Page 1

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 7

V ol. 8 5, N o . 4



hat do you recall about

Rasmussen Grabavoy, Sue Ickes,

on the many ways IASB members can

your transition from regu-

Carla Joiner-Herrod, Bill Marvin,

connect with decision-makers. Read

lar human being to a school board

James McCabe, Erica Nelson, David

“Advocacy depends on building rela-


Price, Lori Price, Amy Reynolds, and

tionships,” starting on page 16, and

Many of you reading this are in

Marc Tepper. Together they bring

join us in wishing Cynthia the best.

your first days of school board ser-

136 years of board service to their

In closing, here’s a quote from

vice and finding it overwhelming.

advice. Some are decades removed

Erica Nelson, a survey respondent,

For this issue of The Illinois School

from their first days, and some offer

Board Journal we enlisted sever-

relatively fresh perspectives.

“I wish I had known more about how critical it is to learn

al veteran board members to share

A l l school b oa rd memb er s

the focus of our work ... take the

their wisdom about “What to expect

should take heed as attorney Scott

professional development offered

the first year,” and the consensus is

F. Uhler presents the question “Is

and insights from veteran board

that it would be unusual to not be

your smartphone still yours?” on

members. This work is focused

overwhelmed. Trust that you are not

page 12. The answers to that question

on the always-changing world

alone, that it becomes manageable,

explain why school board members

of education. We have to edu-

and that school board members are

need to be mindful of the law before

cate ourselves on the growth

always willing to help each other out.

discussing public business on per-

and changes in how children

sonal electronic devices.

learn and what will help them

As you read “What to expect the first year,” starting on page 6,

Also in this issue of the Journal,

be ready for the next steps they

you’ll discover an impressive array

we continue the discussion of the

take. ... We respect the taxpayers

of perspectives, but with the same

teacher shortage. It’s a nationwide

and the community contributions

core truths about joining the world

problem, the impacts of which are

to the schools and need to edu-

of school board members. I had the

evident in school districts through-

cate community members who

pleasure of conversing with several

out Illinois. We recall the Illinois

have not been into our schools

of the respondents, and their sen-

perspective on the lack of successful

to see the differences and varied

sitivity to those first overwhelming

candidates in “From rigor to reality,

opportunities that our students

moments, appreciation of the role

revisited,” by McKendree University’s

have and must have to learn.”

of the school board member, under-

James Rosborg, starting on page 21.

It’s a measure of how we can help

standing of the learning curve, and

We congratulate IASB Director

newcomers adjust to, and outsiders

practical wisdom is apparent in every

of Advocacy Cynthia Woods, a former

understand, the world of school


board member, who is retiring from

board service. If you have advice to

I of fer my thank s to the

the Association this summer. Before

add, feel free to let us know.

respondents: Sharon Archie-Dav-

she left, she was kind enough to write

enport, Greg Bachelor, Gianina

a farewell commentary on her career,

Baker, Kellie O’Leary Call, Cynthia

on the importance of advocacy, and

— Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor



What to expect the first year Compiled by Theresa Kelly Gegen We asked, and they answered. Find out what words of wisdom experienced board members from all over the state share with newcomers to board service.

12 Is your smartphone still yours? By Scott F. Uhler What laws and policies affect elected officials’ use of personal devices for public business?

J U L Y / A U G U S T

FEATURE ARTICLES 16 Advocacy depends on building relationships By Cynthia S. Woods Upon her retirement, IASB Director of Advocacy Cynthia Woods shares her thoughts on building relationships.

21 From rigor to reality, revisited By James Rosborg Take another look at the impact of the changes in the state rules and regulations in the number of teacher and administrator candidates in Illinois.

24 Teacher Leadership: Positive impacts on school districts By Joyce Kleinaitis Teacher leadership programs can impact districts’ development and retention of high quality teachers.

27 Entrusted By Joshua W. Stafford A superintendent shares thoughts on how education is “entrusted” to public education leaders as well as students.

2 0 1 7

Vol. 85, No. 4

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. James Russell, Associate Executive Director Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor Gary Adkins, Contributing Editor Heath Hendren, Contributing Editor Britni Beck, Advertising Manager Kara Kienzler, Design and Production

REGULAR FEATURES Front Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover Practical PR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Copyright © 2017 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.

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


District drops block schedule after intensive study By Ron Girard

Ron Girard, Ph.D., is public information officer for Mundelein High School District 120.


fter almost two full years of

looking at issues facing the district.

geometry (the next in the standard

study, discussion, debate, and

Groups discussed and prioritized

course sequence) until the second

research, the Mundelein CHSD 120

the issues and then presented them

semester of sophomore year. This

Board of Education voted to drop

to Superintendent Kevin Myers for

created a gap in the learning cycle

the 4x4 block schedule it was on for

further study. The number one item

and forced teachers to review the

20 years and return to a traditional

— of the 38 on the original list —

previous course when instruction on

eight-period schedule. The change

was the bell schedule. Many partic-

the new course should ideally begin

will take place at the beginning of

ipants had strong opinions about


the 2017-2018 school year.

the pros and cons of the high school

In the fall of 2014, the district


operating on a block schedule.

“What often happens is that a new class begins where some of the

held a community engagement

From that point, a faculty/staff

students need to review, while oth-

event involving students, staff,

committee was formed to look into

er students came straight from the

administration, parents, and pro-

all issues related to block schedules

previous course and are ready to get

fessionals from the community and

used in Illinois and across the coun-

started with the new material,” said

try. Once the committee had done

Director of Guidance Tom Buenik.

its research, it came back with some

Other issues became more evi-

unexpected results: Block schedul-

dent as the study evolved. As more

ing was having a negative impact in

and more students took on Advanced

a number of ways.

Placement courses, a problem arose

Because Mundelein’s block

concerning the national exam that

schedule offered 90 minutes of

takes place in May. Many students

instruction in four periods during the

took AP courses the first semester,

school day, courses that are a semes-

which ends in December. When faced

ter long in a traditional schedule were

with a four-month gap between when

completed in only nine weeks; and

they finish the course and take the

traditional schedule year-long cours-

exam, a number of students decided

es conclude in a semester. This cre-

to not take the exam at all.

ated situations where courses that

“Unfortunately, these students

are sequential, like math or foreign

miss out on possible college credit

language courses, are not necessarily

and savings in tuition which they

taken in succession. A student could

would have if they earned a 3, 4 or 5

have Algebra I first semester of fresh-

on the AP exam,” Buenik explained.

man year and then possibly not have

On a traditional semester-based


schedule, AP courses would run the

come in. In addition, most in-ser-

full year and students would still be

vice days for the remainder of the

in the course at the time the AP exam

academic year were dealing with

is administered.

the change and how staff will tran-

Once the committee came up

sition from one type of schedule to

with data like this, it moved toward

the other. Stacey Gorman, director

recommending that the district drop

of curriculum and instruction, has

the block schedule in favor of return-

arranged for workshops and speakers

ing to a more traditional schedule. At

to help faculty make the change and

this point, open meetings were held to

to address the idea of homework on

inform the public about the pending

the new schedule.

decision. People had strong opinions

“As students move from three or

on both sides. District representatives

four academic classes to five or six

presented their findings and allowed

per day, we want to make sure we

ample time for comments and ques-

are cautious of homework balance,”

tions at each of the three public meet-

Gorman said.

ings. A subcommittee of the original

Registration for next year’s cours-

did a second round of research at the

es recently concluded and took place

board’s request and came up with

with very little anxiety. The students,

additional findings. Meetings with the

staff, and community have all been a

community continued as well as staff

part of the process and are on board

meetings, surveys, and student input.

looking forward to the future.

The original committee then conclud-

“This was an eye-opening expe-

ed that the best decision would be to

rience,” Myers said. “The fact that

return to a traditional schedule.

our students only experience 18

“I commend the board of educa-

months each of English, math, sci-

tion, administration, staff, students,

ence, and social studies during their

and the community for almost two

four years at MHS is alarming. We

years of extensive study which has

must be focused on providing the

led to this decision [to return to a

best possible education for all our

traditional eight-period day],” said

students and, after looking at our

Myers. “This has truly been an open,

research, we were painfully aware

collaborative process and we are

that we [were] not currently doing

looking forward to moving to the new

that. We must prepare all our stu-

schedule. It is absolutely the right

dents for a successful future.”

thing to do for all of our students.” The process didn’t conclude with

President Phil Pritzker

Treasurer Thomas Neeley

Vice President Joanne Osmond

Immediate Past President Karen Fisher

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Bill Alexander

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

Blackhawk David Rockwell

Lake Vacant

Central Illinois Valley Thomas Neeley

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

the board decision, however. Once Board of directors members are current at press time.

the decision was made, the district immediately created an online “Frequently Asked Questions” page on its website so anyone could get answers to their questions. The site is continually updated as more questions

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

J U L Y - A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 / 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 

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



Shortchanged long enough “It would be the understatement

low-income families already start

long enough, and they continue to do

of the century to say the funding

kindergarten lagging children from

so every day they put their political

formula for elementary and second-

wealthier backgrounds and that con-

party above the kids most in need

ary education in Illinois is unfair. …

tinues throughout their academic

of their attention. They can start

The funding inequity has devastat-

career. … Lawmakers have short-

making amends by passing a budget

ing consequences. Students from

changed the state’s poorest children

and education funding reform.” — “Illinois must overhaul education funding formula,” Sounding the Alarm series, The Editorial Board, State Journal-Register, May 18, 2017.

