Page 1


V ol. 8 6, N o . 1



housands of school leaders

now, and, if you couldn’t make it to

In 17 years at IASB, he oversaw

gathered at the 2017 Joint

Conference, query those who did

millions of words printed, posted,

Annual Conference for “Leading

about their takeaways. And please

streamed, and spoken. He guided

by Learning,” three days of profes-

read on.

Association communications fully

sional engagement, involvement, enlightenment, and development. One thing is for certain, we nev-

In this issue of The Illinois

into the digital age, while maintain-

School Board Journal, we share

ing an old (sorry, Jim) newspaper-

stories and photographs from the

man’s dedication to consistency,

2017 Joint Annual Conference. Bob

integrity, and quality. Notable among

Attendees shared, via sticky

Levy, our Conference photographer,

Russell’s recent accomplishments is

notes, one thing they had learned

hustles to every corner to capture

surviving the 2016 World Series. As a

at Conference. They suggested wear-

a nd pre s er ve key moment s of

mournful Cleveland Indians devotee

ing comfortable shoes and asking

Conference. We also hear from

stuck in meetings with gleeful Cubs

for help to navigate the Conference.

David E. Bartz, professor emeritus

fans, he was a trooper through those

Younger guests had words of advice

in the Department of Educational

dark November days.

such as “be kind” and wisdom such

L eadership at E a ster n I l l inois

I also hope you’ll share in my

as “Chicago is big.” Other attend-

University, whose post-Conference

gratitude to Barbara B. Toney, who

ees learned about grant writing,

comment ar y w il l uplif t school

retired in December from her role

planning for unexpected expenses,

board members.

as a field services director — and,

er stop learning.

superintendent evaluation, working

TASB, the Texas Association

really, so much more — for IASB.

with families in poverty, long-range

of School Boards, has shared an

If you ever worked with Barb, as a

planning, legislative issues, and the

account of the aftermath of Hur-

board member or co-worker, you

importance of networking.

ricane Harvey, its impact on one

know what I mean when I say she

One commenter said, “I have

school district, and TASB’s efforts to

is a brilliant bestower of what we

learned more than I could possibly

help. Although we hope such a large-

need to know and a true champion of

put on a Post-It note.”

scale natural disasters are rare, the

public school governance in Illinois.

As important as ever yone’s

stories of resilience, assistance, and

Thank you, Jim and Barb! I

participation was, the next step is

recovery are important lessons for

wish you well in retirement, and

equally valuable: Sharing what you

school leaders.

assure you that the lessons you’ve

learned with your school districts

This Journal also offers a farewell

and communities. The next Confer-

commentary from James Russell, who

ence theme, “Leadership: Sharing

retired in late 2017 as associate exec-

the Vision,” emphasizes this as well.

utive director for Communications

We ask attendees to start by sharing

and Production Services.

taught will be remembered and shared further down the road. — Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor


COVER STORY 9 Public education officials lead by learning Review the 2017 Joint Annual Conference’s professional development for public

school leaders in Illinois and revisit “Leading by Learning” in words and pictures. By Kara Kienzler Photography By Robert Levy


Passing the torch Retired from the IASB Communications department after 17-plus years, Jim Russell reflects on good ideas, not-so-good ideas, good people, and the ambitious projects undertaken in his tenure. By James Russell

20 Board members are rare birds After attending the Joint Annual Conference with family, a veteran educator of educators has this piece of advice for school board members: “Don’t ever change.” By David E. Bartz

22 Rising above the storm

In the wake of devastating Hurricane Harvey, a Texas school district responds with strength and resilience. By Roger White

28 Effective boards require PD for teachers, administrators, and themselves Professional development is critical in the public education setting, creating a focus on high expectations and continuous improvement. By Keith Pain

J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y

2 0 1 8

Vol. 86, No. 1

ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL (ISSN-0019-221X) is published every other month by the Illinois Association of School Boards, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929, telephone 217/528-9688. The IASB regional office is located at One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120, telephone 630/629-3776. The JOURNAL is supported by the dues of school boards holding active membership in the Illinois Association of School Boards. Copies are mailed to all school board members and the superintendent in each IASB member school district. Non-member subscription rate: Domestic $18 per year. Foreign (including Canada and Mexico) $21 per year. PUBLICATION POLICY IASB believes that the domestic process functions best through frank and open discussion. Material published in the JOURNAL, therefore, often presents divergent and controversial points of view which do not necessarily represent the views or policies of IASB. Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor Gary Adkins, Contributing Editor Heath Hendren, Contributing Editor Britni Beck, Advertising Manager Katie Grant, Design and Production

REGULAR FEATURES Front Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover Practical PR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Copyright © 2018 by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), The JOURNAL is published six times a year and is distributed to its members and subscribers. Copyright in this publication, including all articles and editorial information contained in it is exclusively owned by IASB, and IASB reserves all rights to such information. IASB is a tax-exempt corporation organized in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Milestones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ask the Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover @ILschoolboards


From the ground up

Building a school communications program By Kara Beach and Amy Melinder

Kara Beach is communications specialist for Wheeling CCSD 21 and co-vice president of programs for INSPRA. Amy Melinder is director of community engagement for Woodridge SD 68 and co-vice president of membership for INSPRA


ommunicating with stakehold-

What thoughts or feelings come

For example, an audit may reveal

ers is vitally important, and

to mind when your school district

that a middle school principal puts

it’s an ongoing effort — not some-

is mentioned? Does your response

a great deal of effort into creating a

thing that can be checked off a list

match the sentiment of your staff,

paper newsletter, but the paper hard-

and quickly forgotten as the next

parents, and non-parent community

ly ever makes it into the backpacks,

task takes center stage. When time

members? How do you know? How

and then into the homes, of the

and resources are limited, however,

likely are those stakeholders to share

middle school students. Likewise, a

how can school board members and

a positive impression of your school

teacher may be interested in starting

administrators maintain an effective

district with others?

a classroom Twitter account but later

two-way dialogue with the communi-

Developing a positive brand iden-

learns that very few of his parents

ty? Where can the district start when

tity doesn’t happen overnight, but

have or are interested in creating

it has few — or no — communications

implementing a few key strategies will,

accounts themselves.

basics in place?

over time, develop into those favorable

Is a strategic school communicaThe answer is a resounding yes!

Implementing strategies and tactics

Where to begin?

Successful communications

Conversations are happening through-

Start with an audit of your exist-

strategies and tactics will leave the

out the community, whether you, as a

ing communications tactics. How

stakeholder with a reinforced notion

school district, are an active partici-

do you communicate with parents?

of the district’s mission or vision and

pant or not. You should not just be a

What about non-parent community

a clear, positive association with the

part of the conversation, but direct

members? Are you reaching your

district’s brand.

that conversation.

stakeholders in ways they want to

Meet your audiences where

be reached? Is your communication

they are. Through your audit, you

timely and relevant?

will quickly discover where your

What thoughts or feelings come to mind at the mention of Disney,


thoughts and feelings you desire.

tions program necessary?

Nike, Google, or McDonald’s? The

This audit can be done internal-

positive (and sometimes negative)

ly or contracted externally, but it is

associations with these brands are

important to thoroughly research

the result of strategic marketing, com-

and analyze each tactic to identify

munications, and customer service.

both strengths and challenges. Be

Satisfied patrons are more likely to

sure to include all of your audiences

share their positive experience with

— staff, parents, non-parent commu-

others and continue to support the

nity members, and other elected or

company themselves.

volunteer community leaders.

audiences already exist, and you

Columns are submitted by members of the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association


can align the district’s strategy to

misinformation and will take great

meet stakeholders in these spaces.

pride knowing they are kept informed

Remember that one size does not

by the district.

fit all, so one platform will not fit

Don’t operate in a silo. While

all audiences. Staff members may

a dedicated communications pro-

prefer email, while parents may pre-

fessional can focus on strategic

fer social media. Retirees in your

and day-to-day initiatives, com-

community may prefer something

munication is the responsibility of

mailed to their home.

everyone within the organization.

It may seem daunting to reach

A scheduling change may impact

your audiences in these varied loca-

food service and transportation;

tions, but your single message can

a curricular change may impact

be repurposed for each channel or

hiring decisions. Every decision

platform. While a letter will certainly

requires some communication,

be longer and more detailed than a

almost always beginning with an

tweet, your key message will remain

internal audience and moving out-

the same — no need to reinvent

ward as necessary. Sharing infor-

messages for each communication

mation across departments and

vehicle. Similarly, IASB, ISBE, and

between board members and the

other organizations often issue com-

superintendent ensures all parties

munications resources on important

can communicate effectively.

topics expressly for the purpose of

Ta ck le qu ick , me a n i n g f u l

making communications efforts eas-

projects first while planning long-

ier for districts. Be sure to use these

term. Through the communications

existing resources.

audit, it’s likely that long-term

Utilize your built-in ambassa-

goa ls w i l l be identi f ied. W hi le

dors. Board members and adminis-

gathering the necessary informa-

trators network regularly with other

tion and resources to accomplish

community leaders, neighbors, and

those goals, take note of simple,

friends, formally and informally. The

smart strategies and tactics that

impromptu conversation in the frozen

can quickly be implemented and

foods section of the grocery store is

added to your communications

just as important as a scheduled com-

toolkit. For example, be visible and

munity forum. Be prepared to share

accessible at existing school events

the latest news from your district in

while planning a community town

these conversations.

hall series. Establish and utilize

Likewise, make sure your staff

free social media account(s) while

members are well informed of dis-

developing more robust electronic

trict goals and accomplishments.

communications tools.

