March 1, 2021

Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 Board of Education President Justin Engelland
Lake Forest Community High School District 115 Board of Education President David Lane
We are pleased to announce that tonight during a Joint Special Meeting, the Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 and Lake Forest Community High School District 115 Boards of Education approved the hiring of Dr. Constance R. Collins as Interim Superintendent for both Districts, effective March 8 - June 30, 2021.

Candidates for the role were vetted thoroughly in a process that included research, Board interviews, deliberations, detailed references, and background checks. Dr. Collins was selected for her consistent track record as a high-performing Lake County superintendent, depth of experience as a K-12 educator, financial acumen and management skills, and outstanding references. Dr. Collins brings to our Districts a unique mix of technical skills as an educator and administrator that will enable both robust planning for the 2021-2022 school year, and a smooth transition as we prepare to welcome our next superintendent.

“I love the K-12 environment,” says Dr. Collins. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with two Districts that are so committed to developing the capacity, character, and confidence of each and every student.”

Dr. Constance R. Collins is a native of Gary, Indiana. She received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Speech and Hearing Therapy and a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Speech Pathology from Indiana University. Her early work experience as a Speech Pathologist in a rehabilitation center was followed by public school employment opportunities in Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania and Michigan. While in Pennsylvania, Dr. Collins enrolled at Pennsylvania State University and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Communication Disorders with an emphasis in Stuttering Therapy. Dr. Collins later obtained principal and superintendent certificates while enrolled at Grand Valley State University. While in the Grand Rapids area, Dr. Collins began her K-12 administrative career as a Special Education Supervisor, Special Education Director, Elementary Principal, and Area Superintendent.

In 2002, Dr. Collins became Superintendent of Zion Elementary School District 6. She also served as Superintendent of Oak Park Elementary School District 97 from 2005-2010. In 2010, Dr. Collins was named Superintendent of Round Lake Area Schools, Community Unit School District 116, serving 7,300 students from five communities. During her tenure in Round Lake, she was instrumental in progressing the District from State Financial Authority oversight to receiving the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for four consecutive years, and the Pathway to the Meritorious Budget Award. She led the development of two five-year strategic plans, the successful passage of a building bond referendum, the opening of a school-based health center (the first of its kind in the county), the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program, and the establishment of a nonprofit education foundation. Dr. Collins retired from District 116 in June 2018 and now serves as an associate with Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA).

Dr. Collins is the recipient of numerous awards including the Lake County Superintendent of the Year (2018) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) School Administrator of Excellence “Those Who Excel Award” (2018). She also serves on the boards of several organizations including the District Administration Leadership Institute, the ECRA Advisory Board, and the YWCA of Lake County.

Finally, in addition to her respected credentials, passion for education, and many accolades, there is a warmth and energy that Dr. Collins brings to our Districts that is sure to help propel us forward. A March 8 start date will allow Dr. Collins to begin transitioning into her interim role by working closely with Superintendent Simeck during his remaining tenure in Districts 67 and 115 (through March 31, 2021). With the Superintendent's guidance, Dr. Collins will immediately begin engaging with teachers, staff, administrators, parent organizations, and students. The community at large will also have an opportunity to get better acquainted with Dr. Collins in early April when we will host two town halls, one for District 67 families and another for District 115 families.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Constance Collins (Connie) to our Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Knollwood school communities!