“With P resident Dona ld Trump’s proposed budget for 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 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 One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120 630/629-3776 Fax 630/629-3940


BOARD DEVELOPMENT Dean Langdon, Associate Executive Director Board Development Sandra Kwasa, Director Nesa Brauer, Trainer Angie Peifer, Consultant

next fiscal year now on the table, the nation’s governors have a message for Congress: Think carefully before you cut key education programs. [They] urged Congress to “prioritize investments” in programs related to the Every Student

COMMUNICATIONS/ PRODUCTION SERVICES James Russell, 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 Kara Kienzler, Director/Production Services

Succeeds Act, career and technical

FIELD SERVICES/POLICY SERVICES Cathy A. Talbert, Associate Executive Director

al with no real accountability or

Field Services Larry Dirks, Director Perry Hill IV, Director Laura Martinez, Director Reatha Owen, Director Patrick Rice, Director Barbara B. Toney, Director Policy Services Boyd Fergurson, Consultant Angie Powell, Consultant Brian Zumpf, Consultant

education, and elsewhere.” — “Governors to Congress: Don’t Shortchange Us on ESSA, Special Ed.,” Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week Politics K-12, May 30, 2017.

“Appointed boards are dependent on the leadership of the mayor … This is way too much authority to be investing in one individutransparency. On the other hand, elected boards are vulnerable to special interests because of the very low voter participation in school board elections. … I believe you need a hybrid board. Part elected, part appointed.” — Paul Vallas, chief administrator of Chicago State University and former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, as quoted in “Why Vallas backs a hybrid school board,” by Phil Kadner, Chicago Sun-Times, June 6, 2017.


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What to expect the first year Compiled by Theresa Kelly Gegen

Theresa Kelly Gegen is editor of The Illinois School Board Journal.


s approximately 1,200 new school board members

learning curve for almost everyone. Many refer to the

settled into their seats for their first meetings, The

distinction between board and staff responsibilities

Journal asked some experts — veteran school board

based on the work of Richard Broholm and Douglas

members with insights to share — to light the way for

Johnson in A Balcony Perspective: Clarifying the

them, and tell what new members can expect in the first

Trustee Role:

hundred days and the first full year. Sharon Archie-Davenport: “I thought what we call

Q: What do you wish you had known before you joined your board of education?


the ‘dance floor’ now, was the power of the board, but it is not. I thought the board of education had this authority over everything. However, I learned that is not what the role is. The board’s job it to set policy, and to hire the

“You don’t have the power you think you do,” says

superintendent. The role is way, totally different from

Sue Ickes with a smile, and many respondents agreed.

what I expected. It is governance work — observing

Learning the role of a school board member presents a

as opposed to procedural hands-on. That is where the


balcony comes in. You observe what is happening, and then consider it based on your policies.” Lori Price: “It’s important to understand how much you don’t know. Even if you’ve spent months contemplating your decision to run and using that time to learn more about the district, there is still so much you won’t know.” Cynthia Rasmussen Grabavoy: “So many of us come in, and we don’t understand the role, and how to efficiently and responsibly function as a school board member. It’s not your opinion, or even necessarily what you think would be best. It’s what’s best collectively to adhere to district policies, how it relates to the strategic plan and to the vision and goals of the district. That complete perspective is something people don’t understand. I didn’t fully understand it, either. We have to remind ourselves of it, as school board members. When an issue comes up that we’re passionate about at a personal level, we have to remember, it’s not about me.” Sometimes, the misunderstanding of the role comes externally, but nonetheless presents a challenge to new school board members: Kellie O’Leary Call: “I was surprised by the number of times I was asked, ‘What’s your agenda?’ or ‘What are you looking to change?’ with regards to my reason to be on the school board. I didn’t have an agenda or anything to ‘change’ due to resentment. I learned quickly that, unfortunately, there are some who are board members because they were angered by a policy decision that affected them personally and decided to run for the seat out of bitterness.” Erica Nelson: “I wish I had known more about how critical it is to learn the focus our work — take the professional development offered and insights from veteran board members. This work is focused on the always changing world of education. We have to educate ourselves on the growth and changes in how children learn and what will help them be ready for the next steps they take. ... We respect the taxpayers and the community contributions to the schools and need to educate community members who have not been into our schools to see the differences and varied opportunities that our students have and must have to learn.” Other respondents wish they had known more of the specifics of the job: Greg Bachelor: “Had I known how complicated the budget and spending processes were I would have attended more meetings and public hearings before running for election.”


Sharon Archie-Davenport is a seven-year member of the board of education for CCSD 168, based in Sauk Village, and South Cook Division vice chair. Greg Bachelor has served on the school board at Robinson CUSD 2 for two years. Gianina Baker has served just under two years on the Champaign CUSD 4 Board of Education. Kellie O’Leary Call is vice president for of the Polo CUSD 222 Board of Education and has served for six years. She is division chair for IASB’s Northwest Division. Cynthia Rasmussen Grabavoy is in her fourth term as a member of the school board for Troy CCSD 30C in Plainfield and serves as Three Rivers Division communications chair. Sue Ickes has been a member of the school board for Moline-based United THSD 30 for 10 years and currently serves as board president. Carla Joiner-Herrod is a 12-year member of the Lindop SD 92 Board of Education and represents the West Cook Division on the IASB Board of Directors. Bill Marvin is a 16-year board member and current board president for Tri-City CUSD 1 in Buffalo. James McCabe is a 15-year member of Utica-based Waltham CC 185, currently serving as board president. He is division chair for the Starved Rock Division. Erica Nelson is an 11-year member of the Glen Ellyn SD 41 school board and currently serves as board president. David Price is a 20-year member and current vice president of the school board for Washington SD 50. Lori Price has been a member of the Indian Prairie CUSD 204 Board of Education for six years and serves as board secretary. Amy Reynolds is in her fifth year as a member of the Rochester CUSD 3A Board of Education. She is resolutions chair for the Abe Lincoln Division. Marc Tepper is a 16-year member and current president of the Kildeer-Countryside CCSD 96 Board of Education. He is also vice chair for the Lake Division.


Marc Tepper: “I wish I had understood the amount

Carla Joiner-Herrod: “I really didn’t understand

of reading required on a weekly basis to keep abreast

that politics sometimes impacts change. However, being

of district events, board packets, financial statements,

on a board is something that you have to experience and

local news, national news, and school board news.”

‘learn by doing.’ Experience is the very best teacher.”

S ome t a l k about bu i ld i ng a nd ma i nt a i n i ng relationships, both within and outside the leadership team:

Q: What can new board members expect in their first hundred days? Bill Marvin gives a succinct answer to what can be

Amy Reynolds: “I wish I had known how difficult

expected in the first hundred days of school board ser-

it is to be as open as I wish to be with my constituents,

vice. “Confusion,” he says. Another word that pops up in

while also maintaining a trustworthy relationship

many answers is “overwhelmed,” with these examples:

with fellow board members.” David Price: “I wish I had known the diversity of personalities I would be working with.”

Call: “Newly elected board members should anticipate being a little overwhelmed in their first hundred

James McCabe: “I wish I had understood more

days, and that’s OK! Board work is a continuous learning

about the patience level that you need, because change

process that becomes more familiar the longer you’re

happens but slowly.”

seated. You’ll do fine if you are committed to being

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Contact IASB Policy Services today for information: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1214 or 1154; or


March/April 2017 THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL / JULY-AUGUST 2017 July/August 2017

fully engaged which begins by absorbing information,

serious about separating your role

asking questions and utilizing all available resources.”

as a board member with your other

Tepper: “Board members will understand the feeling

roles — you are now elected and the

of being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of informa-

expectations are different for you.

tion. The addition of mandatory training within 90 days

You always represent your board

does not help. It would be better to have an extended

role and your board.”

period of time for training since much of what is taught is not retained due to ‘information overload.’

Joiner-Herrod: “In the first hundred days, learn the basics of

Sue Ickes: “They can expect to feel overwhelmed,

governance. Become familiar with your expectations

especially if unaccustomed to Roberts Rules of Order.”

such as meeting dates, retreat, training opportunities,

Archie-Davenport: “I just told our new ones, ‘it is

and IASB and NSBA meetings and conferences.”

going to be overwhelming, and it is a lot of information.’

McCabe: “Expect to learn a lot of new terms and

The best thing to do is to take it piece by piece. Ask

processes and learning a tremendous amount about how

questions. Don’t just take the mandatory training, take

the district works in the background.”

all the training you can. The first hundred days needs to be an education period, when you take the challenge

David Price offers a slightly different take on the

to truly invest in being a well-rounded board member.”

first hundred days, saying, “It’s when you get used to community members trying to get your attention.”