Staff members are trusted, respected

These foundational strategies

members of the community. They

w i l l s u p p o r t y o u r d i s t r i c t ’s

have a direct connection to your fami-

development of a t ra n sp a rent

lies, likely live in or near your district,

relationship with stakeholders while

and have important networks of their

nurturing a positive association

own. When well informed, they can

between key constituencies and the

be the best ambassadors to correct

school district.

J A N U A R Y - F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L 

President Joanne Osmond

Treasurer Linda Eades

Vice President Thomas Neeley

Immediate Past President Phil Pritzker

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Bill Alexander

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

Blackhawk David Rockwell

Lake Ann Dingman

Central Illinois Valley Tim Custis

Northwest Chris Buikema

Cook North Barbara Somogyi Cook South Denis Ryan

Shawnee Sheila Nelson Southwestern Mark Christ

Cook West Carla Joiner-Herrod

Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr.

Corn Belt Mark Harms

Three Rivers Rob Rodewald

DuPage Thomas Ruggio

Two Rivers Tracie Sayre

Egyptian John Metzger

Wabash Valley Dennis Inboden

Illini Michelle Skinlo

Western Sue McCance

Kaskaskia Linda Eades

Service Associates Glen Eriksson

Board of directors members are current at press time.

IASB is a voluntary association of local boards of education and is not affiliated with any branch of government.



A matter of perspective “Underachieving students, stu-

just a school district problem. …

throughout the community and

dents who are not ready to advance

The question we should all ask

once it is, achievement will reflect

to the next phase of their lives

ourselves is not, ‘How did it get


whether it is college or a career,

this bad?’ It’s, ‘How can I help?’

are a community problem, not

… Education needs to be a priority

— “Our View: Fixing test scores must go beyond school walls,” Editorial Board, the Rockford Register-Star, October 31, 2017. “We have a moral obligation, an opportunity, to transform the OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Roger L. Eddy, Executive Director Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Meetings Management Carla S. Bolt, Director Office of General Counsel Kimberly Small, General Counsel Maryam Brotine, Assistant General Counsel Debra Jacobson, Assistant General Counsel Executive Searches Thomas Leahy, Director Jim Helton, Consultant Dave Love, Consultant Alan Molby, Consultant Catherine Finger, Consultant ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Jennifer Feld, Associate Executive Director/ Chief Financial Officer ADVOCACY/GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Deanna L. Sullivan, Director Susan Hilton, Director Zach Messersmith, Director Shanell Bowden, Assistant Director

IASB OFFICES 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 217/528-9688 Fax 217/528-2831


BOARD DEVELOPMENT Dean Langdon, Associate Executive Director Sandra Kwasa, Director Nesa Brauer, Trainer Angie Peifer, Consultant COMMUNICATIONS/ PRODUCTION SERVICES Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Gary W. Adkins, Director/Editorial Services Jennifer Nelson, Director/Information Services Theresa Kelly Gegen, Director/Editorial Services Heath Hendren, Assistant Director/Communications Katie Grant, Assistant Director/Production Services FIELD SERVICES/POLICY SERVICES Cathy A. Talbert, Associate Executive Director

narrative around public education in this country. We know that our kids are defined not by how they do on a test but the experiences they bring and they learn (from) in our public schools.” — David Schuler, superintendent of THSD 214 (Arlington Heights) and the IASA Superintendent of the Year for 2018, as quoted in the Daily Herald editorial, “Two suburban school leaders who do it the right way,” November 21, 2017. “To change your perspective we need to focus on the positive” — Jonathan Edison, keynote speaker, Third General Session of the 2107 Joint Annual Conference, November 19, 2017

Field Services Larry Dirks, Director Perry Hill IV, Director Laura Martinez, Director Dee Molinare, Director Reatha Owen, Director Patrick Rice, Director Policy Services Boyd Fergurson, Consultant Angie Powell, Consultant Brian Zumpf, Consultant

One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120 630/629-3776 Fax 630/629-3940


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Passing the torch By James Russell

James Russell retired in December from his position as IASB’s associate executive director for communications and production services.


efore turning off the lights and leaving the corner office

at IASB’s Springfield office for the final time, I was asked to write a “magnum opus” for The Journal. Now that’s pressure! This certainly won’t qualify, but I promised to review my 17-plus years of working for the Illinois Association of School Boards. My tenure pales in comparison to those who have spent most of or their entire careers at IASB, but it’s been a great second act for this writer/editor/publisher. Like so many new or would-be school board members, I joined the

IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy, (left) presents Jim Russell (right) with a plaque commemorating the latter’s retirement after 17-plus years with the Association.

Association with a pre-conceived


notion of what to expect. I would be

of other staff; create and shape mes-

Do all of these ideas work? Of

using my 26 years of journalism expe-

sages; design and deliver reports and

course not. I used to try to rationalize

rience to fill a new position – direc-

documents via print, online, and

a failed venture by telling my former

tor of publications. Like those new

social media; and monitor the public

IASB boss and mentor, Jerry Glaub,

members; however, the reality of what

perception of school boards at work.

that it probably was “a good idea that

school board governance is — and isn’t

Accustomed to working on daily news

didn’t work.” Jerry would have none

— took time to learn. Fortunately, I

deadlines, I had to adjust to Asso-

of that. “No, that just means it wasn’t

was surrounded by colleagues with

ciation work that must be done on

a good idea,” he insisted. End of sto-

an incredible collective wisdom and

daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and

ry; lesson learned.

institutional knowledge. As I gained

even bi-annual deadlines or cycles.

Fortunately, Jerry — who at one

my footing and eventually contributed

While much of what the Associ-

time was responsible for all IASB

to their efforts, I began to understand

ation does is fairly predictable and

member services — continued to

the essence of school board service.

recurring, there is much leeway for

encourage me as my role here expand-

The role of the Association is to enable

how the work gets done. Even more

ed. I was grateful to learn from him

its members to do the same.

satisfying is having the responsi-

and eventually assume some of those

The specific tasks in the com-

bility and earning the authority for

responsibilities: Service Associates,

munications and production services

trying new things, in new ways to

educational administration, book

departments are to support the work

serve our members.

editing, and author relations, to name


a few. Along the way, we refined some

on childhood obesity and nutrition

processes and took on new projects

published in this magazine.

as member needs changed.

That’s in addition to publishing the Conference Preview and Pro-

The Joint Annual Conference,

gram, operating the Conference

We redesigned The Journal

which involves all staff in year

Bookstore, hosting Panel Sessions,

and the IASB website, developed

‘round preparations, was another

and reporting on the entire event.

new school board election mate-

opportunity to serve our members

One Conference activity real-

rials, and added social media and

in new ways. We added Friday and

ly stands out for me. In 2003, with

videos to our toolkit. We replaced

Saturday orientation panels; devel-

support from the Illinois Council of

a printed Newsbulletin with an

oped an online schedule planner

Professors of Educational Adminis-

online version, then converted it

and panel handouts downloads; and

tration, we developed an internship

to a blog format. We initiated or

expanded photo, video, and social

program. Over the past 15 years,

contributed to reports and cam-

media coverage of the event. Our

one-third of the 82 interns chosen

paigns, such as “Recruiting School

staff eventually took over the Con-

for this program have been hired as

Board Members,” “School Board

ference hospitality room (remem-

school superintendents in Illinois.

Members’ Day,” the “Connecting

ber when cookies and coffee were

It’s our hope that many return to

with the Community” report on

available in the Comiskey Room?)

Conference with their local board

community engagement, “Stand Up

and transformed it to the I ASB

members and staff.

4 Public Schools,” and “Weighing

Homeroom, for members to explore

Healthy Options,” a year-long series

Association offerings.

Without question, the largest and most ambitious project was the IASB

Our Mission is Your Success A PREEMINENT EDUCATION LAW FIRM REPRESENTING PUBLIC SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS 310 Regency Centre, Collinsville, IL 62234 618.301.4060 618.301.4080 Fax

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Centennial, “1913-2013: Lighting

I’ve been fortunate to meet, know,

participate in, including the National

the Way for 100 Years.” I don’t know

or work with some of those leaders.

School Public Relations Association

which was more challenging: the year

From the earlier IASB presidents –

and its Illinois chapter, the Council

it took to research the Association’s

George Wirth and Ed Epstein – to

of School Board Association Commu-

history, or the year we spent celebrat-

the latest – Phil Pritzker and Joanne

nicators, Association for Women in

ing it. Both were gratifying, staking a

Osmond, and many others who served

Communications Springfield chap-

lasting milestone for the organization

in between. I’m also proud to have

ter, Illinois Press Association, Illinois

to measure its progress, while creat-

known or worked with four of the Asso-

Channel, NPR and WUIS-FM, the

ing numerous opportunities for local

ciation’s six full-time executive direc-

American Library Association and its

districts to participate in and share

tors, including Roger Eddy, Michael D.

Illinois affiliate, the American Book-

their own histories.

Johnson, Wayne Sampson, and Hal

sellers Association, and the Illinois Heartland Library System.

The rich history of this Asso-

Seamon. They are the reason this

ciation is really a reflection of the

Association has earned a reputation

Of course, our partnerships with

history of school boards and public

that so many other state associations

IASA, IPA, and Illinois ASBO are

education in Illinois. Our story is

desire and attempt to model.

equally valuable. It’s a joy to have so

entirely dependent on the thou-

Our success also depends on

many colleagues to collaborate with.

sands of men and women who run

maintaining relationships with dozens

Earlier, I mentioned the collec-

for and serve on local school boards.

of other regional, state, and national

tive wisdom and institutional knowl-

Researching that history introduced

education organizations. I can’t name

edge that’s represented by IASB staff.

me, and many others, to a legacy

them all, but a few come to mind that

I’ve learned so much from co-workers,

of leadership that continues today.

