Again, the school board in District 209 is searching for a new superintendent after voting late last month to accept the resignation of Stan Fields. It took only a year for the vitriolic group to wear Fields out. Now faculty and staff are on the verge of seeing their fifth superintendent in just two years.
Interestingly enough, Fields’ resignation letter was described by the school district as a “letter of public apology.” It’s unclear exactly what Fields should be apologizing for and until the district is willing to spell out the reasons for Fields’ departure, we perceive this to be spin, at best.
Readers of this newspaper will remember the school board’s public honeymoon with Fields ended about the same time the former superintendent criticized the board for paying more than $200,000 a year in brokerage fees to Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore. For those not familiar with this plot line, Moore moonlights as an insurance broker to the high schools and has collected a handsome fee for doing so.
Roughly at this same juncture, Fields refused to put his name on a contract with a local maintenance company hired to service the district’s office machines. In typical Proviso fashion, there were no documents for the public to review.
It’s obvious to us that this school board, led by President Chris Welch, is committed to scheming the public out of a decent education. The actions of these board members tell us that their sole interest in District 209 is to further political careers and raid the public’s coffers in the meantime. If anyone owes the public an apology it is this shameful group.
Going forward, applicants hoping to take a spin in the superintendent’s chair at the Proviso Township High School District should take note of the language used to describe the position’s responsibilities. Perhaps a minor point, we find it telling that the school board’s authority is invoked seven times. This body has a history of wanting to control the schools–and all the jobs and money that entails–with a stranglehold that is not to be questioned.
It’s true that the board has the final say in setting policy. It’s also true that anyone interested in keeping the job must please at least a majority of the seven board members. But as long as this group of laymen insists on pushing the buttons and pulling the levers behind every administrative decision, no serious educator will stay for long.
This school board is interested in submissive administrators. Just read the job description.