Two more administrators in Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 are out after the Board of Education’s regular meeting March 24.
Kelly Baas, the district’s curriculum director, told the district she would resign before the meeting and longtime Maintenance Director Tom Sheehy’s contact was not renewed, the board announced after it returned from executive session.
Interim Superintendent Kyle Hastings said he did not know whether the district would hire someone to fill Sheehy’s position or if the position would be cut. Hastings said the district was still discussing how to move forward.
The board also approved one-year contracts for administrators at the meeting. All received a 3-percent increase in salary, except for Jacqui Parisi, the district’s certified school business officer, who was making $500 a day in her interim position and was approved for an annual salary of $118,000.
The following salaries were approved for administrators by the board unanimously: Principal Janice Bernard, $132,268; Principal Andrea Maslan, $111,232; Principal Alberto Molina, $101,900; Principal Kim Ontiveros, $96,667; Principal Katherine Schumann, $104,477; Assistant Principal Anthony DeFeo, $70,040; and Assistant Principal Catherine Eichhammer, $79,405.
George Washington Middle School Principal Paul Bleuher, who was hired last year, did not have a contract approved at the meeting. An action item regarding the reclassification of a principal and then that person’s dismissal as a teacher was pulled from the agenda, Board President Michael Bennett announced at the start of the meeting.
Hastings said that the district was in negotiations with Bleuher over his contract and declined to provide more information about his future in the district.
The board also approved one-year contracts and salaries for Special Education Director Beth Malinski, who will receive a salary of $99,930; Pre-School Director Chris Newell for $97,060; and Technology Director John Williamsen at $91,670.
A number of non-contracted employees also received a 3 percent salary increases after a unanimous vote for approval by the board. The number of non-contract employees and their titles were not provided by the district.
Union president calls for transparency
Toni Brandt, president of the District 103 Teachers Union, criticized the district during public comment for not including the board’s agenda packet on its website for the third meeting in a row.
Hastings said after the meeting that the packet, which generally provides additional information about agenda items the board will discuss, was removed at the suggestion of the district’s lawyer. Hastings said that information about employees that should not have been released was released incorrectly through the board packets in the past.
When asked later, Brandt said that she could think of no instance in which a teacher had private information released via the board packet.
Similarly, board members Sharon Anderson and Joanne Schaffer each said they could not recall anything like that ever happening. Both said they supported having the district provide that information and both said they were not consulted about its removal.
“I really don’t understand that decision,” Anderson said.
Hastings said that the only way a parent or member of the public could get the information was to formally file a request through the Freedom of Information Act. Hastings said the district is only required by law to post the agenda, not information about the agenda items.
For an example of the length the district is taking that view, even though the salary figures of administrators receiving raises were read aloud at the meeting, Hastings refused to repeat them a second time after the meeting without a FOIA request.
“There is information in the agenda packets that directly affect’s families,” Brandt said of why they should be released with the agenda. “The district now only puts up the bare minimum.”
Hastings said that he felt the board was more transparent now than it has ever been, regardless of the lack of information items provided to the public about what the board will discuss during their meetings.
“It seems to me, when [Hastings] talks about transparency, it’s only about things he wants,” Brandt said. “Why would you take away information for the parents to see? How is that transparent?”