IASB staff members belong to and

current and past, that I could never thank or repay them sufficiently. I have a tender spot in my heart for those who have passed, and for those whose tenure was cut short by health or personal circumstance. I won’t name the individuals who currently work in communications and production services, but I do hope you look them up. Some are known to members; others work behind the

IASB — A nationwide search with Illinois experience

passion make my job look easy. And by the time this issue, Vol. 86, No. 1,

• IASB works with the National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers (NASS), with over 110 consultants located in 40 states

rolls out, a new associate executive

• NASS annually assists hundreds of districts and school boards with superintendent and other administrative searches

typesetting, and printing operations

• Illinois searches with IASB include serving 192 school districts in 70 different counties, from 2009-2016

and a great staff.

Contact IASB, your local search professional, to find out more: 217/528-9688 or 630/629-3776, ext. 1217,


scenes. Their energy, expertise, and

director will be leading the charge. Kara Kienzler, who has led our design, since November 2013, will make the job look even easier. Good luck to her This has been a great second act for me personally. Thanks for reading and especially thank you for serving.



he stage was set and more than 9,600 pub-

T h e 2 0 17 c o n f e r e n c e w a s h e l d

lic school leaders attended the 2017 Joint

November 17-19 at the Hyatt Regency

Annual Conference of the Illinois Association

Chicago, Sheraton Grand Chicago, and

of School Boards, Illinois Association of School

SwissĂ´tel hotels. Almost 10,000 participated in

Administrators (IASA), and Illinois Association

the event in the 85th year that IASB staged the

of School Business Officials (Illinois ASBO).

joint conference with IASA and Illinois ASBO.



Public education officials lead by learning By Kara Kienzler Photographs by Robert Levy

Kara Kienzler is IASB’s associate executive director for Communications and Production Services. Robert Levy is a Chicago-based corporate and association photographer.


Assembly, bookstore, and other learn-

districts were represented at the

For the second year, IASB hosted

2017 Joint Annual Conference, held

a School Safety and Security Seminar.

November 17-19 in Chicago.

Entitled “Preparation for School Safe-

ore tha n 82 percent of Illinois’ 852 public school

ing and networking opportunities.

technology (seven panels, 646 attended); • Finance and funding (six panels, 475 attended), • Governance and leadership

This was the 85th meeting of the

ty,” the seminar was open to school

Illinois Association of School Boards

officials and local safety professionals

(IASB), Illinois Association of School

and drew 124 participants. In addi-

Administrators (IASA), and Illinois

tion, the Conference featured eight

Association of School Business Offi-

panels on school safety and security

cials (Illinois ASBO). Total atten-

from experts in the field on emergen-

dance was 9,917. Those registered

cy plans, training, safety drills, build-

included 3,421 guests; 3,059 board

ing design, and culture and climate.

members; 1,199 administrators; and

Also for the second year, the Illi-

• Special interest to new board

1,237 exhibitors; as well as board sec-

nois Association of Christian Admin-

members (six panels, 408

retaries, school attorneys, regional

istrators hosted a time of fellowship,

attended); and

and state education officials, state

prayer, and shared a positive message

lawmakers, and other representatives.

of hope.

(22 panels, 1,739 attended); • Governmental relations (seven panels, 1,413 attended); • School law (seven panels, 655 attended); • School safety and security (10 panels, 745 attended);

• Student learning achievement (14 panels, 949 attended).

The “Leading by Learning”

Two additional time slots were

conference theme was in evidence

added to the 60-minute panel ses-

The largest panels by title and

throughout the event. Professional

sions, giving attendees seven different

attendance were: Legislative Issues

development is the primary pur-

times to attend panel sessions — a

Impacting School Districts (two

pose of the Conference, and was

staple of the Conference. This year’s

panels with 475 and 290 attend-

amply offered through 249 exhibit

panels drew 9,918 people who could

ing), Fixing the Top Legal Mistakes

booths, 120 panel sessions, 24 “car-

chose to learn about topics including

Boards Make (264), Transforming

ousel” panels, 13 sessions for admin-

• Best practices (16 panels, 1,123

School Culture by Connecting with

istrative professionals, eight board


the Community (263), and Finan-

member training workshops, three

• Community relations and

cial Stewardship in Illinois (220).

seminars for school business officials,

communications (16 panels,

The Carousel of Panels on Saturday

three general sessions, a seminar for

1,057 attended);

afternoon drew an attendance of 561.

school attorneys, a superintendents’ session, as well as the IASB Delegate


• Facilities, transportation, and

• Current issues (eight panels, 698 attended);

IASB also offered eight Pre-Conference Workshops that drew 991


participants. Half-day and full-day training included basics of governance, PDLT and PERA (mandatory board training), the job of the board president, monitoring district performance, using data, and board/superintendent relationships. Two half-day workshops were each presented twice: “Get Your Message Out: Your Role in Crafting an Effective Public Image” and “The R Factor: How to Manage the One Thing You Control.” Other training opportunities included an all-day school law seminar for school attorneys; workshops for Illinois ASBO members on school finance, leadership practices, and sustainable learning environments; and an IASA session on building district leadership. Two days of specialized training were offered for 231 school board administrative professionals and district secretaries, including information on communication skills, FOIA and OMA requirements, IMRF benefits, school safety, conflict resolution, IASB’s PRESS Plus services, agendas and minutes, ROE compliance, and new laws. A new feature at this year’s Administrative Professionals’ Program were kiosks on Saturday where IASB staff provided both personal and technical assistance to attendees, covering the Association’s web services. Licensed Illinois teachers attending as guests or as board members were also able to qualify for up to nine Professional Development Clock Hours, and 180 participated. This year 367 districts sent representatives to the IASB Delegate Phil Pritzker (top), then-president of IASB, opened the First General Session of the 2017 Joint Annual Conference, asking attendees if they were “ready to stand up for public education.” Thousands did, as the Conference drew participants from across the state and country for three days of professional development.

Assembly to vote on resolutions, among them using school facilities as polling places and a state-wide sales tax expansion. The delegates also



elected officers and heard reports

school students were on display. The

showcasing tweets using the Confer-

from the Association president and

student art show is coordinated by

ence hashtag (#ILjac17) and hashtag

treasurer, and heard from the Illinois

the Illinois Art Education Associ-


FFA State Treasurer Chase Clausen,

ation and the Illinois High School

Social media engagements at

a 2016 graduate of Sycamore High

Art Exhibition. The First General

this year’s Conference involved

School (Sycamore CUSD 427).

Session on Friday included perfor-

Twitter, Facebook, and live stream

The keynote speakers at the

mances by the Wheaton Warrenville

videos on YouTube. The Confer-

three General Sessions were Tim

South High School Classics Show

ence hashtag #ILjac17 generated

Kight, Ruby Payne, and Jonathan

Choir (CUSD 200), Wheeling CCSD

1,616 tweets on Twitter. IASB also

Edison. Awards were presented at

21 Honors Choir, and the Phoenix

partnered with Illinois Channel to

the General Sessions to districts for

Military Academy Color Guard.

live stream two panel sessions, as

school design and risk management,

The IASB Homeroom was open

well as a roundtable discussion

and to individuals for top superin-

Friday and Saturday. Located in the

with the executive directors from

tendent, school board president,

hub of the Conference headquarters

IASB, IASA, Illinois ASBO, and

school business official, and school

hotel, Association staff and directors

the Illinois Principals Association.

board secretary. Special guests

provided information and demon-

Conference photos are available for

included NSBA Executive Director

strations about IASB products and

review at /jac17/

Thomas J. Gentzel and President

services. Guests participated in


Kevin Ciak, and IASB past presi-

prize drawings and were encour-

Participants at the Joint Annu-

dents and executive directors.

aged to share lessons learned at

al Conference are encouraged to

The Conference also showcased

this year’s Conference on a large

take everything they learned back

student participation in the fine arts.

white board. A lso on display in

to their districts and share with

This year, 40 pieces of visual art cre-

the Homeroom were IASB videos,

their communities the effects of

ated by Illinois elementary and high

event photos, as well as a tweet wall

“Leading by Learning.”

The 2017 Joint Annual Conference featured hundreds of opportunities for engagement, including 120 Panel Sessions, student performances in fine arts, the bustling Exhibit Hall, and the Administrative Professionals’ Program.



Among Friday’s activities were Pre-Conference Workshops featuring communications trainer Brad Hughes (top left) and safety and security expert Lt. Col. David Grossman (far left). At left, Clare Bourne of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 was named the Holly Jack Award recipient.



Capturing Conference on Saturday included, clockwise from near right, IASA President Thomas Bertrand; school board members Bill Alexander of New Berlin CUSD 16 and Nakia Hall of CreteMonee CUSD 201U taking part in the Delegate Assembly; and a lighter moment with IASB’s Board of Directors.



IASA Superintendent of the Year David Schuler (top photo) of THSD 214 in Arlington Heights accepted the honor saying, “Public schools are working. We must all stand up and champion public education.” The Joint Annual Conference features programming for school board members, administrators, school district administrative assistants, and education attorneys.



Representatives from 367 school boards considered resolutions on a variety of public education issues at the Association’s annual Delegate Assembly. Notably, a proposal that would allow school districts to request reimbursement for expenses relating to the use of school facilities as polling places was approved. A proposal supporting a statewide County School Facility Occupation Tax did not get membership approval. Pictured top right are new IASB president Joanne Osmond, outgoing past president Karen Fisher, and immediate past president Phil Pritzker.