Respondents consider the details of their work in the first hundred days: Gianina Baker: “Listening. And lots of it.” Bachelor: “The first hundred days are full of mandatory training, meetings and information gathering so

“As a school board member, your broad back is your policies and plans. And of course, you have to have compassion.”

you may immediately start contributing to the actions

— Cynthia Rasmussen Grabavoy

of the board.” Grabavoy: “It would be wonderful if there could be a mentor for every new school board member, to assist them through the process in their own district. Some of us go about reaching out to new members naturally, but

Q: What are the biggest challenges a board member faces in the first full year?

that doesn’t always happen on every board.” Lori Price: “Expect a lot of reading. Policies, information about your district that was not previously known,

Three respondents are in straightforward agreement on what the biggest challenge of the first full year is:

budgets, prior meeting minutes to get caught up, etc. Expect to learn a lot more than you ever thought you’d need to know.” Reynolds: “The first hundred days present a huge learning curve, not just in the obvious like budgets,

McCabe: “Understanding the budget process and the tax levy process.” Bill Marvin: “Understanding fiscal issues.” Ickes: “Learning financial and legal basics.”

mandates, legalese, etc., but also in how best to interact with fellow board members.”

Others consider the role, and the working rela-

Nelson: “You’ll need to be reading and getting

tionships it involves, as the biggest challenge of the

organized in order to manage the amount of paper and

first year. Cynthia Rasmussen Grabavoy is involved

reports. If you do not create a system for the mate-

in advocacy for the elderly, and she brings some of the

rials, you won’t be able to follow your board’s work

tenets of that work into the challenges faced by school

cycle as easily. Take your required training and be

board members.



“In work with hospice patients and trying to sup-

board member, no matter where you go or how hard

port them, there is a saying, ‘we need to have a broad

you try to keep those roles separate. You can be at the

back of equanimity and a soft front of compassion,’”

grocery store, volunteering at your child’s school, even

Rasmussen said. “As a school board member, your

attending your child’s musical performance. You are

broad back is your policies and plans. And of course,

no longer just their parent. You are seen as the board

you have to have compassion.”

member through the eyes of parents, teachers, admin-

Other respondents also offered relationshipbuilding advice:

istrators, etc. You will also learn that you will not be able to please everyone, including those that voted for you. You are a trustee of the entire district, not just the

Call: “Upon finding out you’ve been elected to the

schools your child is affiliated with.”

school board; community members will look to obtain your input on current topics or other concerns they

A few respondents summed the challenges up:

may have. Knowing what items are considered ‘board work’ and what items the community member needs

Bachelor: “The first year may see negotiations with

to address directly with your District’s administration

a union, new budget concerns, discipline issues, angry

are essential and requires professional development to

parents and committee meetings.” Baker: “The biggest challenge is time. As a working

know the difference.” Tepper: “There is challenge in understanding the

mom, it was difficult to find time outside my full-time

role and how to separate the ‘parent’ hat from the ‘board’

job and family/home responsibilities to make it to all

hat. There are times that you may need to vote on what

the events I wanted to.”

is best for the district as a whole, but not necessarily for

Nelson: “The first challenge is developing the routine of

your child. If you cannot make that choice, you probably

preparing for your board meeting. Also important is getting

should not be a board member.”

up to speed on the district’s budget and that process. You

Archie-Davenport: “Get to know your fellow board

need to train yourself to think independently from your

members, professionally and personally. Take part in

fellow board members taking into account their thoughts

your boards’ activities, and come to understand every-

while reviewing the recommendations from the admin-

one’s perspectives and personalities. You will be more

istration as the experts and share appropriate questions

cohesive if you know who you’re working with. You want

to clarify your understanding. Another challenge is to be

to be able to brainstorm together, and to express your

prepared for disagreement with fellow board members

views freely. It’s hard if you don’t get to know the peo-

and maintain a professional approach — even if another

ple you’re working with. And still, you want to take the

does not return that respect. A final challenge is staying

opportunity, even if you are in the minority, to state your

focused on board work not managing the administration.”

case. Your vote counts, even if it’s not the majority. You will want the minutes to reflect what you stand for, that you stand behind your words. Your word is your bond.” Reynolds: “There is a challenge in learning the dos and don’ts as far as interacting with the public in the most open, yet professional manner.”

Q: What other information would you share with a new member to school board service? Finally, we asked all the respondents for their favorite

Joiner-Herrod: “Working with board members that may have personal agendas.”

bit of advice or information for new school board members. As expected, they are effusive with their sharing.

David Price: “Knowing what to concentrate on and

Again, many choose practical advice:

how your fellow personalities on the board see the issues David Price: “Go to the IASB new board members

before them.” Lori Price: “Learning to navigate your new roles. You are no longer just someone’s mom; you are now a


training as soon as possible.” Ickes: “Read the policy manual cover-to-cover.”


McCabe: “As you hear topics of concern or questions,

students. It’s hard to not come in with

be sure to listen but try not to answer. Most of these are

your own ideas of how the district can

the work of the superintendent, and drop your ‘bag’ on

be run better, however, patience is

their desk and let them handle it.”

key. The district may not be in a place

Tepper: “Do not come to a board meeting unprepared.

to support your idea or initiative; it is

Make sure you have read the packet before the meeting.”

extremely important for board members to really listen and uncover the

Many experienced respondents note that IASB

root needs of the district.”

offers multiple resources for new board members, and

Call: “It cannot be stressed enough to take advantage

strongly encourage newbies to avail themselves of online

of the professional development offered by the IASB on-line

resources, attend division meetings and other events,

and on-site, particularly at the Joint Annual Conference.

and attend the Joint Annual Conference — both to learn

It is targeted to items that are specific to board work.”

and to network — when possible: Finally, our respondents offer wisdom that applies Lori Price: “Go to the state convention and try

to the first year of school board service, and well beyond:

to attend a national convention if you can. This is our professional development. Go with an open mind to

Tepper: “Do not be afraid to ask questions. Don’t

gain new ways of thinking and gather ideas that might

feel like it is beneath the board or administration to

work in your district, or be creative in adapting those

answer any and all questions.” Marvin: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

ideas to fit your district and its needs.” Baker: “I found the Joint Annual Conference chock

Grabavoy: “Go in strong. But if you go in thinking

full of projects and initiatives working in similar districts

you have it all figured out, you’re going to miss some

to ours. My biggest advice is to come in with an open mind

great ideas. Ask questions. It’s a challenge, for some

and be willing to learn. It’s quite possible the district

people to listen — not just hear, but listen. Help the

is already underway with implementation of effective

group set priorities. We all make mistakes, but we recov-

practices and approaches to support the success of its

er and move forward.”

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Is your smartphone still yours? By Scott F. Uhler

Scott F. Uhler is a partner with Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd. in Chicago.


ow that you are elected, is your

(FOIA). In City of Champaign v.

did involve public business, that

smartphone or other personal

Madison in 2013, elected officials

generally the actions of individual

were observed using their smart-

public officials did not constitute

electronic device still yours?

phones at a public meeting to com-

use, preparation, or possession by

Prior doctrine — Limited

municate with one another. The court

a “public body,” i.e. an individual

disclosure required by public

found such communications could

public official is not a public body.

officials under FOIA

be subject to disclosure if they per-

In that particular situation however,

In 2013, the Illinois Appellate

tained to public business and were

the court determined that the city

Court wrestled with the difficult

“prepared by or for a public body,

council members — while participat-

issue of whether certain communi-

used by a public body, received by

ing in a public meeting — were acting

cations made on the private electron-

a public body, possessed by a public

as the public body and therefore cov-

ic devices of public officials can be

body or controlled by a public body.”

ered by FOIA. Individual elected city

subject to required disclosure under

The court found that if the

council members there were acting

the Freedom of Information Act

communications on the cellphones

in their collective capacity as the “public body” while their regular public meeting was being held. The court made it clear that regardless of how or when such communications were made, purely personal communications with no bearing on public business are not subject to FOIA. The court’s decision therefore appeared to establish the following legal principles under FOIA: The discussion of public business by or to elected board members on their personal electronic devices must be disclosed under FOIA if the communication goes to a majority of a quorum of the public body, is sent during a public meeting, or if the



e-message is forwarded to a device

City of Champaign v Madigan) that

records” under

or email system owned or controlled

any such communications sent from

FOIA to exclude

by the public body.

personal email accounts did not fall


That discussion of public busi-

within FOIA because they were not

tions relati ng

ness by public employees on their

“prepared by or for” a public body.

to the transac-

personal electronic devices would

CPD also argued that because they

tion of publ ic

not be subject to FOIA (since a public

were not stored on a city server, they

business which

employee cannot be “public body”).

could not be “used by” or in the pos-

were sent from or received on the

session or under the control of a pub-

personal email or devices of public

lic body.

officials and employees would be

The scope of disclosure expands — Can public records be created on personal cellphones?

The PAC, however, disagreed,

contrary to the basic intent under

concluding that such a finding “would

FOIA to ensure public access to full

A more recent decision of the Public Access Counselor (PAC) of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General once again calls into question the rules related to the use of electronic

The PAC held that any communications pertaining to the transaction

communications by public officials

of public business that were sent or received on employees’ personal

and employees, and the scope of

email accounts are “public records” under FOIA and should be

required disclosure, even on personal cell phones, tablets, and laptops.

produced subject to any other possible statutory exemptions.

