A petition drive began Sunday by a group of parents to influence the Board of Education to delay hiring a replacement for until after the April election.
Though Board President Ellen London maintains the members will follow the normal course of a search because they have a duty to do so, she said Monday part of the process has already been opened to the public.
As soon as the Board announced Goier will retire at the end of the 2012-13 school year, it said it would interview search firms in closed session Monday. It has now decided to make those interviews part of the meeting open to the public.
“There is no reason not to,” London said of the public interviews. “We changed the agenda to accommodate public comment.” Though the public comment section of the meetings are usually at the beginning, they will be heard after the interviews.
An ad hoc group of six District parents began organizing to delay the hiring process until after the next School Board election shortly after Goier announced her retirement. .
The group has grown to 30 people in the last month, according Jodi Shapira, one of the original organizers. She and the others first got to know each other during meetings attended by hundreds of Village residents during the contract negotiations between the District and the Deerfield Education Association teachers union.
“We found each other because we were the most involved,” Shapira said. “It came to me as Dr. Goier said she was retiring.” Though Shapira thinks the Board members are making an effort, she is concerned there will be changes come April. “The current School Board is really trying to listen now.”
The term of four of the Board’s seven members—London, Mike Rosenbaum, Debbie Muller and Ron Worth—expire in April which could result in a majority of new members.
Rosenbaum told Patch Monday he will not run. London, Muller and Worth have not made a decision. Nominating petitions are due in December.
London thinks it would be irresponsible for the Board to wait. “We have a fiduciary dury, moral duty and legal duty to do so,” she said of starting the search.
Another petition drive organizer, Robyn Whiteman, wants to see changes in the makeup of the Board. “Absolutely we want a change,” she said. She wants members whose children are current students. “When you no longer have children in the schools it’s time to move on.”
Though there may be a clamor for new Board members, the only one to make any decision so far is Rosenbaum. Shapira indicated as many as eight people have an interest in running but was not authorized to disclose names. She expects them to enter the race.
“I would be surprised if they don’t because they have become so passionate,” Shapira said. “Three are trying to decide between 109 or (Township High School District) 113.”