School Board President Harmon Mitchell Reflects on District 205

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- In one week voters will choose a new Rockford School Board. And once the District 205 board gets it's new members it will then have to vote for a new president.

Harmon Mitchell is leaving after six years on the board and two years as the board's leader. 23 News Anchor Mike Garrigan had the chance to sit down with Mitchell to talk about a tenure that included working with four different superintendents. And the hiring of a fifth.

"There's no secret to success Mike it's working together" And according to Harmon Mitchell working together was not a strong point of the District 205 school board when he joined it six years ago.

"Very Contentious 6 years ago, almost coming to blows because they couldn't get anything done." "The last two years, working together we've got a lot of stuff done," Mitchell said.

Some of that stuff includes an unprecedented four year contract with teachers and a three year contract with a fourth year option for incoming Superintendent Ehren Jarrett.

"Look at the stability of a four year teacher contract along with the stability an administration that is ready to roll come July 1st. That is a feeding frenzy for the rest of the community," Mitchell said.

Other major district accomplishments since Mitchell took over as school board president include a bond referendum passing, the school's bond rating increasing, the launching of career academies, an added 7th hour and one accomplishment that Mitchell says should not be overlooked. Moving the administration building from Madison Street to the old Amcore Bank Building on 7th Street.

"That was a huge step in the right direction. Accomplished a lot not only nice digs but we are revitalizing the 7th street area, " Mitchell said.

Mitchell says he's proud of the board's accomplishment but there is still much more for the new board president to help get done.

Mitchell had high praise for Interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Willis. He said no one epitomized the term working together better than Dr. Willis during his two years leading District 205.

Mitchell is running for Rockford Township Supervisor against longtime Incumbent Mickey Goral.

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