On August 9, 2016, the PAC issued binding opinion 16-006 in response to a request for review alleging a violation of FOIA by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). A news outlet

undercut the principle that public

and thorough information regard-

submitted a FOIA request to the CPD

bodies act through their employees,

ing governmental affairs. The PAC

seeking “all emails related to Laquan

by excluding from the definition of

concluded that such an interpreta-

McDonald from Police Department

‘public records’ communications

tion would yield absurd results by

email accounts and personal email

sent or received by employees of

allowing public officials or employ-

accounts where business was dis-

a public body on personal devices

ees to circumvent FOIA and hide

cussed” for 12 named CPD officers

or accounts, regardless of wheth-

information from the public about

for certain date ranges. In preparing

er the communications pertain to

how they conduct their public duties

a response to the FOIA request, the

the transaction of public business.”

simply by using personal electronic

CPD FOIA officer searched the CPD

The PAC held that the proper inqui-

devices to communicate.

email system for the named officers

ry must focus on the content of the

As a result, the PAC held that any

and the requested periods and pro-

communication (does it pertain to

communications pertaining to the

duced the responsive records. How-

public business) and not the method

transaction of public business that

ever, CPD did not conduct a search

by which it was transmitted.

were sent or received on employees’

of personal email accounts for any

personal email accounts are “pub-

responsive records, asserting that

Public employees’ personal email

lic records” under FOIA and should

emails on such accounts are not pub-

accounts can be subject to FOIA

be produced subject to any other

lic records. The CPD argued (under

The PAC reasoned that inter-

possible statutory exemptions. The

the rules seemingly established in

preting the definition of “public

PAC emphasized that the mere fact



that a personal

PAC found the CPD’s concern about

thorough and targeted searches for

email account

privacy concerns unfounded since

responsive documents when pro-

is used to send

the search itself was inadequate, as

cessing FOIA requests, which may

or receive pub-

CPD took no steps at all to ascertain

include persona l dev ices or

lic records does

whether the employees named in


not transfor m

the FOIA might have any respon-

a l l c om mu n i-

sive records. While the PAC did not

cations sent or

answer precisely what the required

received on that account into pub-

“search” of a personal cellphone,

lic records that must be disclosed in

laptop or tablet would look like, it

accordance with FOIA, in particular

made clear that a public body cannot

such records have no connection to

simply decline to search for emails

the transaction of public business.

contained on personal accounts, if

Those communications pertaining

they are relevant to the request.

to the transaction of public business, however, that were sent or received on

Need for policies and procedures

the CPD employees’ personal email

Th is bi nd i ng PAC opi n ion

accounts, are “public records” under

emphasizes the need for clear pol-

the definition of that term in FOIA.

icies and training for public officials

The PAC further noted that

and employees about proper proce-

CPD’s search for responsive records

dures for conducting public business

was inadequate in that no search

by email or text, particularly when

was even made of personal email

using personal electronic devices

accou nt s, a lthou g h a speci f ic

or email. It also reiterates the need

request was made for the same. The

for p ubl ic b o d ie s t o c ond u c t

Resources IASB’s Policy Reference Manual: 2:250 Access to District Public Records, 2:140 Communications To and From the Board and 2:140-E Exhibit — Guidance for Board Member Communications, Including Email Use City of Champaign v. Madigan, 2013 IL App (4th) 120662 is available at http:// AppellateCourt/2013/4thDistrict/ 4120662.pdf Sample Policies: Sample policies from the Office of the Attorney General addressing electronic file management, prohibiting the use of private email accounts for official or work-related business and prohibiting the use of text messaging for official business are available for reference at http:// documents/375928_1.pdf A copy of the full PAC Decision 16-006 is available at the following link: opinions/2016/16-006.pdf

IASB’s Policy Reference Manual 2:140-E Exhibit — Guidance for Board Member Communications, Including Email includes the following: When Must the Electronic Communications Sent or Received by Individual Board Members Be Disclosed Pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request? If a Board member uses a District-provided device or email address to discuss public business, the email is subject to disclosure under FOIA, barring an applicable exemption. If a Board member uses a private device and email address, the communication is subject to FOIA if it satisfies this test: First, the communication pertains to the transaction of public business, and Second, the communication was: (1) prepared by a public body, (2) prepared for a public body, (3) used by a public body, (4) received by a public body, (5) possessed by a public body, and/or (6) controlled by a public body. This test is from the appellate court decision in City of Champaign v. Madigan, 992 N.E.2d 629 (Ill.App.4th, 2013).




Joint Annual Conference November 17-19, 2017  Chicago #ILjac17

November 17-19, 2017  Chicago  Illinois Association of School Boards  Illinois Association of School Administrators  Illinois Association of School Business Officials 85th Joint Annual Conference

LEARN from over 100 panel sessions DISCOVER 250+ exhibits BE INSPIRED by three general sessions NETWORK with over 9,000 attendees Details and registration information at

The Joint Annual Conference is a fantastic opportunity to learn about “important school leadership issues facing educators in our state.

— 2016 attendee




Advocacy depends on building relationships By Cynthia S. Woods


Cynthia S. Woods, IASB director of government relations for advocacy, is retiring this summer after 23 years with the Association.


hen I was seated on my

volunteer work got them their job

who they are, what they do, how and

school board at Glen Ellyn

and new career. It was being a school

why they do it.

SD 41 in 1983, our board president

board member that led to the oppor-

I n c u l l i n g my f i le s b e fore

asked if I would chair the legislative

tunity to join the Illinois Associa-

retiring, I found a supporting doc-

committee. Having only moved to

tion of School Boards in 1994. I had

ument that preceded the Nebo

Illinois six years earlier, I had no idea

been part of a board that worked

meeting. “Governance Role of the

about Illinois legislative process, let

well together, so I knew what was

Local School Board” summarized

alone public school legislative issues.

meant by a “good board.” I also knew

the essentials of vision, advocacy,

Nonetheless, I accepted the challenge

the value of a good board/superin-

structure, and accountability. My

of the role and became very active

tendent working relationship. Only

note next to advocacy was “moral

in grassroots groups and lobbying,

after I got to IASB did I learn about

trustees.” Maybe that is why being

locally and in Springfield.

some “boards that behave badly”

director for advocacy for the Asso-

At first, I was hesitant to talk to

and how hard the Association works

ciation and its members has meant

legislators. But I soon learned they

with such boards to improve those

so much to me.

are no different from the rest of us,


and all you need to do is say “hello” and you’re off!

One of the highlights of my new

Working in this role has showed me that although Illinois emphasiz-

job was being

es “local control,” we

One of my first visits to Spring-

included in the

still need to consider

field was scheduled to meet with our

staff retreat to

the entire state when

local state representative, Ralph

Nebo, Illinois,

we talk about educa-

Barger. Our board wanted his atten-

at a small rural

tion and educational

tion on a specific bill and asked me

lodge where the

opportunities. Certain

to speak with him. I decided to bring

work on our gov-

legislation, although

some homemade chocolate chip

ernance philos-

benef icia l i n some

cookies to help sweeten the encoun-

ophy star ted.

areas, may be detri-

ter. I got mercilessly teased by other

That was in

mental in other areas

board members from neighboring

J u l y 19 9 7 —

of the state, which is

districts, as well as by my own board.

exactly 20 years

why we need to look

But let me tell you, after that he knew

ago! What eventually became the

at what works for all. Local voices

me better than any other education

“Foundational Principles of Effec-

need to be heard. But know that

person and always made time for me.

tive Governance,” continues to be

your voice and your ability to forge

I like to share that I am one of

the bedrock of IASB instruction to

a relationship with legislators, their

very few people who can say their

school boards, to help them define

assistants, and other policy makers


are crucial factors in impacting

recommendations to the General

Probably one of my favorite

public education policy.

Assembly concerning the General

groups to work with over the years

State Aid grant program.

has been the Future Farmers of

Over the past 23 years, I have been an active participant in and

Another of my ongoing respon-

America (FFA). I met these stu-

liaison to many statewide educa-

sibilities has been attending the

dents when they would testify at

tion committees, commissions, and

Illinois State Board of Education

ISBE budget hearings or ISBE board

task forces. One of the highlights

monthly board meetings, budget

meetings, always wearing their crisp

included involvement with the start-

hearings, and other ISBE-related

blue blazers, and always well-spo-

up of the Better Funding for Better

events. When I first started attend-

ken and organized. As I got to know

Schools (BFBS) coalition in 1999.

ing, the meetings would often be

some of their student officers and

This coalition was formed by school

held in Chicago or other areas of

their sponsors, I found out the rig-

board member Sharon Voliva, legis-

the state. The supporting staff for

or of their programs and the power

lators including State Representa-

the agency would attend and the

behind their leadership skills. It is a

tive Will Davis, and businessman

meetings were a full two-day event.

remarkable program.

