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109 Parents Ask Delay of Goier Replacement

Petition drive asks 109 to wait until new board is seated in April. Interviews of search firms to find new superintendent will be public Monday.

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.”

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barry July 10, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Ellen London....again says all the things that SOUND right....except they are WRONG. Not just wrong, but she is again just being divisive, misleading and arrogant. In other words, she sounds very much like I do.....when I'm lying. She, at best, should be "sanctioned" (silenced, etc.) By a majority of the board members should they ever themselves decide to awaken from a deep sleep and come to their senses. Any responsible taxpayer, with or without children in the district NEEDS to run....not walk, to get their name on that petition a.s.a.p.
MSB July 10, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I only wished that Ellen London and the board felt that they had a “fiduciary duty, moral duty and legal duty” to provide an appropriate education for ALL of the students within their district. They failed at their responsibilities to the community and to our children.
RB July 11, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Just combine with 113, problem solved. Save some money. 113 would probably not welcome the 109 fiasco, but so what. While we are at it, let's save more money and roll the Park District into the Village. These excess taxing bodies are unaffordable and from what I've seen on these boards 109 will never satisfy parents, they don't like the admin, or the school board....so combine the Districts. End of school board, end of administration, end of a student having to adjust from one districts philosophy to the 113 philosophy, and end of the double expense.
David Greenberg July 11, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Combining with 113 would be interesting, but as 113 overlays multiple elementary school districts, it'd require the consent of all the overlaid Boards of Education for each District. Considering the holy war that took place when we consolidated elementary districts into D112 here in Highland Park - I have doubts that a consolidation with D113 would happen. You'd probably have better luck dissolving the Deerfield Park District and rolling it into the Village's operations.
David Greenberg July 11, 2012 at 07:15 AM
A fiduciary duty refers to making certain the financials of the District are handled properly. If one of the Asst. Superintendents can't handle the financial aspects of the District while the Superintendent is absent - then you've already got huge problems. A moral duty? Not unless you buy into the concept that without a Superintendent for a few months the whole District will descend into immoral chaos. I've known some pretty zany teachers in my day, but somehow I suspect that turning the District into a haven for Sodom and Gomorrah isn't going to happen if you don't have a Superintendent chosen until after the election. Legal Duty? Well, if that's the case, then so long as the Board is actively searching for a Superintendent - who's to say how long it takes? And if it takes until after the election - oh well, I suppose that the Asst. Superintendents will have to handle it until then.... Perhaps a compromise would be for the current Board to bring in a Superintendent that's got a 1 yr contract and is given notice upon hiring that the contract is not likely to be renewed. This could make the search even more interesting than it already is...

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