It's Official: Dist. 116 Has a Superintendent

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Susnjara

Constance Collins has cleared her final hoop and will be the first superintendent in eight years at Round Lake Area Unit District 116.

District 116's elected school board approved Collins' hiring Monday.

On Thursday, a five-member special state finance authority that's been in charge of the district since 2002 gave its blessing to make Collins' selection official.

Collins, 58, has been superintendent of Oak Park Elementary District 97 since 2005.

She'll begin her District 116 career July 1.

"Connie has had a stellar track record," said District 116 Chief Executive Officer Ben Martindale, who was hired by the state and will maintain limited involvement at the school system after he steps aside from full-time duties in late June.

District 116's financial affairs have been handled by the state finance authority, and not a local superintendent, since 2002.

In January, the state panel judged the district's finances to be healthy enough for the local board to resume control.

As part of regaining local control, the school board agreed earlier this week to hire Collins.

District 116 was near financial collapse when the state took over eight years ago.

Collins' initial base salary will be $207,000 under a five-year contract, which will require annual school board renewal. …