Making their points in the 2017 General Sessions were Tim Kight (above left) who helps groups align the powers of leadership and behavior; Ruby K. Payne (above), an authority on working across economic classes to create sustainable communities; and the ebullient Jonathan Edison (below), a “success strategist” who moves “people and organizations to their highest potential.”



Learning opportunities abounded at the 2017 Joint Annual Conference. Above right, the very definition of experience, Don Choate was honored for 50 years of school board service to Jonesboro CCSD 43. Below, the Wheaton Warrenville South High School “Classics,” shown with members of the Wheaton Warrenville CUSD 200 Board of Education, brought sparkle and sound to the Conference.

The 86th Joint Annual Conference will be held November 16-18, 2018 in Chicago.






Board members are rare birds By David E. Bartz

David E. Bartz, Ph.D., is professor emeritus in the Department of Educational Leadership at Eastern Illinois University.


chool board members are spe-

two sessions. I interacted with board

as a school administrator, I became

cial people. They are sincere,

members during, before, and after

familiar with the ineffectiveness of

dedicated, and committed to improv-

the presentations and informally

government. I also served a 12-year

ing education for all children. Board

throughout the day. This positive

stint as a consultant to a federal

members receive no pay and little

experience renewed my faith in

agency in Washington, D.C., which

recognition for the long hours they

local government, controlled by

further educated me on the inflex-

spend to make local control work. We

local people.

ibility and ineffectiveness of the

should thank them, and frequently,

As a resident of Illinois, I am

federal government. Local control

aware of the ineptitude of state

works, and board members make

In 2016, I attended the Joint

government and insensitivity to

it work well.

Annual Conference for the first time

soliciting meaningful input from

In 2017, I was again sched-

in about 20 years to participate in

the general citizenry. In my 10 years

uled to participate in two presen-

for all they do for children.

tations at the Conference, both on Saturday. The previous year, I left Charleston early in the morning, drove to Chicago, and returned that same day for a 400-mile round trip.

DIVISION MEETINGS Invest one evening, gain benefits throughout the year for yourself, your school board, and your district.

My 70-year-old back, as well as my psyche in the context of Chicago traffic (even on a Saturday) and trying to find parking, led me to think I needed an alternative. So,

Field Services

I arranged with my son, who lives in the suburb of Plainfield, to stay with him Friday night. We planned


Attend an IASB Division Dinner Meeting at a location near you! Division Dinner Meetings provide opportunities for networking, professional development, peer recognition, participation in Association governance, and learning about IASB resources.

that he would drive me into the city early Saturday morning, critique my presentations, and drive me back to Plainfield later in the day. About a week before this year’s conference, he informed me his wife was going with us. I assumed he

Mark your calendars now! Visit the IASB website for a complete list of events and locations:


wanted to spend his time shopping or participating in activities with her. To the contrary, he indicated that not only did he want to attend


the Conference and my sessions, but

on board members for their sinceri-

training and staff development,

his spouse also planned to do so.

ty, eagerness to learn, and commit-

which they attend often, does not

We ar r ived wel l before the

ment to improving education. They

have the positivity and sincerity

scheduled time, so I could famil-

also were impressed with the great

that was displayed by board mem-

iarize myself with the room and

interest board members had in the

bers. These are two individuals in

“get my head on straight” regarding comments I would make. The topic was the community engagement process. I presented “Transforming School Culture by Connecting

“... they were impressed with the sincerity, positivity, active participation, and commitment of board

with the Community” as a panel

members to obtain ideas to perform their roles more

session with Patrick Rice, a field


services director for IASB. Rice, a former student of mine, is a pleasure to work with because he presents presentation and discussion con-

community engagement process,

their early 30s who, through their

cepts in advance. This allows me

which focuses on soliciting input

obser vation of board members,

to do a better job of preparing my

from citizens.

reminded me of how thankful we should be for the services of these

comments, which, in the end, is ben-

Saturday afternoon, I partici-

eficial to the audience members. I

pated with a university colleague

was expecting perhaps 100 people.

in the Carousel of Panels, three

My father was a board mem-

The audience well exceeded those

small group sessions each lasting

ber from approximately 1953 to

expectations. We had 260 people

30 minutes. My son and daughter-

1963. Dur ing this time, due to

attend our standing room only pan-

in-law again reviewed my work,

annexation and consolidation, he

el presentation on the community

and again paid close attention to

served on three different boards of

engagement process.

fine individuals.

the participants. And again, they

education in six months and never

This is a tribute to the interest

were impressed with the sincerity,

changed residence. The effective

board members have in systemati-

positivity, active participation, and

use of the community engagement

cally soliciting input from citizens

commitment of board members to

process was crucial to the approv-

to gain information for improving

obtain ideas to perform their roles

al of the consolidation and high

education for children. Effective

more effectively. For example, a new

school bond referenda.

community engagement is local con-

and relatively young minority board

Because of the efforts of my

trol at its best. My son and daugh-

member spent nearly half an hour

father and others like him, when

ter-in-law not only attended this

talking with my colleague and me

I entered the ninth grade in 1960,

presentation but also analyzed my

in her quest to gain insights and

I attended a brand new compre-

performance and paid close atten-

skills to better meet her respon-

hensive high school that provided

tion to the behaviors of audience

sibilities as a board member and

me with an excellent education.

members. Their analysis of me: I

work effectively in the context of

My father passed away in 1982. In

need to give concrete examples to

a diverse citizenry.

recent years, I have been haunted by the fact that I never thanked him

support my general comments. Oth-

On the ride back to Plainfield,

erwise, they said, it is difficult to

my son and daughter-in-law con-

link an overarching idea to a specific

tinued to praise board members for

So, I say to all of the board

example. A point well taken.

their seriousness, active participa-

members in Illinois at this time,

What was extremely interesting

tion, and eagerness to learn. Both

thank you for your service! You are

to me was the praise family heaped

attorneys, they explained that their

rare birds — don’t change!


for his efforts as a board member.



Rising above the storm By Roger White

Roger White is managing

“Together we will rebuild and be stronger than ever. Our #OFAM (Orangefield Family) is BOBCAT STRONG! Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are displaced. Be safe, and may God bless each of you.” — Message on the Orangefield ISD website, September 6, 2017

editor of Texas Lone Star, a publication of the Texas Association of School Boards.

Editor’s note: In late August, Hur-

Harvey’s landfall during the last week

and drive me to the schools. It became

ricane Harvey came ashore along the

of August for authorities to assess the

our routine that they pick me up at 7

Texas Gulf Coast, causing great destruc-

damage, as most roads in the area

a.m. and return around 4 p.m. each

tion and catastrophic flooding to some

were either underwater or blocked

evening. I am forever grateful to those

220 school districts and their communi-

by debris.

who gave me a ride.”

ties in more than 50 counties. As cities

“The majority of our communi-

As the Orangefield ISD admin-

and towns on the coast continue clean-

ty was hit extremely hard by Harvey.

istrative team endeavored to stay in

up and recovery efforts, schools and

Many are in shelters and will be out

contact with all members during the

districts all across Texas have pitched in

of their homes for months,” Orange-

early stages of the hurricane, one-

to help their fellow schools. This is one

field ISD Media Liaison Heggie Coulter

by-one, team members’ homes suc-

district’s story — that of Orangefield ISD.

reported just days after the storm. “All

cumbed to the storm waters.

three of our campuses have storm

“As various administrative team

bout 12 miles east of Beau-

damage and are still filled with flood-

members’ homes began to flood, they

mont , t he c om mu n it y of

waters. Our leader, [Superintendent]

would notify us all. Five administra-

Orangefield, a tight-knit town with

Stephen Patterson, truly cares about

tors received flood damage,” Patterson

just under 1,800 district students,

our staff, students, and this communi-

recalled. “Two of our team members

sits amid the pines and wetlands that

ty. He has spent countless hours rescu-

lived within a few miles of my home.

border the Lower Neches Wildlife

ing families and providing shelter and

My home did not flood. However,

Area. Mostly rural and blue-collar,

basic necessities to our community.”

we were cut off by roads that were

it’s a community where everyone

Patterson, who began assessing

knows everyone else’s kids, and

the damage by hitching a ride aboard

When notified that Orangefield

neighbors are as close as kin.

a military vehicle, immediately went

Junior High Assistant Principal Rea

to work.

Wrinkle and his family were vacating


In fact, the word “family” is used often here to describe the townspeople’s sentiment for one another.


“Because of the extreme flooding, I was only able to access the school

impassable due to the waters.”

their flooded home and heading to a shelter, Patterson intervened.

The bonds of this family of

site via Army truck,” Patterson said.

“Honestly, I couldn’t stand the

friends and neighbors were tested

“These trucks are known as ‘deuce-

idea of one of my team being housed

severely when Orangefield was prac-

and-a-halfs’ because of their payload

in a shelter,” Patterson said. “We

tically submerged by Hurricane Har-

capacity of 5,000 pounds. The Army

coordinated a plan to have him walk

vey recently. It took several days after

truck would pick me up at my house

with his family to a point where I


could reach them. Once he got his family to that point, we got a large truck to drive them through a particularly deep portion of the floodwaters to where I was waiting. From there, I walked his family to a home that was dry. This home was vacated by a family friend who was on vacation.” Patterson later repeated the process with Orangefield Elementary Assistant Principal Julie Fuller. “She had already taken in her parents, who had flooded out the day before. So we re-created the same process. I walked them through the floodwaters to a dry home that they were able to stay in.” As the storm passed and team members moved past survival mode, recovery efforts began in earnest. “We spent much of the first day

The Orangefield Elementary School campus was one of three district facilities inundated with floodwater from Hurricane Harvey. Photo courtesy of Orangefield ISD.