Bill Doctor. It also included voices

Issues would be discussed one day

Another group I’ve enjoyed

from a variety of smaller organi-

in detail prior to possible votes the

working with is the Civic Mission

zations as well as statewide orga-

next day. Staff would make presenta-

Coalition, dedicated to promoting

nizations like IASB — all seeking

tions and be part of the discussions.

civics in education. It started about

better school funding. We worked

Outside experts would be brought

15 years ago with the support of

hard, first organizing and then lob-

in to help with understanding the

both the McCormick Foundation

bying locally and in Springfield for

topic. Today, state board meetings

and the Constitutional Rights Foun-

more equitable funding. Despite the

are barely more than two hours in

dation and has evolved into a true

enormous effort and progress, the

length. There is rarely any detailed

cross-sectional coalition. One of its

coalition disbanded and there is still

discussion or questioning about

primary accomplishments has been

no school funding reform. It is not

most agenda items. There is limited

the promotion of and support for

surprising; however, that Rep. Davis

staff presentation and interaction,

schools to become Illinois Democ-

is still involved in the effort and is a

and rarely outside experts.

racy Schools. Currently there are

sponsor of current funding reform legislation. BFBS was not the only effort; in fact, around this same time, another statutory group was established under the responsibility of ISBE: the Education Funding Advisor y Board (EFA B). This board consisted of five members along with about 20 people from various agencies and educational organizations as support. They were tasked with researching and proposing what the equitable/adequate per pupil funding amount

In 2001, Cynthia Woods and current Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan were among those honored by AT&T and Tech 2000 for contributions to technology. Pictured left to right are teacher honoree Linda Smentek, Woods, Madigan (then a state senator) and Kappy Laing, representing AT&T.

should be in Illinois and make



shared their educational system with us.

“Over the years, I have heard and met with educational visionaries and leaders both locally and internationally. I have learned the importance of school board voice beyond the boardroom. This is — or should be — the work of all school boards and school board members: to make your voice known, to make your role known.” – Cynthia Woods

Academic excellence and rigor was also the focus of the Lincoln Foundation for Education Excellence. I represented IASB with the Foundation, a coalition of education groups and businesses that worked to encourage schools and districts in Illinois to get involved with the national Baldrige Framework for Excellence program. Partly because of its rigor and demand of time and

about 60 high schools with this dis-

honor. It was through my involve-

partly because of dwindling funds

tinct designation. Schools apply for

ment with this coalition that I was

available to pursue this process, the

this honor and must work through

asked to travel to Estonia with the

Lincoln Foundation for Education

a rigorous program around civics

CIVITAS project to represent Amer-

Excellence disbanded. Some of their

and their schools to achieve this

ican school boards as that country

work was eventually replaced by the Illinois Education Roundtable, which included many of the same organizations that were involved with the Lincoln Foundation. Internally, I have been active in

Policy Services Welcome New Superintendents! And congratulations on your new position.

the IASB committee that researched and developed our community engagement process. I think that for public education to survive, it needs to focus on just this kind of community involvement. Over the years, I

As you settle in, many questions may arise, including the following:

have heard and met with educational

• How are board policies being implemented?

and internationally. I have learned

• Are administrative procedures up-to-date?

beyond the boardroom. This is — or

• Are the administrative procedures in alignment with board policy?

boards and school board members:

IASB Policy Services offers an Administrative Procedures Project service designed to help administrators provide their district with the procedures necessary to assure implementation of and alignment with board policy.

baffled by the lack of knowledge

visionaries and leaders both locally the importance of school board voice should be — the work of all school to make your voice known, to make your role known. After all these years, I am still

For more information, visit or call 630/629-3776, ext. 1214 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1154


July/August 2017

that the general public has about what school boards do and why they are vital. There are whispers of the demise of public education as we know it; that includes a locally


elected school board. School board

DuPage County declared a “Year of Civic Engagement” in 2008. Pictured are Terry Pastika of the Citizen Advocacy Center, Darlene Ruscitti of the DuPage ROE, Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by Max Daniels), IASB’s Cynthia Woods, and Alfred Spitzzeri of the DuPage Bar Association.

members are the poster image of grassroots activity. Among their many roles, school board members are the public relations department for their district. Not only do they need to know their legislators on a personal level (and they need to know you and your district), they need to advertise their district with their constituents, their county, and their state. To me, the most important part of advocacy is developing relationships with people. It is only within those relationships that sharing

Cynthia Woods (third from left) worked with ISBE, the McCormick Foundation and other entities on the “Civic Blueprint for Illinois High Schools,” designed to teach Illinois residents facets of civic education.

information, building trust, and taking responsibility for a board member’s role occurs. Sitting at a board table once or twice a month is not enough: grassroots advocacy is a full-time, active job. So, what exactly is “advocacy?” By definition, it is “the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending; active espousal.” One of the goals throughout my IASB career has been to remind people that school boards are a vital part of the public school education system. People know teachers, superintendents,

Having said that, some things

and your community. Invite them

principals, students, and even build-

never change: sharing what a

to visit your schools, to attend a

ings. But many don’t know the role of

local school board does, what

school board meeting, and visit

school boards or know their school

you are responsible for,

board members. That is the ongoing

and how you do your

job of all school board members.

them in in their space. Start with a “hello,”

work is crucial as pub-

a handshake, and a

School board activities have

lic education moves

smile. (And if need-

changed since I was a board member

through and around

ed, a plate of home-

in the 1980s. People then had more

this age of privatiza-

made cookies can

time to devote to meetings and activ-

t i o n a n d vo u c h e r s .

ities; technology was in its infancy.

K now you can impact

Add to that the state had more mon-

this future by meeting your leg-

relationships, relationships, rela-

ey and schools had more money. It

islators, your state board mem-

tionships to build effective and

was a more prosperous time.

bers, your local elected officials,

successful advocacy.


help!) Remember, it takes


th n ! ve owrint e s nn p w io in Ne dit ble e la ai v a

An effective reference for school business managers, budget makers, and anyone who needs to understand school finance.

Essentials of Illinois School Finance

A Guide to Techniques, Issues, and Resources By James B. Fritts From the peculiarities of property taxes and state funding to the formulas for projecting enrollments and staffing budgets, Essentials of Illinois School Finance covers just about everything. That’s why this book is considered the “primer” for newly-elected school board members, as well as students of educational administration. The first part deals with revenue — where schools get it, how they maximize it, protect it, and plan for it. The second half address expenditures — how schools budget and minimize expenses. A special chapter at the end examines the many standards for school finance and business management that need to be established by action of the local governing board. Members: $25

Non-Members: $35

More 2017 bookstore additions! Find a complete listing of IASB publications and order online at, or call IASB Publications, 217/528-9688, ext.1108. Online Bookstore

The Effective School Board Member

Members: $2

Non-Members $2

An introduction to the work of boards of education in Illinois, including powers and duties, dos and don’ts, the structure of school governance, finance, board/administrator/staff relations, board meeting procedures, a code of ethics, and other information.

2016-2017 Illinois School Code Service

Members: $45

Non-Members $55

All new sales of the 2016 School Code will include both the Code and the 2017 Supplement with updates to the complete Code that is current through all of the 2016 legislative session. The service also comes with access to a digital version that includes annotations with case law and other references, all State Board of Education rules, and the text of court cases cited in the annotations. It also carries a large number of additional statutes pertinent to Illinois public schools.




From rigor to reality, revisited State regulation and its impact on teacher, administrator ed candidates By James Rosborg


he Illinois Council of Profes-

2016 issue of The Illinois School

Research in the area of prin-

sors in Education Adminis-

Board Journal), the Illinois State

cipal preparation shows 1,742 new

tration (ICPEA) in conjunction with

Board of Education (ISBE) raised

graduates in principalship in the

the Illinois Association of School

the minimum standards needed to

last six years. ICPEA estimates

Boards (IASB) continues to study

pass the Test of Academic Proficien-

there have been around 2,800 new

the impact of the changes in the

cy (TAP), formerly the Basic Skills

principal job openings in the past

state rules and regulations, and the

exam. The goal was to increase teach-

six years. The number of job open-

impact on the number of candidates

er rigor. Since that 2010 change, the

ings does not even include openings

going into education in the state of

results show that teacher and admin-

in other administrative positions

Illinois, both in the teaching and

istrator candidate numbers dramat-

like assistant principals, deans of

administration areas.

ically went down with the jury still

students, directors, department

being out as to the improvement of

chairs, and assistant superinten-

candidate quality.

dents. The research shows that

IASB Field Services Director Patrick Rice expanded last year’s survey and received data from a

James Rosborg, Ph.D., is director of the Master’s in Education program at McKendree University and is past president of the Illinois Council of Professors of Educational Administration.

cross-section of 17 universities in the state of Illinois. Besides surveying elementary and secondary educational programs, the survey included early childhood, fine arts, and special education programs. Similar to last year’s findings, the data received is cause for concern. The new survey’s findings show Illinois continues to experience a teacher shortage not only in elementary and secondary education, but in all teacher education programs of study. The survey results also indicate there is a lack of diversity in the candidate pool. A s repor ted in the original “From rigor to reality” (March/April



there is a direct correlation: Having

programs based on how well they

Under the administrations of

fewer teacher candidates directly

performed on a standardized test,

Presidents George W. Bush and

impacts the number of adminis-

but agrees with the Every Student

Barack Obama, the federal govern-

trative candidates.

