Witham leaving Oak Park-River Forest for New Trier
Updated: May 8, 2013 12:58PM
OAK PARK — Cheryl Witham, Oak Park-River Forest High School’s assistant superintendent for finance and operations, is leaving the school to take the same position at New Trier High School in District 203.
Witham informed the D200 school board of her decision during an executive session Tuesday night. The resignation is effective July 1.
“New Trier selected Witham to replace Associate Superintendent Donald Goers, who is retiring,” OPRF spokesman Karin Sullivan said in a press release Wednesday. Sullivan said Witham will “manage all business and operational services; oversee insurance, transportation, food service, and purchasing programs; and represent District 203 as the chief negotiator in bargaining with employee associations.”
“I’ve really enjoyed my nearly 11 years with the district,” Witham said of her time at OPRF. “I’ve learned a great deal during that time, and I look forward to the new and different challenges at New Trier.”
Sullivan said Witham, who started at OPRF in July 2002, oversaw improvement in the high school’s budgeting process and credit rating, and worked to identify $6.2 million in cost savings.
Sullivan noted that during Witham’s tenure, the district earned its first Standard and Poor’s AAA bond rating, a rating held by only 67 high school districts in the nation. D200 has also earned awards and recognition for financial excellence from a variety of professional organizations.
River Forest Village President John Rigas, who worked with Witham for more than six years while a D200 board member, praised Witham and said OPRF’s loss is New Trier’s gain.
“That’s too bad,” he said of the news. “Cheryl understands finances and operations at the highest level I’ve seen in schools or government.”
“I think New Trier has gotten a great person.”
Sullivan said the OPRF board plans to initiate a search for Witham’s replacement this spring and intends to have that person in place by the start of the fiscal year on July 1.