Damage assessments However, the news wasn’t good from initial damage assessments.

cafeteria is cut into fourths. Coupled with the choir room, this houses the entire sixth grade.”

back distributing backpacks and

“Our elementary campus is not

Despite the cramped conditions,

supplies to students, along with giv-

usable and probably won’t be repaired

Orangefield Junior High Princi-

ing hugs and just listening to their

before January — perhaps even lon-

pal Deena VanPelt noted that her

survival stories,” said Coulter, who

ger,” Coulter said. “Every elementary

students and staff members have

heads the Orangefield Junior High

classroom was affected. Every toilet,

embraced the role of host to so many

English department.

water fountain, etc., had to be pulled

of the district’s other students.

Patterson and district adminis-

out of the elementary school.”

“All students were put on an

trative staff secured free lunches for

Water inundated practically

alternate schedule. We are not able

all students until October 31. From

every room in the high school cam-

to run our elective courses except for

all assessments, every student in the

pus, as well. Because the junior

band and athletics,” VanPelt said. “I

district was impacted in some way by

high received less damage than the

am extremely proud of our staff and

the storm. A special website was cre-

district’s other two campuses, the

students. The staff has embraced the

ated by district personnel for coun-

decision was made to house all ele-

challenge of teaching in nontradi-

seling assistance and resources for

mentary and most junior high stu-

tional areas without the use of tech-

students and community members

dents there. Crowding approximately

nology and many resources that they

traumatized by the disaster.

1,000 students into a campus that

have become accustomed to.”

“All of our students have been affected,” Coulter said. “If their

normally has about 570 kids meant some innovative use of space.

The high school now houses seventh through 12th grade. “We are

house didn’t flood, a relative’s did

“We are accommodating this

utilizing the same methods (as in the

— and most have additional families

increased student count by convert-

junior high) for accommodating these

living with them. Parents have lost

ing gyms, cafeterias, choir rooms,

students,” Patterson said. “Approxi-

income from businesses being closed

and band halls into classrooms. We

mately one-third of the high school has

temporarily and some permanent-

did this by hanging blue tarps from

not reopened. This is due to flood-cut

ly. Throughout all of this chaos, it

the ceilings,” Patterson explained.

walls ranging from two to four feet.”

has been remarkable how well our

“The gym has been cut into sixths.

A flood cut is when drywall,

district has pulled together for our

This allows for six classrooms and is

insulation or other building materi-

students and each other.”

housing the entire fifth grade. The

al is cut and removed, several inches



above where the floodwater reached,

first week back with students, and we

Recovery efforts have come from

to remediate damage and underlying

are working diligently to make the

every quarter — both within the dis-

moisture issues. At the high school,

best of our displaced teachers and

trict and beyond. Fifth-grade teach-

flood cuts reach over four feet from

classrooms to benefit our students.

er Shelly Metts and the Orangefield

the floor.

We are working on surveys this week

ISD athletic booster club organized

In all, Patterson estimated about

to find out the exact number of stu-

a community event, with the assis-

1,000 students were displaced from

dents who had water in their homes.”

tance of corporate and individual

their typical classroom setting. “I

As accommodations were put

donations, that fed more than 2,000

could not be prouder of the way the

in place, administrators, teachers,

people at the Bobcats’ football game

students and faculty are handling this

and staff worked around the clock

against Little Cypress-Mauriceville

inconvenience. They are learning and

to bring in supplies for the make-

(LCM) September 22.

growing despite the challenges.”

shift classrooms.

“Both LCM and Orangefield

The district was able to begin

“Many of our teachers have lost

experienced great losses from Har-

school September 25, almost a month

their own homes, but none are com-

vey,” Coulter said. “Mrs. Metts had

behind regular schedule; however, as

plaining,” Coulter said. “We are just

the idea to feed all the local fans

of early October, internet access was

glad to be back together. The high

from each district. We had a gener-

still nonexistent in district classrooms

school fieldhouse was also severely

ous donation that covered the cost

and administration buildings. “I don’t

damaged. The high school and junior

of our workers and main expenses

have access to a computer or internet

high athletes are all sharing one tiny

for home football games, which

in our current ‘Harvey classrooms,’”

locker room. They lost weights, equip-

allowed us to offer free admission

Coulter said at the time. “This is our

ment, mats, coaches’ desks, etc.”

to home games.”

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Policy Services 24


For more info, contact Brian Zumpf 630/629-3776 ext. 1214,


Jan/Feb 2018

Teachers and administrators vol-

Several hundred thousand peo-

• Easels and dry erase markers;

unteered side-by-side, distributing

ple signed a petition organized by

• Any sort of storage or organi-

bottled water, food, and supplies to

a Pearland ISD teacher requesting

zational items, such as Rub-

community members for weeks after

state leaders to cancel the exam this

bermaid containers, plastic

the storm.

year and use the money saved from

“We are blessed to be part of this community and this district,” Coulter

drawers, and shelving;

exam administration to help rebuild

• Snacks for students;

schools damaged by the storm.

• General school supplies, such as notebooks, pencils, pens,

said. “We have a saying at Orangefield:

“Regardless of what the final

#OFAM, which means Orangefield

decisions are with regard to testing

Family. It is evident, now more than

and accountability, we are focused on

ever, that Orangefield ISD and our

giving our students a quality educa-

physical education equipment;

small community really are family.”

tion,” Patterson said. “Our teachers

• Wireless internet access cards.

and desk items; • Athletics mats; elementary

are doing a phenomenal job despite the conditions. They are using innovative

Coulter explained that snacks

When asked about needs in the

strategies with team teaching, interdis-

are requested because of concern

wake of this unprecedented event,

ciplinary units, and other approaches.”

that school meals were the only food

Coulter echoed a request made by

Despite Morath’s apparent refusal

students would get during the day. One

educators throughout the flood-rav-

to adjust the STAAR exam schedule,

special request Coulter mentioned was

aged counties: temporary relief from

Patterson remained grateful for the

a copier. “We are sharing one copier for

the pressures of the State of Texas

commissioner’s attention to affected

all campuses at the moment.”

Assessments of Academic Readiness

districts. Morath toured Orangefield

(STAAR) exams.

ISD facilities September 27.

District needs

“We have had some school supplies donated for our students and are

“What we really need is a break

“He was attentive, supportive,

extremely grateful for these generous

from the STAAR test. These kids

and compassionate in his assessment

donations,” Coulter added. “We have

don’t need that added pressure this

of our instructional conditions. I can-

had some donations of socks and under-

year. We will teach to the best of our

not thank him enough for his time,”

wear for students, as well. Our kiddos

abilities; however, we refuse to stress

Patterson said. “He spoke with both

were so happy to have new socks!”

these kids out anymore.”

students and staff at length. I am very

Donations from across the state

proud of the way TEA is handling

began coming in almost immediately.

storm-damaged districts.”

When County Commissioner John

Unfortunately for Orangefield ISD and the estimated 220 school districts affected by Harvey, STA-

In all, Orangefield ISD students

Gothia arranged for a hurricane

AR relief from the Texas Education

missed 20 instructional days due to

distribution center to be set up on

Agency (TEA) doesn’t appear forth-

Harvey. “TEA has waived the neces-

school district property, Patterson

coming. Texas Education Commis-

sary days, and we have altered our

found himself employing an old job

sioner Mike Morath said September

school calendar to make up days

skill he hadn’t used in years.

13 that the state was not likely to

where we could,” Patterson said.

“As the Army brought in needed

allow affected school districts to

“Our primary focus in the calendar

supplies, it became apparent that we

delay the exam this school year or

rewrite was to maximize instruc-

needed a forklift to offload them,” Pat-

change the way districts are graded.

tional time that was lost.”

terson said. “Remembering my train-

“I would say, given the informa-

Aside from lost academic days,

ing from 25 years ago, I ran the forklift

tion I have, it doesn’t look likely that

the needs in Orangefield ISD are

for several days, offloading water,

we would be able to make too many

many, including the following:

MREs, cleaning supplies, and the many

changes on assessment and, for that

• Large portable chalkboards or

other resources that were delivered to

matter, on accountability,” Morath

dry erase boards for teachers

the area. File this under the category

told the State Board of Education. “We

to use in gyms, band halls, and

of things you never thought you’d need

haven’t made any final decisions yet.”

other displaced areas;

to know as a superintendent.”



‘The things that really matter Adjustments in the wake of the catastrophe include significant changes in instruction, as well — namely, a temporary moratorium on homework.

TASB responds Orangefield ISD, as was noted, was one of

“One obstacle that we have mitigated is homework.

220 Texas school districts impacted by Hurri-

Presently, we are not assigning homework in any course,”

cane Harvey. The Texas Association of School

Patterson noted. “This is primarily because 60 percent of

Boards (TASB) worked with its divisions and

our students’ homes have been damaged. These children

districts to provide assistance to the impacted

are leaving school and returning to homes in various

areas. Roger White, the author of the Orange-

states of repair. It is not prudent or rational to assign

field piece, reports that, “every division in the

homework at this time. This has changed instructional

Association responded.”

practices significantly, as all schoolwork is being done at

TASB posted a link to resources at

school rather than in the home. Our parents have been

very appreciative of this adjustment.”


