Former RPS 205 superintendent to head Rockton schools

Dr. Robert Willi
Dr. Robert Willis

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

The Rockton School District Board of Education, Wednesday, April 23, voted unanimously to ratify the contract of former District 205 head Dr. Robert Willis.

Willis currently serves as the interim superintendent of the Meridian School District in Stillman Valley, Ill. That’s the same position he held in Rockford after Superintendent Dr. LaVonne Sheffield resigned in the midst of brutal labor talks and massive budget cuts.

Willis was hired to right the District 205 ship in 2011. During his tenure as interim superintendent, the district improved its budget and came to terms with teachers after months of negotiations and a short strike. Willis was succeeded by Dr. Ehren Jarrett in 2013.

In Rockton, Willis will face some of the same challenges, as budget cuts have increased steadily over the past few years. The Rockton School District consists of Rockton Grade School, Whitman Post Elementary and Stephen Mack Middle School.

According to his one-year contract, Willis will start July 1 and work 100 days at a rate of $750 per day for the 2014-15 school year. He replaces Dr. Michael Greenlee.