Succeeds Act (ESSA) federal stat-

ment pressured states to ratchet up

ISBE believed that making the

ute that schools should be judged

their requirements to ensure that

teaching admission test more rig-

based on multiple indicators of

teachers are highly qualified as

orous would yield higher student

assessment as compared to single

noted in No Child Left Behind. As

achievement outcomes, but we feel

indicator assessment tests. Logi-

a result, states such as Illinois have

this effort has had an adverse effect.

cally, why should the same not hold

made it difficult — by administering

It is estimated that to pass the TAP

true for educators? As former State

rigorous basic skills tests ― for poten-

test would require an equivalent

Superintendent Chris Koch of Illi-

tial teachers to enter the profession.

of 26 on the ACT. As previously

nois once stated, “I would argue

Perhaps now is the time for Illinois

reported, ISBE has added anoth-

probably in the United States, we’re

to consider changing course to coin-

er possibility of meeting basic

testing too much.” One could con-

cide with the philosophy change of

skill requirements by having a 22

clude that these efforts have led

measuring schools based on multiple

composite on the ACT along with

to a diminished focus in fine arts,


passage of the writing component.

physical education, gifted, and

In our survey, all reporting

Ironically, ISBE believes students

vocational programs throughout

universities indicated a significant

should be admitted to teaching

the United States.

decline in their teaching programs, ranging from 46 to 70 percent. Regulatory changes made by ISBE have dramatically led to the decline of teacher candidates in educational teaching programs. This especially

IASB Field Services offers board development opportunities for board and superintendent teams in YOUR district.

seems to be true for minority candidates seeking an education degree. Overall, the 17 universities that

Field Services

responded resulted in the following data conclusions regarding minority education degree seekers in 2016: • E l e m e nt a r y: O ut o f 1,114 candidates, there are 88 African-Americans, 64 Asians, 117 Hispanics and 15 multi-racial candidates. There are a total of 135 male candidates and 984 female candidates. • Secondary: Out of 758 can-

Model continuous learning Commit to continuous improvement Call your IASB field services director today! Springfield: 217/528-9688 Lombard: 630/629-3776

did ates, there are 56 A f r ican-Americans, 46 Asians, 89 Hispanics and nine multi-racial candidates. There are a total of 353 males and 405 females. • Early Childhood: Out of 308 candidates, 78 African-Americans,


March/April 2017 THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL / JULY-AUGUST 2017 July/August 2017

21 Asians, 34 Hispanics and nine

Percent of Minority Candidates in Teacher Education – 2016

multi-racial candidates. There are a total of 11 males and 297 females. • Fine Arts: Out of 355 candidates, there are 32 African-Americans, 18 Asians, 39 Hispanics and eight multi-racial candidates. There are a total of 175 males and 180 females. • Special Education: Out of 418 candidates, there are 36 African-Americans, 11 Asians, 38 Hispanics and two multi-racial candidates. There are 82 males and 336 females. The graph to the right gives a


Total Candidates

African American






















Early Childhood








Fine Arts








Special Education





















TOTALS Ethnicity/Gender Percent of the Total

more global look at our minority candidate percentages at the 17 responding universities that represent a cross-section but not all universities statewide.

Illinois’s disinvestment in

complete an additional 32 cred-

higher education.

it hours as opposed to taking a

• Lack of MAP grants has dramat-

block of classes approved by the

To gain further input from uni-

ically impacted students from

university. This exemplifies a

versity professionals throughout the

a lower socio-economic back-

continued regulatory philosophy

state, the survey asked two open-end-

ground and lowered enrollment

leading to diminished numbers

across the board.

in the field of education.

ed questions in the comment section. The following answers were cited for

• Perceived poor pay and working

For Question 2, “What chang-

Question 1, “Why did your number

conditions along with a national

es, if any should be made for uni-

of candidates decrease?”

emphasis on testing and teacher

versity students entering education


programs?” the following responses

• Responses to the first question from the 17 universities indicat-

• Increased difficulty of state

ed the new basic skills (TAP) test

required content area tests and

has led to significant decreases


in candidates pursuing teaching programs. • We are still seeing passage rates

were cited: • Change the requirement of the TAP test so that an individual

• Lack of an Illinois budget that

only has to pass the content area

has led to lack of financial aid,

to which they are teaching (i.e.

grants, and scholarships.

math) instead of passing in a

around 23 percent with signifi-

• School district budget prob-

four areas. Make the test a valid

cantly lower scores for Afri-

lem s ha s l i m ited employ-

and reliable measure of teacher

can-Americans and Hispanics

ment opportunities causing a

on the TAP test.

decrease of those going into

• The rising costs of education

the profession.

quality. • Offer financial incentives to students who major in teacher

— tuition, testing, background

• Beginning in January 2018,

preparation programs. Focus on

checks for both field place-

elementary or secondary can-

getting more minorities in the

ments and student teaching,

didates seeking to obtain their


transpor tation costs, and

middle school endorsement must


Continued on page 26 23


Teacher Leadership:

Positive impacts on school districts By Joyce Kleinaitis

Joyce Kleinaitis, Ph.D., is an assistant professor and coordinator Master’s programs in the College of Education at the University of St. Francis in Joliet.


s we are aware, 21st century

relatively new, the concept is not.

not only with their students, but with

school administrators expe-

What began is “professional learning

parents and peers. Every teacher

rience many challenges with the

communities” in the 1960s devel-

knows that it is vital to develop trust-

ever-changing culture of schools,

oped into collaborative leadership

ing and respectful relationships with

the demands of state testing, the

and then to the teacher leadership

students. Teachers accomplish this

increasing responsibilities of teach-

programs of today. The impetus was

by being advocates for each child

er evaluations, and the growing

to develop systems for teachers to

and working in a cooperative and

needs of both students and staff.

work together, rather than in isola-

productive partnership with parents.

Yet many administrators feel a lack

tion, and to establish coherent and

This is yet another example of their

of support for the availability of time

cohesive teaching practices within

leadership skills.

needed to be excellent instruction-

schools. In Illinois, according to the

Teachers no longer are isolat-

al leaders, due to the managerial

Illinois P-20 Council recommenda-

ed in classrooms as they have been

responsibilities that they incur.

tions to the Illinois State Board of

in past decades; they are visible as

Administrators need staff mem-

Education, the Teacher Leadership

they serve on committees, develop

bers that can work as leaders in

recommendations established the

and implement school improvement

schools and give support to both

opportunity for teachers to

plans, write and design curriculum,

teachers and students. They require

• Create a career path to retain

mentor new teachers and partici-

staff members who can share in the

and develop high-performing

pate in many other leadership roles.

responsibilities of promoting stu-

teachers for leadership roles;

Teachers have been also been instru-

dent success, who will work together

Formalize, define, and build

mental in working with administra-

to strive to improve instructional

the competencies necessary

tors and board members to develop

practices, and who will maintain a

for high-quality leadership to

evaluation tools, school policies and

supportive and safe school climate

improve student learning; and

collective bargaining agreements.

• Re c og n i ze a nd enc ou ra ge

Many teachers want to employ

shared leadership and deci-

their leadership skills outside of the

sion-making in schools to max-

classroom, but do not have the goal

it is imperative that teacher leader-

imize outcomes for children

of seeking an administrator position.

ship be embraced by staff members

Teachers are natural leaders in

Numerous school districts have not

and supported and encouraged by

their classrooms and many consis-

yet implemented or designed leader-

school board members and school

tently demonstrate a variety of skills

ship roles for teachers. Job descrip-


in management and instructional

tions posted from school districts still

A lthoug h Teacher L eader-

leadership. On a daily basis, teachers

seek administrative certification as a

ship Endorsement programs are

model strong communication skills,

requirement for deans, department

as well as encourage professional growth for staff members. In order to achieve these goals,



chairs, coaches, and other traditional

fearful of other staff members who

of embracing the teacher leadership

leadership positions. Many teach-

conduct peer evaluations and regard

models in the district.

ers who strive to be leaders often do

the teacher leaders as “quasi-admin-

Building administrators also

not experience opportunities that

istrators.” It is important that union

need to understand that they will

will allow their skills to be utilized.

leaders work as advocates for staff

be able to devote more time and

Because of these limited opportuni-

members who want to achieve the

dedication to other responsibili-

ties for leadership and lack of district

teacher leadership endorsement and

ties, which may result in increased

support, many staff members shy

who want to be responsible teacher

student interaction, instructional

away from researching programs that

leaders. It is essential that all stake-

leadership, and home-school con-

might afford them certification to

holders become involved in promot-

nection. Through conversations

expand their leadership skills outside

ing teacher professional growth.

with school board members and

of the classroom.

