Thornton Township High School District 205 has a new person in the role of superintendent, even though the old official still has two years remaining on his contract.
The district Friday used its website to say John Arrington is now the acting superintendent for the district, which oversees Thornton High School in Harvey, Thornridge High School in Dolton and Thornwood High School in South Holland.
Arrington replaces Superintendent John Thomas, who was under contract through 2015.
Attempts to reach Thomas for comment were not successful.
Thomas had been hired away from the Carver Military Academy of Chicago in June 2012, following a nine-month search that occurred after longtime Superintendent Kamala Buckner resigned in 2011.
School Board President Kenneth Williams was unavailable Friday to comment on the situation, but Thomas’ removal by the School Board comes at a time when officials are trying to remove Williams from his post.
They say Williams' criminal conviction from 1985 in Indiana makes him ineligible under Illinois law to serve on a School Board, even though he was elected by voters in 2009 and 2013 and gained more votes than anyone else in this year’s election cycle. Williams was convicted of forgery and served 22 months of a five-year prison term.
Williams’ case comes up Wednesday at the Daley Center Courthouse in Chicago.
Associate Judge Rita Novak is scheduled to hear arguments from attorneys for Williams and for the state’s attorney’s office, which has been trying to remove Williams since December. She has said previously she will rule on Williams’ case as soon as possible after hearing arguments.
As for Arrington, he is not new to District 205. He has been human resources director since 2007 and he retains that title and those duties in addition to his superintendent title, according to the district's website.
Born in Dixmoor and a longtime Harvey resident, Arrington has a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He did undergraduate study at Chicago State University, and work toward a doctoral degree at Western Illinois University in Macomb, according to the District 205 website.
He served during the 1990s as an alderman in Harvey, and in 2004 tried to become the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois when GOP nominee Jack Ryan stepped down, according to the Our Campaigns website. Arrington also ran for the GOP nomination for the Senate in 2010, ultimately taking 2.8 percent of the primary election vote, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.