However, much of the adjustment as the community

which included the following:

moves beyond Harvey will be emotional. And Orange-

“This is a time of unprecedented chal-

field, Patterson noted, is up to the task.

lenge for our state, and we are hearing

“We preach the concept of OFAM in our school dis-

from many of you exactly how chal-

trict. That was started as a hashtag by our seniors several

lenging things are in your districts now.

years ago,” he said. “Whenever they would post pictures

Please know that we are well aware of

or statements about our school on Twitter, they would

your struggles, and we stand ready

use #OFAM. Our kids bought into the concept that we

to support you in any way we can …

are family and that we should treat each other as such.”

[including] resources we have gathered

The OFAM concept has grown beyond a simple

that might be useful to you in the com-

hashtag, Patterson said. “It has to be lived for it to mean

ing days. We will continue to add to this

anything. We don’t leave family at a shelter when times

list as we identify other ways we can

get tough. We walk miles through floodwater, we find

help. We are thinking of you every day!

housing, and we bring them food. We believe in each

— Your Friends at TASB.”

other, and we count on each other in all things.”

In addition to warm words, the association

Patterson added that, if anything, this natural disas-

took action. The TASB Risk Management Fund

ter has pulled the Orangefield family closer together.

developed a disaster recovery assistance website

“Honestly, I believe this will be our best school

and sent representatives to affected districts as

year ever. Our focus is 100 percent on caring for our

soon as safe access was possible. TASB added a

students and one another. We are repairing each other’s

strand of sessions, specifically dealing with the

homes, cooking meals for those who can’t, and focus-

effects of Harvey, to its annual convention in

ing on the things that really matter. Our sense of com-

October. These sessions were live-streamed for

munity and fellow man has never been higher.”

those unable to attend. TASB also reported that school districts could be eligible to make a one-


time adjustment to their average daily attendance

Orangefield ISD’s disaster resources website: 20179-Untitled.html

for a hold harmless on school funding.

To donate supplies, services, or funds to Orangefield ISD, contact Stephen Patterson at or Heggie Coulter at

stories and assistance efforts, and for present-

Reprinted with permission from the November 2017 edition of Texas Lone Star magazine, published by the Texas Association of School Boards. Copyright 2017, TASB. All rights reserved.

IASB thanks TASB for sharing its recovery ing a model of response for school boards, and associations, should catastrophe strike close to home.



continued from page 32

Charles Finn, 85, died November

Raymond Morley, 76, died Octo-

Richard Lee “Dick” Sloneker,

17, 2017. He formerly served on the

ber 11, 2017. Morley was a former

88, died October 27, 2017. He was a

River Forest SD 90 Board of Education.

member of the Quincy Unit 4 Board

former member of the South Pekin

of Education.

SD 137 Board of Education.

Dr. Edward “Ed” P. Glover, 86, died October 23, 2017. He was a Peoria

John Clifford Mulhall, 91, died

Bernard R. Sturm, 97, died Octo-

District 150 Board of Education mem-

November 20, 2017. He previously

ber 29, 2017. He formerly served on

ber from 1973 through 1983, serving

served on the Monroe school board.

the Grayville school board and worked

Patrick Murphy, 92, died October

to establish the Grayville Community

as vice president and president. Edward A. “Ed” Hamlin, 90,

18, 2017. He served several years on

died November 16, 2017. He formerly

the Lisle school board in the 1960s and

Richard L. Swanson, 85, died

served on the Roxana School Board

1970s including two years as president.

November 17, 2017. He previously

and the Lewis and Clark Community

Gene Edward Reber, 82, died

served on the AlWood CUSD 225

College Board. Harley E. Henkins Jr., 79, died

November 18, 2017. He had formerly served on the Byron school board.

Unit School District 1.

school board for many years. Daniel R. Vetter, 63, died Novem-

October 22, 2017. He previously

Wilma Reschke (nee Slaviero), 89,

ber 9, 2017. He had served on the

served over 16 years on the Henry

died November 17, 2017. She helped in

school board for the former Spring

school board, and had served on the

shaping Naperville’s schools, first as pres-

Grove Elementary District 11.

regional board of education.

ident of the school board of High School

Roland E. “Wally” Walwer, 88, died

John “Jack” Kennedy, 70, died

District 107, and then by overseeing the

November 2, 2017. He previously served

April 27, 2017. He previously served on

merger of Elementary District 78 with

for two decades on the Central SD 51

the Prairie Central CUSD 8 (Fairbury)

District 107 to form District 203. She

Board of Education (Washington).

Board of Education.

then served as president of the Naperville

Jack L. Leiby, Sr., 75, died

District 203 Board of Education.

Donald F. Westerman, 80, died November 24, 2017. He previously

November 10, 2017. He was a member

Thomas J. Romer, 85, died October

of the Rock Island/Milan school board.

28, 2017. He previously served several

Evan D. Lewis, 87, died Novem-

terms on the Mt. Pulaski school board.

Cheryl Jean Wuthrich, 66, died

ber 25, 2017. He had served on the River Bend CUSD 2 school board. Larry L. Loos, 74, died October 28, 2017. He was a former member of the Payson school board, serving for 12 years.

served as president of the Maroa-Forsyth CUSD 2 Board of Education.

Alexander George Samaras,

October 2, 2017. She was very active

96, died October 28, 2017. He former-

as a volunteer in the Morton School

ly served as a Hoopeston school board

District before serving on the school


board from 1997 to 2005.

Patricia Ann Wolf Sanders, 93,

Larry G. Zobrist, 76, died Octo-

died October 11, 2017. She formerly

ber 27, 2017. He served as President

Dr. Essie M. Lucas, 79, died Sep-

served on the Lake Forest District 67

of the Metamora Township High

tember 25, 2017. She had served on

school board and as president of the

School District 122 Board of Educa-

the Piney Woods school board.

Lake Forest PTA.

tion in the 1970s.

Ask the Staff

continued from the inside back cover

Question: Can IASB assist a board in this work?

This article provides a brief overview of the

Answer: Your IASB field services director is avail-

superintendent evaluation process. To learn more,

able to assist the board in all aspects of this important

download the guide “The Superintendent Evaluation

work. Based on the board’s needs and resources, we

Process” at

can help you determine the best format for your par-


ticular district. For more information, or to schedule a workshop, please contact your field services director.




Effective boards require PD for teachers, administrators, and themselves By Keith Pain Keith Pain, Ed.D. is an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership program at the University of St. Francis in Joliet and is a retired Illinois superintendent, principal, and teacher.


hile all professions recognize

classroom instructional skills from

improvement and enhance the instruc-

the importance of profes-

continual professional development

tional skills of their teaching staff.

sional development and educational

is one of the most important factors

The Il linois A ssociation of

experiences related to one’s work,

contributing to a student’s success.

School Boards sponsors a wide range

for educators and board members,

Additionally, in 2011, the National

of board development opportunities

professional development is partic-

School Board Association’s Center for

and workshops. Specifically, School

ularly critical for improving district

Public Education, when examining the

Board LeaderShop programs not

teaching quality and for raising stu-

practices of school board members in

only address the basic, but import-

dent achievement in public schools.

both low- and high-achieving school

ant, school board member roles

Research has demonstrated that

districts, found that school boards in

and responsibilities, but also pro-

not only does professional development

high-achieving school districts are

vide governance workshops. These

for teachers and district leaders raise

more likely to also take part in pro-

workshops help board members and

the quality of our children’s education,

fessional development so they can

boards work collaboratively with

but that teachers gaining exemplary

learn how they can facilitate school

their superintendent to

• Ensure that school boards continuously focus on high expect ations for student achievement and qua l it y instruction by defining goals and a clear vision.

Field Services

• Be increasingly data savvy by

The Superintendent Evaluation Process /

monitoring student achievement so that conti nuou s improvement is facilitated through the district’s goals. • Sustain educational resources, including professional development, which focus on and

School boards have a responsibility to evaluate their superintendent to: • Demonstrate accountability, • Strengthen the board/superintendent relationship, • Provide the superintendent with professional development opportunities, and • Make contractual and compensation decisions. Your field services director can support your school board and superintendent team in this critical governance work. Call today! Lombard: 630/629-3776 Springfield: 217/528-9688


enable success for the district goals for school improvement. It is especially in this last point where school board members can have a dramatic effect on the district’s accomplishment of its goals with respect to student achievement. Recent research from the Rand Research Corporation has concluded


that teachers matter more to student

When both teachers and leaders

student achievement to move to a

achievement than any other aspect

maintain professional development,

higher level. Start by becoming

of schooling. Additionally, regard-

the school board’s most important

i nvolve d i n I A SB profe s siona l

ing student performance on reading

mission of effectively educating all

development and encouraging your

and math tests, teachers and their

st udent s i s much more e a si ly

district staff to include profession-

instruction are estimated to have two to three times the impact of any other school factor. It is therefore critical that teachers continually receive pro-

“When both teachers and leaders maintain professional

fessional development on content and

development, the school board’s most important

strategies that enhance their teach-

mission of effectively educating all students is much

ing for the highest achievement for

more easily attained.”

our students. Moreover, it is quite clear that educational administrators must also receive their own professional development so that they can

attained. School board members

al development in one of the dis-

continue to effectively lead school

ca n not neg lect this impor t a nt

trict’s goals or to increase their

improvement for schools and teach-

responsibility to facilitate dis-

commitment to this impor tant

ers and so that our students are edu-

trict-wide professional development

prerequisite to effective and con-

cated to the highest level possible.

if they truly wish their schools’

tinuous school improvement.