It is important that the role and

an exposure to different models, the

A number of universities are

the responsibilities of teacher leaders

administrators will realize that they

now offering programs that provide

needs to be communicated and clar-

are not giving up control, but rath-

teacher leader endorsement through

ified to staff, students, parents, and

er working in a strong partnership

the state of Illinois. However, it is

community. Clear communication

with their teacher leaders.

important that school boards encour-

will lessen the confusion and the fear

Continued on page 26

age teachers to seek this leadership endorsement. This can accomplished through collective bargaining discussions and agreements, as well as revisions in job descriptions. School boards can be effective in creating a culture of support in their districts by encouraging teacher leadership, starting by adopting a different mindset – moving away from the idea that only administrators are school leaders. Board members learn from other districts that embrace teacher leadership models and engage in thoughtful discussions on how to create their own district

Set off in the

right direction! Choosing a new superintendent is an exciting time, for both the board and the administration. It can also be a time of uncertainty as individuals gather as a new governance team, especially when the arrival of a new superintendent coincides with board turnover. Fortunately, IASB can help with a complimentary Team Building Workshop included in each Executive Search superintendent contract.

model. Such discussions will convey the message to teachers that their leadership skills are valued and can have an important impact on their school district, and that they will be recognized as leaders. Teachers unions also can be involved in the discussions regarding the creation of teacher leadership models. Often teachers are

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to start both your new superintendent and new board members on the road to governance excellence. Contact your IASB executive searches consultant or field services director for more information: Lombard – 630/629-3776 Springfield – 217/528-9688


July/August 2017


Rigor to reality, revisited continued from page 23

the teacher and administrative


level. Substitute teacher shortages

Dr. Rosborg’s previous “From rigor to reality” appeared in the March/April issue of The Illinois School Board Journal, and is available at www.iasb. com/journal/j030416_03.cfm

are already causing huge academ• Publicize the projected teacher

ic problems statewide as schools

shortage in the near future.

deal with overcrowded classrooms

• Reduce the costs in the areas

and administrators having to fill

previously mentioned — tui-

teaching positions on a substitute

t ion, t e st i n g, back g rou nd

basis. ICPEA and IASB will contin-

checks, etc.

ue to work with educational asso-

• Establish university child-

ciations throughout Illinois to bring

care centers for children of

researched facts to increase the


overa l l c a nd id ate p ool a nd

ISBE’s educator licensure requirements are accessible starting here: https:// Also referenced in this piece is Vanishing School Boards: Where School Boards Have Gone, Why We Need Them, and How to Bring Them Back by Patrick Rice, Ph.D.

Teacher Leadership

• Look at the negative macro pro-

strengthen the overall profession-

fessional issues that have been

al quality of the education work-

enhanced by the media and

force. It is time for leaders in the

Merely embracing the teacher

governmental leaders that are

state of Illinois to look at the cur-

leadership model is not enough. Con-

driving down interest in teach-

rent regulatory rules and make the

sistency in evaluating the leadership

ing as a profession.

proper adjustments using the

model will contribute to a collabora-

It is time for action to deal with

research at hand to again enhance

tive culture and promote continuous

the field of education.

improvement. Areas of improvement

the shortages of candidates at both

continued from page 25

need to be reviewed and revised to ensure that the model is effective for

setting district goals and direction

strategic planning values and beliefs/mission/vision/goals

clarifying the district’s purpose

Setting District

Goals and

Direction Whether you call it setting district goals and direction, strategic planning, or values and beliefs/ mission/vision/goals work, school boards are responsible for clarifying the district’s purpose. An IASB field services director brings expertise about the school board’s role in this work.

For more information, contact your IASB field services director today! Springfield - 217/528-9688 Lombard - 630/629-3776 26

Field Services

the district. In order for the teacher leadership model to be implemented, it will take some risks and much commitment on the part of the school board and other stakeholders, but the potential payoff is worth it. Not only will administrators benefit from the impact of teacher leadership roles, but it may increase retention of teachers who realize that the importance of their leadership roles is recognized and encouraged. Resources The author is an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, which is one of several Illinois institutions that offer a Teacher Leader course of study. Learn more at www.stfrancis. edu/academics/college-of-education/ ed-leadership/. ISBE resources for Teacher Leader programs begin here: Pages/Professional-Educator-LicenseAdministrative-Endorsements.aspx



Entrusted By Joshua W. Stafford


tarting another school year

important to note that the U.S. is

is changed and brought to a more

brings a great deal of excite-

an exception. By vast account, the

complete reality.

ment, fresh starts, and opportu-

rest of the world does not enjoy

Haiti is the poorest coun-

nity, not only for students, but

the gift of accessible public edu-

try in the Western Hemisphere.

for our entire community. With

cation. Over the previous sum-

Many of its people die due to

the annual back-to-school tradi-

mer, I traveled with my church

various illnesses before they

tions, I can’t help but consider the

to another country, one that I

ever reach 15 years old. During

great responsibility that each per-

have come to love. Each time I

a visit to Haiti, I was able to

son in our community has been

am able to visit this place and the

serve in eight different schools

entrusted with when it comes to

many people there that have now

and connect with approximately


become friends, my perspective

1,200 children. While I was at

Joshua W. Stafford is superintendent of Vienna HSD 13-3. He wrote this commentary to Vienna families prior to the 2016 school year.

To be entrusted, according to Webster’s dictionary, means to “confer a trust on [or] to commit to another with confidence.” Each person in our school has been entrusted. All, including board members, students, parents, staff, and community members, have been entrusted not only with the overall mission of the school, “...striving to inspire students to become positive, lifelong learners,” but also entrusted with the responsibilities respective to their roles. Students have been entrusted with the gift of accessible public education. While I know our perspective in the United States of America is not necessarily that public education is a “gift,” it is

Haitian children who can’t afford to attend school listen over the schoolyard walls in this photo provided by Joshua W. Stafford.



one of the school visits, I noticed

I left that place with a new-

T he t h i rd emot ion t h at

some children — outside of the

found appreciation for equal

developed as I witnessed this

school courtyard wall looking

access to public education for all.

scene was one of remorse. I

in. After observing them for a

Thomas Friedman explains

developed a regret that I had

few moments, I asked the prin-

in his book, The World is Flat,

not fully taken advantage of

cipal of the school who these

that the internet has leveled the

the gift of education that had

children were. He explained

playing field for all people to have

been entrusted to me. I recalled

that they were children from

universal access to the vast infor-

my grade school experience and

the village who wanted to attend

mational resources of the world,

how I was present at school each

school but could not. Because of

hence “f lattening” the world.

day, but did only what it took to

the school’s limited space and

The irony utilized in his writ-

get As or Bs and to keep out of

because they lacked the finances

ing to describe the world as flat

trouble with my parents, but not

to afford tuition, they could not

is extremely interesting to me.

what it took to take full advan-

attend school. So the children

While the internet has been an

tage, to hunger and thirst after

would listen over the wall. I was

extreme flattener, I would argue

learning. In my high school

astonished, to say the least.

with Friedman that education

years, I tended to be more con-

had to come before anything else

cerned with the social aspects

in this flattening of the world.

of my life than my education.

Education is not just a flattener. It is the flattener. Those who have the oppor-


tunity to be educated have the

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It was not until after I graduated from college that I found a new appreciation for the value of learning and education.

opportunity towards equality.

As I look at education through

While Americans proclaim the

the lens of that Haitian school, it

essential mantra that all people

has transformed my motivation

are equal, we frequently see dis-

from teaching students how to

parities. Growing up, I did not

get by, to teaching them how to

understand this gift that had been

value and take advantage of this

provided to me — the opportuni-

great gift.

ty to become educated was one

I hope that each of us will

that I assumed every human had

grow in our understanding of

been given. My memories of Haiti

the important role that we all

bring me to the reality that this

play in being entrusted with the

opportunity is not one that every

education of the young people in

human is afforded. As I watched

our community. I hope we will

those children lean in over the

renew our efforts to take full

top of that wall, I could not help

advantage of the opportunities

but be deeply moved in a variety

that we have been blessed with

of ways. The first was a sadness

in this community.

that these children were not only

We are looking forward to

missing an opportunity, but also

great things in this school year

missing access to equality within

and trust that everyone will

the world. The second was grat-

work ha rd i n “...str iv i ng to

itude that I had been afforded

inspire students to become pos-

such an opportunity.

itive, lifelong learners.”



continued from page 32

expansions at Crystal Lake South in

best for students. That’s the reason

2003 and 2006; and the opening of

I kept coming back,” he said.

of volunteer work for the PTA, and

Haber Oaks alternative high school

Brian K. Wegley,

service on a citizens council, and a

in 2008. “Dr. Oberg is a national and

super intendent

desegregation committee. Colleagues

international speaker and he was at

of Nor thbrook /

on the board recalled her as outspo-

the forefront of making sure envi-

Glenv iew SD 30,

ken yet tactful, with a devotion to

ronmental principles were a priority

received the 2017

improving the schools while ensuring

for our students and community,”

Heart of the Family

students receive access to technolo-

said Ted Wagner, former District

Award, presented at the 2017 Annu-

gy and even-handed discipline.

