SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- By mutual agreement, the Thornton Township High Schools District 205 Board and Supt. Dr. J. Kamala Buckner announce that Dr. Buckner is stepping aside to allow the incoming Board time to reorganize and make decisions about its leadership.
An agreement was reached in closed session between Dr. Buckner and the current Board late Wednesday. It also was the final meeting for outgoing Board President, the Rev. Dr. Carl E. King Sr., and board members Vanessa Bradley and Dr. Sallie Penman, who lost re-election on April 5. Dr. Buckner, who has been superintendent since 1999, has worked for District 205 for 38 years.
Dr. Buckner said she is willing to work with the incoming board until an interim superintendent is selected. She and the outgoing board members stressed they remain committed to children and education reform.
"I will continue to work to improve the quality of public education," Dr. Buckner said. "It's important that people like myself, Rev. King, Dr. Penman and Mrs. Bradley stay involved. We have the experience and understand that our children cannot afford to fall further behind, not if they are to compete successfully in a global economy."
Changes to the board follow opposition by a group of District 205 parents to a proposal to convert Thornridge High School into a freshman center. District 205 teachers, administrators and board members proposed the freshmen-focused school to target not only the low math and reading scores but to accelerate the learning for those who read at grade level. Upperclassmen would attend the districts two remaining high schools – Thornton Township and Thornwood. Dr. Buckner and the outgoing board members supported the single-grade center concept. The parents group filed a lawsuit to block it; that case is pending.
Last fall, District 205 won approval for an $18 million federal grant that set a high bar for districts receiving funds to make dramatic changes to improve student performance. The Illinois Board of Education applauded the freshman center concept, outreach to feeder schools and a slate of other academic and support services. Without the freshmen-focused school, the district might forfeit the grant.
SOURCE Thornton Township High Schools District 205 Board