Policy Services Custom, in-district services and workshops to assist your board with all aspects of its policymaking role Development – Policies that provide for good board processes, a strong board-superintendent relationship, appropriate direction and delegation to the superintendent, and district ends. Updating – Policies that are current with legal requirements and provide for effective board governance.

Review – A process that assures board policy continues to accurately support the board’s mission, vision, and goals. Monitoring – A process that assures board policy is being followed and is having the intended effect. Communicating – A process that allows easy access to current board policy by the board, staff, students, parents, and the community.

If your board needs assistance in any of these areas, contact IASB policy services today! Phone: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1214 or 1154 Email: or

Jan/Feb 2017



GREENASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture/construction services. Deerfield – 847/317-0852, Pewaukee, WI – 262/746-1254; website:; email: HEALY, BENDER & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Archi­tects/Planners. Naperville, 630/904-4300; website:; email:

A Directory of your IASB Service Associates IASB Service Associates are businesses which offer school‑related products and services and which have earned favorable repu­tations for quality and integrity. Only after screening by the Service Associates Executive Committee is a business firm invited by the IASB Board of Directors to become a Service Associate.

Appraisal Services

INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL COMPANY — Building and fixed asset appraisals for insurance and accounting purposes. Oak Brook – 630/575-0280


ALLIED DESIGN CONSULTANTS, INC. — Architectural programming, site planning and design, architectural and interior design, and construction administration with a specialization in K-12 facilities. Springfield – 217/522-3355 ARCON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Full service firm specializing in educational facilities with services that include architecture, construction management, roof and masonry consulting, landscape architecture, and environmental consulting. Lombard – 630/495-1900; website:; email: BERG ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, LTD. — Consulting engineers. Schaumburg – 847/352-4500; website: BLDD ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and engineering services for schools. Decatur – 217/429-5105; Champaign – 217/3569606; Bloomington – 309/828-5025; Chicago – 312/829-1987 BRADLEY & BRADLEY — Architects, engineers, and asbestos consultants. Rockford – 815/968-9631; website: CANNONDESIGN — Architecture, Interiors, Engineering, Consulting. Chicago – 312/332-9600; website:; email: CM ENGINEERING, INC. — Specializing in ultra efficient geo-exchange HVAC engineering solutions for schools, universities, and commercial facilities. Columbia, MO – 573/874-9455; website: CORDOGAN CLARK & ASSOCIATES — Architects and Engineers. Aurora – 630/896-4678; website: www.cordoganclark. com; email: rmont@cordogan DEWBERRY ARCHITECTS INC. — Architects, planners, landscape architecture, and engineers. Peoria – 309/282-8000; Elgin – 847/695-5840 DLA ARCHITECTS, LTD. — Architects specializing in preK-12 educational design, including a full range of architectural services; assessments, planning, feasibility studies, new construction, additions, remodeling, O&M and owner’s rep services. Itasca – 847/7424063; website:; email: DLR GROUP — Educational facility design and master planning. Chicago – 312/382-9980; website:; email: ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake – 847/223-4804; Chicago – 312/463-0551; Mokena – 708/614-9720; website:; email: FANNING HOWEY ASSOCIATES, INC. — School planning and design with a focus on K-12 schools. Oak Brook – 847/292-1039 FARNSWORTH GROUP — Architectural and engineering professional services. Normal – 309/663-8436 FGM ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Chicago – 312/942-8461; Oak Brook – 630/574-8300; O’Fallon – 618/624-3364; St. Louis, MO – 314/439-1601; website: 30

HURST-ROSCHE, INC. — Architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design. Hillsboro – 217/532-3959; East St. Louis – 618/3980890; Marion – 618/998-0075; Springfield – 217/787-1199; email: JH2B ARCHITECTS — Architects. Kankakee – 815/933-5529; website: JMA ARCHITECTS — Full service professional design firm specializing in K-12 educational design, construction management, strategic/ master planning, health/life safety compliance, building commissioning, and interior space design. South Holland – 708/339-3900; website:; email: THE GARLAND COMPANY — Complete building envelope solutions to extend the life of existing building assets (walls, roofing, waterproofing, sealants, and floors) Facility Asset Management programs and US Communities Vendor. Cleveland, OH – 815/922-1376; website: KLUBER ARCHITECTS + ENGINEERS — Building design professionals specializing in architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and fire protection engineers. Batavia – 630/406-1213 LARSON & DARBY GROUP — Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, and Technology. Rockford – 815/484-0739, St. Charles – 630/444-2112; website:; email: snelson@ LEGAT ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and educational planners who specialize in creating effective student learning environments. Gurnee – 847/622-3535; Oak Brook – 630/990-3535; Chicago – 312/258-9595; website: PCM+DESIGN ARCHITECTS — Provide a full range of architectural services including facility and feasibility studies, architectural design, construction consulting and related services. East Peoria – 309/694-5012 PERFORMANCE SERVICES, INC. — An integrated design and delivery engineering company serving the design and construction facility needs of K-12 schools. Schaumburg – 847/466-7220 PERKINS+WILL — Architects. Chicago – 312/755-0770 RICHARD L. JOHNSON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture, educational planning. Rockford – 815/398-1231; website: SARTI ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architecture, engineering, life safety consulting, interior design, and asbestos consultants. Springfield – 217/585-9111 STR PARTNERS — Architectural, interior design, planning, cost estimating, and building enclosure/roofing consulting. Chicago – 312/464-1444 TRIA ARCHITECTURE — An architectural planning and interior design firm that provides services primarily to School Districts in the Chicago-Land area with an emphasis on service to their clients, as well as their communities. Burr Ridge – 630/455-4500 WIGHT & COMPANY — For over 77 years, Wight & Company has provided design and construction services for the built environment. As a pioneer of integrated Design & Delivery, we’ve worked with our clients to create exceptional, enduring buildings and spaces that enrich people’s lives and enhance the environment; Darien – 630/969-7000; website:; email: WM. B. ITTNER, INC. — Full service architectural firm serving the educational community since 1899. Fairview Heights – 618/624-2080 WOLD ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS — Specializing in PreK-12 educational design including master planning, sustainable design, architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering, quality review, cost estimation and management. Palatine – 847/241-6100

Building Construction

CORE CONSTRUCTION — Professional construction management, design-build, and general contracting services. Morton – 309/2669768; website:


F. H. PASCHEN — A General/Construction Manager with extensive experience in new construction and renovation of educational and institutional facilities in the public/private sectors. Chicago – 773/4441525-3535; website: FREDERICK QUINN CORPORATION — Construction management and general contracting. Addison – 630/628-8500; website: HOLLAND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. — Full service Construction Management and General Contracting firm specializing in education facilities. Swansea – 618/277-8870 PEPPER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Construction management and general contracting services. Barrington – 847/381-2760 POETTKER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Specializing in Construction Management, Design/Build, Construction Consulting Services, and Energy Solutions for education clients. Breese – 618/526-7213; website: ROSS CONSTRUCTION, INC. — A full-service construction management firm specializing in educational institutions. Marion – 618/993-5904 S.M. WILSON & CO. — Provides construction management and general construction services to education, healthcare, commercial, retail, and industrial clients. St. Louis, Mo – 314/645-9595; website:; email: TRANE — HVAC company specializing in design, build, and retrofit. Willowbrook – 630/734-6033

Computer Software, Supplies, Services

SONITROL GREAT LAKES — Verified electronic security. Northbrook – 847/205-0670; website:


The Concord Consulting Group of Illinois, Inc — A team of highly skilled professionals specializing in the fields of Project Management, Cost Management, Development Services, Cost Segregation, Real Estate Advisory Services, and Insurance services; Chicago – 312/424-0250

Environmental Services

ALPHA CONTROLS & SERVICES, LLC — Facility Management Systems, Automatic Temperature Controls, Access Control Systems, Energy Saving Solutions; Sales, Engineering, Installation, Commissioning and Service. Rockford, Springfield, Champaign: toll-free 866/ALPHA-01; website:; email: CTS GROUP — Dedicated to assisting K-12 education meet the challenge of providing healthy, safe, and educational appropriate learning environments. St. Louis, MO – 636/230-0843; Chicago – 773/633-0691; website:; email: rbennett@ ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP — A comprehensive energy services and performance contracting company providing energy, facility and financial solutions. Itasca – 630/773-7201; email: smcivor@ GCA SERVICES GROUP – Custodial, janitorial, maintenance, lawn and grounds, and facility operations services. Downers Grove – 630/629-4044 GRP MECHANICAL CO., INC. — Renovating buildings through energy savings performance contracting to provide the best learning environment. HVAC, Plumbing, Windows, Doors, and Mechanical Services. Bethalto – 618/779-0050 HONEYWELL, INC. — Controls, maintenance, energy management, performance contracting, and security. St. Louis, MO – 314/548-4136; Des Plaines – 847/770-5496; Maryland Heights, MO – 314/548-4501; email:; IDEAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, INC. — Asbestos and environmental services. Bloomington – 309/828-4259 ILLINOIS ENERGY CONSORTIUM — Sells electricity and natural gas to school districts, colleges, and universities. Dekalb – 815/7539083; website:; email: ENGIE SERVICES U.S. — Turnkey partnership programs that enable K12 school districts in Illinois to modernize their facilities, increase safety, security and efficiency, reduce operations costs, and maximize the lifespan of critical assets. Chicago – 312/4987792; email:

RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS — Commercial radon surveys. Westmont – 800/244-4242; website:; email:

