It’s done. 

The school board at Proviso High School District 209 has changed its leadership. Out as board president is Theresa Kelly.  In as board president is Teresa McKelvy.

Took a whole lot of disturbing political machinations for the new and narrow board majority to pull off this insider play. Kevin McDermott, the swing vote here, ought to be ashamed of the role he played in this sad game.

The upside though is that after a year of pretty much unqualified success in starting the slow process of turning this failed school district toward the light, the narrow new majority just couldn’t live with its progress, couldn’t avoid embracing the sort of political squabble that has turned the community sharply against it, and, so have now offered absolute clarity to voters on what must be done in school board elections now just 11 months away.

McDermott, McKelvy, Brian Cross and Dan Adams must be decisively turned out of office and replaced with more non-political, community-based, educationally focused board members.

In this silly and unnecessary battle to strip Kelly of her leadership post half-way through her agreed upon term, these four have made crystal clear where their interests and allegiances rest. And it is not with the thousands of young people whose futures have been trampled and ignored by this perpetually failed school board. It is not with taxpayers from nine decent towns whose hard-earned dollars have been taken from them without respect or a determination to right the political and educational malfeasance that has been perpetrated on this district.

This was petty but hardball politics. And its practitioners must be made to pay at the ballot box next April. 

As we have said previously, Ms. Kelly was an imperfect board president. Sincere though and focused on students and teachers and the community. Ham-handedly changing board policy in mid-stream to cut the term of a sitting president in half was a ludicrous response to personal disagreements over matters not of educational substance but of alleged slights.

Now is the time for the 209 Together movement to begin its search for a slate of four vital candidates for next April so that this sad district can once and for all be rid of the politics and self-dealing. 

Our thanks to the new board majority for so boldly defining the divide between this district’s pathetic political past and its prospects for a much better future. 

The campaign for the possibilities of District 209 starts right now.

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