The District 64 Board of Education will approve the employment of Dr. Ben Collins as Superintendent at a special meeting on Wednesday, May 3rd, at 6:00 pm in the Hendee rooms at the Jefferson Early Childhood Center.
After the brief meeting, there will be a reception open to all community members to welcome Dr. Collins. He will officially join District 64 on July 1st.
Dr. Collins is wrapping up his sixth year as the Principal at Maine South High School, where he’s provided vision and leadership for 310 staff members and 2,500 students.
Board President Dr. Denise Pearl said, “Dr. Collins has established a strong presence as a visible leader in this community, forming productive and trusting relationships with students, parents, staff, fellow administrators, and external community members/partners.”
“He understands and appreciates the high level of engagement and passion in Park Ridge-Niles,” said Dr. Pearl.
In addition to leading Maine South, Dr. Collins was the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at Maine West High School for four years. Before working in District 207, Dr. Collins was at Batavia High School, starting as a Music Teacher and Music Department Chair. He was then promoted to the Division Coordinator for Fine Arts, Physical Education, Family & Consumer Science, and one of the 504 Coordinators.
“I am beyond excited to serve the District 64 students, staff, and community. The School Board, District Administrators, and Building Principals were wonderfully welcoming and encouraging throughout the interview and search process,” said Dr. Collins. “In my current role, I have a front-row seat to the world-class education District 64 students receive.”
“In the coming months, I look forward to working with the School Board, meeting staff and students, and listening to our community to ensure that our district’s mission is being carried out,” he further added.
The current Board made the final decision, but it was also a collaborative process with the three incoming members, who were involved in the interview process and conversations. Board Vice President Carol Sales headed the search for a new superintendent and echoed the excitement on this selection, “Dr. Collins is a well-known and respected member of our community for his leadership at Maine South,” said Sales.
“His strong and effective communication skills stood out amongst a group of very qualified candidates,” said Sales. “We look forward to him nurturing the education of our children through their more formative years in the empathetic manner he brought to his role at Maine South while respecting the traditions of D64 in educating the whole child.”
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Dr. Collins also holds a master’s degree in Music Education from Illinois and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. He received his doctorate from Loyola University Chicago.
Hiring a new superintendent is the final step in the process, which started in February. The Board selected Dr. Collins with the help of BWP & Associates search consultants. The Board interviewed six candidates in mid-April, recommended by BWP from a larger pool of 21 applicants. A Leadership Profile, prepared through input from the community via an online survey and small group meetings, also helped guide the Board through the process.