category
  • Tyren Ollie placed 15th in the Expository category and 61st in the Original Oratory category
  • John McBeth III ranked in the top 50 in the Prose Reading category

“To give you a grasp of it, there were around 500 entries in each of those events. To win, or to be in the top 15 when we are talking about 500 entries is just absolutely unbelievable,” said Brian Rucinski, TF North principal.

TF Center celebrated a 100% on-time graduation for students in the Virtual Success Academy and Center for Alternative Learning.

Action items

The following actions were approved during the board meeting:

  • Approve increase in Adult Lunch Fee 2023/2024
  • Adopt resolution authorizing District 215 to join multi-district litigation against various Social Media companies
  • Approve Intergovernmental Agreement with Healthcare & Family Services regarding reimbursement of expenditures for the School Based Health Services Program
  • Accept quote from KI Furniture for replacement of classroom student desks & chairs
  • Approval of Correspondence to and Reintegration Plan for Administrator

The District 215 Board meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Meetings will resume once the 2023-24 school year begins, at 1605 Wentworth Avenue in Calumet City.

Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University and his Master of Science in Journalism from Roosevelt University. In addition to reporting for The Lansing Journal and the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, he volunteers with 100 Black Men of Chicago, Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Burst Into Books, and various other organizations. A south suburban resident since 2004, Quinton is passionate about telling the unsung stories of the community.