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District 97 Board Appoints Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations

District 97 Superintendent Ushma Shah and the Board of Education are pleased to announce the appointment of Sheila Johnson as the assistant superintendent of finance and operations, effective July 1. She will take on the responsibilities of the district’s senior director of finance, Patrick King, who is leaving District 97 on June 24 to become the Chief School Business Official (CSBO) in Maercker School District 60.

The board of education approved Johnson’s appointment during its regular meeting May 23. 

“As we prepare for the upcoming school year, our assistant superintendent of finance and operations will play a key role in ensuring strong operational systems and resource responsibility,” Shah said. “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Johnson to our senior leadership team, and for her to be part of the district alignment work ahead.”

In addition to overseeing the core functions of finance for District 97, Johnson will also be responsible for departments that oversee facilities, maintenance, custodial services, transportation, and food services—all of which are key investments that impact the experiences of the district’s students, families and staff. Johnson’s position is part of a larger reorganization and role transitions taking place in the district ahead of the 2023-24 school year. The district will share the complete organizational structure after new administrator contracts take effect on July 1.  

“I am honored to serve as the assistant superintendent of finance and operations for District 97,” Johnson said. “I will keep student learning as my primary focus while ensuring that students, teachers, and staff have the resources they need to be successful.”

Johnson comes to District 97 with more than 12 years of experience in education and finance. She is currently the assistant superintendent of business at Rich Township High School District 227 in Matteson, where she oversees the areas of business, food service, security, buildings and grounds, technology and transportation.

She previously served as the business manager for Lyons School District 103, director of business services for Niles High School District 219, and director of finance and operations for Fairmont School District 89 in Lockport.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Robert Morris College, a master’s degree in business from the University of Phoenix, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Phoenix. She earned her Chief School Business Official (CSBO) certification from Northern Illinois University, and completed coursework in human resources at Northwestern University.

“Dr. Johnson is an experienced and dedicated professional who will be a valuable asset as we work toward our goal of operational excellence in District 97,” Shah said. “As we welcome her to Oak Park, we also want to thank Patrick King for his leadership in the business department over the past four years. We are grateful for his many contributions and his dedication to our community.”