Constance Rupert Collins is a native of Gary, Indiana. She received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Speech and Hearing Therapy and a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Speech Pathology from Indiana University.
Her early work experience as a Speech Pathologist in a rehabilitation center was followed by public school employment opportunities in Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania and Michigan. While in Pennsylvania, Dr. Collins enrolled at The Pennsylvania State University and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Communication Disorders with an emphasis in Stuttering Therapy. During that time, she published an article which appeared in the Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders.
Connie later obtained principal and superintendent certificates while enrolled at Grand Valley State University (Michigan). While in the Grand Rapids area, Dr. Collins began her administrative career as a Special Education Supervisor, Special Education Director, Elementary Principal, and Area Superintendent.
In 2002, Dr. Collins sought and accepted the opportunity to become Superintendent, Zion Elementary School District 6 (Zion, Illinois). She also served five years as Superintendent of Oak Park Elementary School District 97 from 2005-2010. In 2010, Dr. Collins became Superintendent of Round Lake Area Schools, Community Unit School District #116 serving 7,300 students from five communities. She has been instrumental during her tenure with RLAS-116 in progressing the district from State Financial Authority to receiving the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award for the last four consecutive years and the Pathway to the Meritorious Budget Award. Additionally, she led the development of a 5-year strategic plan, the successful passage of a building bond referendum, the opening of a School-Based Health Center—the first of its kind in the county, the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program, and the establishment of an Education Foundation.
Superintendent Collins is a repeat presenter for the National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC) and the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). She is a life member of NABSE, Co-founder and Co-Director of the NABSE Aspiring Superintendents Summer Institute, which began in June 2011. Because the 2011 Summer Institute has successfully responded to the development and leadership needs of aspiring superintendents across the country, the sixth institute will be hosted during the summer of 2016. In May 2015 she was elected to serve as secretary on the NABSE Board of Directors. Effective June 2016, The Aspiring Superintendents Summer Institute became a 501c3 operated under Harrison Williams Collins Executive Leadership Institute (HWC-ELI) where Dr. Collins as a Co-Partner and Co-Founder.
Dr. Collins serves as a board member on a number of organizations including: YWCA of Lake County, SJCB Performing Arts Center, Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, Northern Lake County Conference, ECRA Advisory Board, Fox Lake/Round Lake Rotary Club, Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Round Lake Area Exchange Club.
Dr. Collins is recipient of the following awards and recognitions: Phi Delta Kappa Award- Recognition of Extraordinary Dedication and Commitment to Education (2003); National Council on Educating Black Children- Educator of the Year (2006); Cognitive Concepts, Inc. -Excellence in Education Award- (2006); Oak Park Villager of the Year -Honorable Mention (2008); distinguished “Women of Power”- Alpha Kappa Alpha (2009), National Alliance of Black School Educators -“Phenomenal Woman” award (2009), NABSE Co-Superintendent of the Year Award (2011), AASA Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award (2012), Greenbelt Cultural Center Profiles in Excellence (2013), the Most Influential African Americans of Lake County Vision Award (2014), and the Most Influential African American of Lake County (2017). She also annually awards the “Jennifer Noelle Collins Performing Arts Scholarship” to a talented musician.