You can't make this stuff up

Opinion: Editorials

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The Landmark View

In the years this newspaper has been covering school governance – that's more than 23 years under the current leadership – we've seen some remarkable things – good, bad and just plain weird.

But when it comes to forehead-slapping moments, no one can touch those currently behind the wheel in Lyons-Brookfield School District 103.

The latest is an announcement by the superintendent late last week that he was recommending hiring the person he replaced – a person essentially forced out by the school board that hired him – to come back as combo middle school principal/assistant superintendent.

Does anyone over there really think anyone is actually buying that story?

What school district superintendent would think, "We can't let this career high school teacher and administrator, who has never served in any capacity as a principal, slip through our fingers.

"We need to make this person, who until only recently had my job, our middle school principal and we need her to figure out how to be a principal while serving as my subordinate in the central office."

Anybody who thinks this arrangement is going to last is out of their minds. It's our educated guess that Carol Baker is being brought back to resume her old job, when Supt. Kristopher Rivera's contract expires or sooner. 

We say sooner, because we also have an educated guess that any other superintendent faced with such a predicament would be looking for the nearest exit.

But, this is the kind of situation we've come to expect from a politically controlled school board that has so little regard for the public that it will hire the first pal it can find rather than conduct a bona fide search for what would appear to be a critical administrative position.

It's going to take a very special kind of person, indeed, to learn how to be a middle school principal – at a school that has seen a parade of principals in recent years – while also overseeing important central office matters.

In fact, we can't ever recall seeing such a Frankenstein's monster of a job in all our years covering schools.

Add to it all the fact that this administrator was hired for District 103's top job by an earlier version of this politically controlled school board, shown the door when that majority was tossed out and then rehired when political control was restored and you have a genuinely dismal situation.

District 103 voters, this is what you said you wanted, and brother are you getting it.

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Reader Comments

4 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Patrick Benjamin from Brookfield   

Posted: May 27th, 2020 12:56 AM

Clearly not an OpEd written by Bob Uphues.

Marge Kaczmarek Hubacek  

Posted: May 26th, 2020 11:04 PM

For those interested in hearing what went on at tonight's meeting it was recorded and an audio recording is supposed to be posted on the District's website tomorrow. The majority got what they wanted except Jorge wanted the board meeting changed to 6pm that did not pass. The meetings remain at 7pm. Thank you to all who came to the rally

Joanne Schaeffer  

Posted: May 26th, 2020 9:41 PM

Unbelievable isn't even the word for the unqualified political hires and fires going on in 103, it is disgusting. The lack of qualified, intelligent leadership is the only outstanding action exhibited by the Board and Administration. It is unimaginable that unqualified people are hired for important positions such as Geo Washington Middle School principal right after she was let go from Hinsdale HS after one year and a Maintenance Director whose experience is working at Auto Zone and selling roofing products. And let's not forget the Special Ed director that was not certified in the field!!!!! Why not!!!!! Please pray for our kids and district, it is the only hope we have. RBL is right, so was our former business director, Jim Schiffer, when they said 'ya couldn't make this stuff up!!!!'

Toni Parker  

Posted: May 26th, 2020 9:16 PM

Once again we must thank the School Code for having provided in 105 ILCS 5/2-3.25f-5 the means to remove a Board that has repeatedly failed in governance to the point of adversely affecting the quality of education and replacing that Board with an Independent Authority.

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