155 board president. Oberg, a pedi-

al Benefit for the North Shore Area’s

Gar y Oberg,

atrician, served on the building and

Family Service Center (FSC). Weg-

one of the lon-

grounds committee in the 1990s

ley was honored “in recognition of

gest-serving school

when the school board approved the

his outstanding support and contri-

board members in

construction of Prairie Ridge High

bution to the well-being of families

the state, recently

School. He made environmental

in the community,” said FSC repre-

retired from the

health a priority, leading to Prairie

sentative, Therese Steinken. During

Crystal Lake High School District

Ridge becoming the first high school

the benefit, Wegley’s wife Kathy

155 Board of Education. Oberg,

in Illinois to accommodate envi-

showed a slide presentation depict-

70, served nearly 32 years on the

ronmental principles. In November

ing his life and career, and his son

District 155 board, working with

2013, IASB recognized Oberg for

Rob spoke about his father. FSC is

six superintendents. He did not

being the longest-serving board

a not-for-profit mental health agen-

seek re-election in April. During

member in McHenry County, and

cy providing crisis response and

Oberg’s tenure, the district man-

among the longest-serving board

outreach services, and high-quality

aged the expansion of educational

members in the state. “I will miss

therapeutic counseling to those

programs and schools, including

the professionalism and dedication

seeking help for a wide range of emo-

Cary-Grove High School’s wings,

of the administrators, teachers, and

tional, behavioral, substance abuse,

media center, and fine arts center;

noncertified staff for doing what’s

and relationship problems.


continued from page 32

Donald Nepote, 90, died April

Lawrence Stringfellow, 83, died May

22, 2017. He was a former Lincoln-

13, 2017. He was a former board member

Marietta L. “Lynn” Larkin, 74,

Way CHSD 210 (New Lenox) school

and board president at Chicago Heights

died May 29, 2017. She was a former

board member, secretary, and vice

SD 170, serving from 1995 to 2011.

Warsaw school board member.


Harry A. Treadwell, 93, died May

Wallace Joseph Meyer, 84, died

Richard (Dick) Nixon, 75, died

24, 2017. He was a long-time leader in

May 3, 2017. He previously served as a

May 7, 2017. He was a former Wauke-

the Benton community, serving two

member of the Des Plaines District 62

gan CUSD 60 school board member.

terms on the Benton Consolidated

school board from 1974 to 1978, and

William “Howard” Orcutt, 92,

School Board and later serving on the

was board president from 1979 to 1980.

died March 12, 2017. He previously

Franklin County school board.

Ronald L. Naffziger, 80, died

served on the Watseka school board.

William R. “Bill” Zellars, 85,

April 15, 2017. He previously served

James William “Jim” Powell, 75,

died April 13, 2017. He formerly

on the Pleasant View school board,

died May 9, 2017. He formerly served

served on the Mt. Zion CUSD 3 Board

where he was a past president.

on the North Greene school board.

of Education.



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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


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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

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CM ENGINEERING, INC. — Specializing in ultra efficient geo-exchange HVAC engineering solutions for schools, universities, and commercial facilities. Columbia, MO – 573/874-9455; website:

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STR PARTNERS — Architectural, interior design, planning, cost estimating, and building enclosure/roofing consulting. Chicago – 312/464-1444

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:

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DLR GROUP — Educational facility design and master planning. Chicago – 312/382-9980; website:; email:

WIGHT & COMPANY — An integrated services firm with solutions for the built environment. Darien – 630/696-7000; website:; email:

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WM. B. ITTNER, INC. — Full service architectural firm serving the educational community since 1899. Fairview Heights – 618/624-2080

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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:

OPTERRA ENERGY SERVICES — 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 – 312/498-7792; 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:

ROSS CONSTRUCTION, INC. — A full-service construction management firm specializing in educational institutions. Marion – 618/993-5904

FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington – 309/829-3311; email:

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:

GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria – 309/685-7621; 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:


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

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

SIKICH, LLP — Professional services firm specializing in accounting, technology, and advisory services. Naperville — 630/364-7953

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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:

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:

SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago – 312/346-3700; website: www.speerfinancial. com; 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

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

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 Dale Hansen,

to the high school. That was among

June Maguire

a longtime member

the accomplishments mentioned

was recently hon-

of the IASB Board

when Hansen recently won the Lowe

ored for her near-

of Directors rep -

School Board Award, an award that

ly 36 years on the

resenting the Two

honors the best board member in

Waukegan CUSD 60

Rivers Division and

Kankakee and Iroquois counties.

Board of Education.

two-term IASB treasurer recent-

“Dale Hansen’s philosophy about

Maguire chose not to run for anoth-

ly stepped down from the Grant

education can be summed up in a

er term, attending her final board

Park CUSD 6 school board after

few words: If it’s the best thing for the

meeting April 25. Board President

24 years. Hansen recalls his first

kids, do it,” Nicholson wrote in nomi-

Michael Rodriguez told the Chicago

school board meeting, noting “we

nating Hansen for the award. Hansen

Tribune Maguire has been a “pillar of

didn’t have enough money to run the

admits he contemplated not running

the community (and) a rock on this

schools.” The district’s fortunes have

for re-election during his final two

board.” Maguire, who believes board

gone from night to day, he says. He

terms on the Grant Park CUSD 6

attendance is vitally important, once

quickly became the board president,

board. However, he wanted to keep

phoned in to participate in a board

a title he held for 15 years, as he

working with the IASB — by then

meeting despite having had surgery

built a good relationship with Super-

he also was Association treasurer—

earlier that day. She joined the board

intendent Mike Nicholson. Hansen

and wished to keep working with the

to fill out the last two months of a

credits Nicholson with keeping the

current district administration. “I

term, but was later reappointed to

district’s finances af loat. Grant

was doing something that I thought

fill out a longer term, and she soon

Park CUSD 6 passed a $6 million

needed to be done,” Hansen said. “I

determined she wanted to stay. A

building referendum in 1999 to

enjoyed it, and I wanted to remain

legal secretary in the Waukegan

attach Grant Park Middle School

a part of it until I was comfortable.”

area, she previously had a history Continued on page 29

In memoriam Ronald G. Anderson, 64, died April 28, 2017. He was a former school

the Green Valley school board, where he also served as president.

Harold H. “Joe” Haubrich Jr., 83, died May 25, 2017. He was a for-

board member for both the LaSalle ESD

John William “Bill” Everett,

mer member of the New Athens CUSD

122 Board of Education, and the Dim-

94, died May 18, 2017. He previously

60 Board of Education, serving for

mick CCSD 175 (LaSalle) school board.

served on the school board during the

15 years.

Kenneth L. Best, 96, died April

North Greene district’s consolidation.

Mary E. Johnson Hurdle, 86,

3, 2017. He was a former president of

Robert Franklin Fear, 88, died

died March 15, 2017. She was a for-

the Oak Grove SD 68 (Bartonville)

April 18, 2017. He served on the Jas-

mer Paxton school board member,

school board and past president and

per County Board of Education and

volunteer, and community activist.

member of the Limestone CHSD 310

the Regional Office of Education

John “Jack” Kennedy, 70, died

Board of Education.

Board. He was an advocate for his

April 27, 2017. He previously served

village of Newton, serving on the city

on the Prairie Central CUSD 8 Board

council and interim mayor.

of Education.

Donald W. Davis, 77, died May 4, 2017. He was a former member of

Continued on page 29




Conference registration moves online By Carla Bolt


uestion: What changes are

Account” icon on the top of the

microsite will include the same

involved in the registration

page. Complete instructions and

content previous attendees have

process for the 2017 Joint Annual

further registration information

become accustomed to, such as


are available there. Please note that

keynote speakers, panel sessions,

Answer: Key facets relating

IASB accepts three methods of pay-

and additional workshops, as well

to 2017 Joint Annual Conference

ment for Conference registration

as new information including an

planning are a little different this

and housing:

at-a-glance schedule and a Fre-

year. Here is the information you need to know. For the first time, Joint Annual

• Check (registrations will not

quently Asked Questions docu-

be processed until payment is

ment. Detailed instructions of the


new online registration and housing

Conference registration and hous-

• AC H (Aut omat e d C le a r i n g

ing is online. IASB’s recently imple-

House) secure online payment

mented member database system is

transfer system; or

streamlining operations and allowing

• Online credit card (a three per-

process will also be provided. The site will feature a noticeably different look than past versions. The new webpage will highlight the

IASB to deliver services that enhance

cent fee applies).

2017 Conference theme, “Leading

the member experience. A top prior-

More information on these meth-

By Learning.” It will also utilize a

ity for replacing the old system was

ods is available in online registration.

responsive, mobile-friendly design

The online presence of the

to improve navigation when accessed

to offer online registration for events and offerings.

Joint Annual Conference will also

via a mobile device.

To that end, it is important that

have a new look this year. A new

We encourage you to use the new

your district roster be updated to

Conference “microsite,” confer-

site, and the new online registration

include any individual that will be, will give users easy

system, to stay informed and plan

attending the Joint Annual Confer-

access to anything and everything

your attendance at the 2017 Joint

ence. Board members or staff not list-

offered at this year’s event. The

Annual Conference.

ed on your roster cannot register for the Conference. Most districts have completed this process, but if yours has not, instructions and a step-by-step video for updating district rosters are located at Once the district roster is complete and current, registration can proceed by visiting conference. and clicking the “My

ADVANCING PUBLIC EDUCATION IASB Service Associates provide quality products and services for schools. Membership is by invitation only. A list of Service Associate firms is on the IASB website and in this Journal.

Carla Bolt is director of meetings management for the Illinois Association of School Boards.


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

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The Illinois School Board Journal, July/August 2017  

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

The Illinois School Board Journal, July/August 2017  

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