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After eight years on the job, Ryan Pitcock was relieved of his duties as principal of Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

  Ryan Pitcock

The District 233 board held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss his employment and agreed to buy out the remaining year of his contract. He will be paid salary and benefits through June 30, 2017.

Pitcock told the Chronicle Wednesday: “I did my very best working with department chairs, teachers and administrators to improve learning and achievement indicators.”

Pitcock was sanguine about his contract buy-out saying “all good things come to an end” and that “it was great to be a Viking.”

The board, working with Superintendent Von Mansfield, will shortly begin a search for a new principal. Jodi Bryant, director of public relations and human resources, said the board will ensure “a smooth transition.”

“Personnel decisions are confidential in nature. While neither the board nor administration is able to legally release specific information about this personnel decision, the board members believe they acted in the best interest of the students, parents/guardians, staff and the Homewood-Flossmoor community by taking action at this time,” Bryant said.

Pitcock most recently was directed by the board to work with students to come to an agreement on an approved music playlist for school dances.

He also was responsible for telling senior Taiylar Ball that she would not be allowed to attend prom after she used the N-word, prohibited speech at H-F, in a school talent show. She made that decision public and through social media gained national attention.

Bryant said Pitcock’s actions on that issue were “totally unrelated” to the board’s decision.

Pitcock, 43, came to H-F after serving as principal at Crown Point High School in Crown Point, Ind. His last year there he was named Indiana’s “Principal of the Year.”

While at H-F, Pitcock was nominated for the 2015 Golden Apple Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award.

He has a Ph.D. in K-12 school administration from Indiana State University, a M.A.T. degree from Washington University and an A.B. degree from Wabash College. He started his career as an English teacher at Merrillville High in Merrillville, Ind.

Bryant shared a statement from the District 233 board:

“It is the board’s express mission to maintain the greatest expectations in academics, civil responsibility and personal growth of all the students in our diverse community; and to improve the quality of life for each and every student through the educational experience at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School.

“As public servants, elected by the members of our community, we take our responsibilities as school board members seriously and will continue to act in the best interest of the students, parents/guardians, staff and the greater Homewood-Flossmoor community.

“We thank Dr. Pitcock for his service to the district and wish him well in his future endeavors.


The text of the email announcement sent to parents and the community Wednesday morning:

On June 21, 2016, the Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233 Board of Education voted to buy out the employment contract of Principal Dr. Ryan M. Pitcock. Dr. Pitcock had approximately one year remaining on his four-year contract. Per the terms of his contract, he will be paid his salary and benefits through June 30, 2017.

Personnel decisions are confidential in nature. While neither the Board nor Administration is able to legally release specific information about this personnel decision, the Board members believe they acted in the best interest of the students, parents/guardians, staff and the Homewood-Flossmoor community by taking action at this time.

Superintendent Dr. Von Mansfield will work with the Board and Administration to begin a search for a new principal, and in the interim, will ensure a smooth administrative transition moving forward.

It is the Board’s express mission to maintain the greatest expectations in academics, civil responsibility and personal growth of all the students in our diverse community; and to improve the quality of life for each and every student through the educational experience at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School. As public servants, elected by the members of our community, we take our responsibilities as School Board members seriously and will continue to act in the best interest of the students, parents/guardians, staff and the greater Homewood-Flossmoor community.

We thank Dr. Pitcock for his service to the district and wish him well in his future endeavors. 

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