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District 86 Board of Education Approves Three-Year Contract Extension for Superintendent Prentiss

During its meeting on Nov. 19, the District 86 Board of Education unanimously approved a three-year contract extension for Superintendent Tammy Prentiss that will take effect on July 1, 2021 and run through June 30, 2024. Prentiss was appointed to the position on March 4, 2019, and took over the role less than two months later when Dr. Bruce Law left to become the superintendent for Township High School District 113.

“On behalf of the board, I want to congratulate Superintendent Prentiss on her well-deserved contract extension,” said Board President Kevin Camden. “During the 18 months she has served as superintendent, Ms. Prentiss has demonstrated the same exemplary leadership, collaborative spirit and passionate advocacy for children that have been the hallmarks of her career as an educator and administrator for the past 30 years. Thanks to her hard work and tireless efforts, we have made significant progress on key initiatives such as the implementation of our strategic plan and completion of critical upgrades and improvements to our facilities. We have strengthened our relationships with our stakeholders, and expanded the opportunities that exist for them to engage in and contribute to the work of the district. We have also been able to effectively navigate the myriad issues and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited that Ms. Prentiss will continue to serve in this role for the next three years, and greatly appreciate all that she does to help our students learn, grow and achieve.”

Below are several of the major accomplishments the district has achieved during Ms. Prentiss’ tenure as superintendent.

  • The continued advancement of the strategic plan, most notably in the areas of curriculum alignment, grading and assessment practices, and racial and cultural equity. This has been highlighted by the efforts to align courses, grading and assessments in the district’s math and science departments, as well as the formation of groups such as the Building Equity Action Team and Culture and Equity Leadership Team that are helping to actualize and celebrate the core values of equity and diversity that are a driving force for the strategic plan.

  • The completion of critical upgrades and improvements to the learning spaces, athletic facilities and infrastructure at both high schools. This referendum-related work has not only been done on time, it is currently under budget by more than $770,000.

  • The customization of the district’s policy manual to align it more closely with the policies that are created and maintained by IASB's Policy Reference Education Subscription Service, and establish a cadence for performing updates that will help ensure a more timely compliance with changes to state and federal statutes.

  • The expansion of the size and scope of the Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee so that key stakeholder groups would have increased access and opportunity to provide feedback on important issues and initiatives and help advance the work of the strategic plan.

  • The investment in resources (e.g., upgrades to our security camera system, the addition of security staff, the creation of command centers in each of our high schools, and student and staff participation in ALICE training) that are helping to preserve and protect the safety and security of our students and staff, as well as visitors to our buildings.

  • The formation of the Superintendent’s Roundtable, which is a group that was created and is led by Ms. Prentiss. This group is composed of staff from across the district who met on a regular basis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss a variety of issues aimed at improving and enhancing the work environment for all employees.

  • The implementation of Wednesday Walkthroughs at Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South and the Transition Center as a means for staying updated on what is going on across the district, while also cultivating relationships with students, faculty and staff.

Prentiss thanked the board for giving her the chance to build on these accomplishments over the next few years.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the board for its belief in me and the work we are doing to help our students down the path toward their ideal future,” said Prentiss. “We have been able to accomplish a great deal during the past two years, even in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. This is a testament to the tremendous talent and selfless dedication of our faculty and staff, the unwavering support of the board and our community, and, most importantly, the strong and steadfast commitment to education that our learners display on a daily basis. I am incredibly excited for the next three years, and look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to foster the continued success of our schools and the students we serve.”

While the board agreed on the length of the extension, Camden said the decision about compensation will come at a later date.

“The board chose to proceed with the extension at this time to not only recognize and reward Ms. Prentiss for the outstanding job she has done, but also assure the staff and community that there will be continuity and stability in this key leadership position for the next three years. With that said, we are currently engaged in or are preparing to begin negotiations on new contracts with all three of our employee groups (the Hinsdale High School Teachers Association, the Hinsdale Township High School Support Staff and the Service Employees International Union), and believe it is critical to finalize the financial aspects of those agreements before deciding on compensation for the superintendent.”

Biographical Information
Tammy Prentiss has served as the superintendent for District 86 since May 1, 2019. Prior to that, she was the district’s assistant superintendent for student services for nearly five years, the assistant director of the Cooperative Association of Special Education (CASE) for four years, and spent 19 years serving in various teaching and administrative roles for Community Consolidated School District 93.

Ms. Prentiss holds a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and an Educational Specialist degree from Northern Illinois University. She is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Aurora University.