Financial Services

AMERICAN FIDELITY ASSURANCE COMPANY — Specializing in Section 125 compliance, 403(b) plan administration, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, dependent audits, and health care reform. Fairview Heights – 855/822-9168 BERNARDI SECURITIES, INC. — Public finance consulting, bond issue services and referendum support. Fairview Heights – 618/2064180; Chicago – 312/281-2014; email: EHLERS & ASSOCIATES — School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies. Chicago – 312/638-5250; website:; email: FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington – 309/829-3311; email: GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria – 309/685-7621; website:; email: ICE MILLER, LLP — Nationally recognized bond counsel services. Chicago – 312/726-7127 KINGS FINANCIAL CONSULTING, INC. — Municipal bond financial advisory service including all types of school bonds; school referenda, county school sales tax; tax revenue forecasts/projections. Monticello – 217/762-4578 MATHIESON, MOYSKI, AUSTIN & CO., LLP — Provides audit, consulting and other related financial services to Illinois school districts, joint agreements and risk pools. Wheaton – 630/653-1616 SIKICH, LLP — Professional services firm specializing in accounting, technology, and advisory services. Naperville — 630/364-7953 SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago – 312/346-3700; website: www.speerfinancial. com; email: STIFEL — Full service securities firm providing investment banking and advisory services including strategic financial planning; bond underwriting; referendum and legislative assistance. Edwardsville – 800/230-5151; email: WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY — Bond issuance, financial advisory services. Chicago – 312/364-8955; email: WINTRUST FINANCIAL — Financial services holding company engaging in community banking, wealth management, commercial insurance premium financing, and mortgage origination. Rosemont – 630/560-2120

Grounds and Maintenance

NELS JOHNSON TREE EXPERTS — full service tree maintenance and plant health company. Evanston– 847/475-1877

Human Resource Consulting

BUSHUE HUMAN RESOURCES, INC. — Human resource, safety and risk management, and insurance consulting. Effingham – 217/3423042; website:; email:


THE SANDNER GROUP — Insurance program management, marketing & claims services for workers’ compensation, property & liability. Chicago – 800/654-9504 MEEMIC INSURANCE — For over 66 years, Meemic has offered auto, home, and umbrella insurance products tailored specifically for the educational community. Auburn Hills, MI – 856/495-9041

Office Equipment

FRANK COONEY COMPANY, INC. — Furniture for educational environments. Wood Dale – 630/694-8800

Superintendent Searches

ECRA Group & HYA — Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Schaumburg – 847/318-0072




Achievements Richard A. Mas-

School’s varsity football games. After

who served 22 years

saro, a longtime board

playing for the Rebels team from 1965

in the U.S. Army, is a

member in Ridgewood

through 1969, Massaro had since been

1987 graduate of the

C om mu n it y H ig h

a staple at the games as a fan. Five years

U.S. Military Academy

School District 234

ago, Massaro teamed up with a fellow

at West Point. He was

(Norridge), was hon-

Ridgewood alumnus to start broadcast-

also a four-year letter-

ored with designation in his name of the

ing the team’s games on radio.

man on the Army football team. He

press box at Daniel R. Romito Field. The

Lt. Col. Benjamin White, a for-

was one of roughly 70 veterans who

recognition came at halftime ceremo-

mer member of the school board at

were treated to breakfast at the District

nies of the high school’s homecoming

Indian Prairie District 203 (Naper-

203 administration building on Veter-

game on October 9, 2017. For nearly half

ville), was honored on November 11,

ans Day, spreading out to all 22 district

a century the Norridge native has been

2017 in a Veterans Day assembly at

schools to be thanked in assemblies

a constant presence at Ridgewood High

a local elementary school. White,

held in recognition of their service.

In memoriam LaVera A lbers, 80, died November 19. She had served on the San Jose school board.

D aw s o n wa s

Linda Dawson, the previous edi-

active in the com-

John “Jack” Boswell, 83,

tor of The Illinois School Board Jour-

munications field

died November 8, 2017. He was

nal and director of editorial services

in central Illinois,

a former member of the school

for IASB, died in early December in

connecting with

board of Mid-County School Dis-


the Illinois Press

trict (Varna).

Dawson had a 20-year career in

Association and Illinois Chapter of

Patricia Mae Brown, 93,

newspapers before joining IASB from

the National School Public Relations

died October 8, 2017. She pre-

2000 to 2014. Among the highlights of

Association. She was extensively

viously served on the Monmouth

her work was the “Weighing Healthier

involved in leadership for the Spring-

school board.

Options” project, a 2004 examination

field Chapter of the Association for

Clarence R. Campen, 92,

of childhood obesity, nutrition, and

Women in Communications, serv-

died November 21, 2017. He for-

physical activity as these issues relate

ing as the chapter’s president from

merly served on the Roanoke-Ben-

to public school operations and school

2006 to 2008. She was an enthusiastic

son CUSD 60 Board of Education.

board policy-making.

member and past president of COS-

Bob​ D ​ auber​, 88, died Octo-

“Linda was always the first to vol-

ber 30, 2017. He had previously

unteer to help a colleague and was

been a member of​t​ he​M ​ ascoutah

never afraid of extra work,” said Jerry

“She was a hard-working, gener-

CUSD 19​ ​school​ ​board, serving

Glaub, who worked with Dawson until

ous, and kind co-worker who always

for​ ​18​​ years.​

his retirement in 2007. “She was high-

went beyond what was expected of

William “Bill” H. Dorsey,

ly respected and liked by staff and

her, and she was devoted to IASB,”

91, died November 1, 2017. He

constituents. Linda was an excellent

said Director of Editorial Services

had served on the Edwardsville

writer and editor. She took the Jour-

Gary Adkins, who collaborated with

school board.

nal to new levels. The world is surely

Dawson during her 14-year stay at

an unhappier place without her.”

IASB. “She is already missed.”

Continued on page 27 32

Linda Dawson

BAC, the Council of School Boards Association Communicators.



Building the board/superintendent relationship through evaluation By Reatha Owen


s trustee for its community, the

Answer: The superintendent evalu-

process for the district, then the ques-

school board needs to recognize

ation process can seem daunting. First,

tion can be asked, “What can we, as a

how critical the board/superintendent

some board members may feel intimi-

board, expect of our superintendent over

relationship is to the success of the dis-

dated in assessing the performance of

the next 12 months to help the district

trict’s schools. Having hired the super-

a trained, professional educator, who

fulfill these goals?” A board that does

intendent as its chief executive officer,

often has advanced degrees and con-

not have up-to-date and relevant goals

the board delegates authority to the

siderable experience. Others may be

will want to undertake this important

superintendent to operate the district

afraid of conflict – between the board

work of articulating district expectations.

and provide leadership to staff. The

and superintendent or among board

Next, the board and superintendent

board has the responsibility to moni-

members themselves. Some may feel

need to agree on what data or evidence

tor performance. Having an effective

that their process doesn’t allow for open

will be used to determine what success

superintendent evaluation process allows

and honest communication. Apprehen-

looks like. For the process to be fair, the

the board to monitor superintendent

sion about this work usually is a sign

superintendent and board must discuss

performance, to ensure the district is

that the board’s evaluation process has

and agree on what the board will rea-

making progress towards its goals and is

not been fully developed. Once the nec-

sonably expect of the superintendent

in compliance with written board policy.

essary “up-front” work is completed,

in terms of results. Nothing will erode

Question: Why is superintendent

evaluation becomes a routine part of the

the board/superintendent relationship

board’s annual planning cycle.

more quickly than the board evaluat-

evaluation so critical? Answer: An effective evaluation process gives the superintendent and

Question: What is IASB’s recommended approach to this work?

ing on something the superintendent had no idea he or she was being held

board an opportunity to identify profes-

Answer: There are several compo-

sional development opportunities that

nents to a successful evaluation process.

Finally, the board needs to put

can help the superintendent improve

First, the board and superinten-

its expectations in writing and devel-

his or her craft, which ultimately ben-

dent must agree on expectations. The

op an evaluation instrument. Crafting

efits both the superintendent and the

board may already have articulated

the language to express expectation

district. The evaluation also assists the

these expectations in various docu-

and goals should be a collaborative

board in making informed decisions

ments, including the superintendent

process, owned by the full board and

about the superintendent’s contract

contract, job description, district goals,

superintendent. While it is tempting to

and compensation. Finally, by law in

board policy, and school improvement

“borrow” an instrument from another

the State of Illinois, any multi-year con-

plans. Additionally, the board may wish

district or source, a board needs to view

tract must include performance goals.

to incorporate professional standards

the superintendent evaluation as part

The board must evaluate performance

into its evaluation.

of its overall district planning process.

towards these goals before a contract

accountable for.

An effective superintendent eval-

Using a template or sample from another

uation process includes a set of written

source is perfectly acceptable; however,

Q u e s t i o n : W hy d o b o a r d s

expectations for the district, articulated

the content should be tailored to meet

sometimes struggle with this part

in written district goals. When a board

the unique needs of the district.

of their work?

has engaged in a thoughtful goal-setting

may be renewed.

Continued on page 27

The questions for this issue were answered by Reatha Owen, IASB field services director for the Blackhawk, Central Illinois Valley, Corn Belt, and Western divisions.


2921 Baker Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 Address Service Requested

! E T A D e h t E V SA

What, Why, and How of Equity Issues in Education APRIL 28, 2018, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. HYATT REGENCY LISLE Free to members; advanced registration required. Registration details coming soon. Presented by the Illinois Association of School Boards

The Illinois School Board Journal, January/February 2018  
The Illinois School Board Journal, January/February 2018  

A bimonthly magazine for public school board members and administrators highlighting issues in education.