Last night, Dr. Schuster sent an email to D181 parents announcing that " this evening, Director of Learning (Pupil Services) Christine Igoe accepted a position as Assistant Superintendent for Student Services with Naperville Community Unit School District 203, effective July 1, 2014."
With her departure, D181's new Superintendent, Dr. White, will have three positions to fill over the summer:
1. Assistant Superintendent of Learning (Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction)
2. Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
3. Director of Learning (Pupil Services).
As with the first two administrators who recently announced their resignations -- Dr. Russell and Mr. Eccarius -- Ms. Igoe currently has a Tuition Reimbursement Contract with D181. (Click to open 3/19/2012 Personnel Consent Agenda approving Ms. Igoe's tuition reimbursement contract.) She is enrolled in a graduate program and is reimbursed with taxpayer dollars for the tuition she is charged. If the tuition reimbursement contract language is the same as that in Dr. Russell and Mr. Eccarius' contracts, its provisions state that she is required to repay D181 100% of tuition expenses she was reimbursed if she leaves within one year of the most recent reimbursement payment.
It is time that the BOE address the following questions during the next board meeting -- scheduled for May 27, 2014:
1. Will the BOE enforce the 100% repayment contractual obligation that these three administrators agreed to when they signed their current employment contracts?
2. If not, why not? More importantly, if the provisions as written are not enforced by the BOE, how much tax payer money is being left uncollected as these administrators are allowed to unilaterally resign and leave D181 in the midst of or less than one year after completing their graduate programs?
In addition, we hope that Dr. White will use Ms. Igoe's resignation as an opportunity to evaluate whether or not the administrative vacancy her departure will create should even be filled. Let's not forget that originally, Ms. Igoe was promoted to Interim Director when D181 withdrew from LADSE, and it was necessary to have an administrator oversee the withdrawal who had an Illinois license. (Click to open 4/26/2011 Personnel Consent Agenda.) At the time of the LADSE withdrawal, the Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services did not have an Illinois license and therefore. one of the building level PPS administrators was promoted to the "interim" position. (Click to open 3/14/2011 Personnel Consent Agenda.) Yet less than one year later, on the very date that the BOE approved Dr. Schneider's hire to replace the previous Assistant Superintendent of PPS, it made the interim position permanent, despite the fact that Dr. Schneider was hired with the necessary credentials to fill this role, and despite the fact that building level PPS administrator positions were left intact. (Click to open 4/9/2012 Personnel Consent Agenda hiring Dr. Schneider, Click to open 4/9/2012 Addendum to Personnel Consent Agenda making interim position permanent, Click to open and search ISBE Educator Licensure Information System.)
Perhaps now is the time for the new superintendent to evaluate whether or not the administration has become top heavy. It may be the appropriate time to scale back and require the Assistant Superintendents in each department to assume more responsibilities, rather than add multiple layers of lower level administrators to handle day to day tasks. Dr. Schneider was originally hired as the Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services. He is licensed in Illinois and therefore, perhaps rather than oversee general curriculum programs -- such as the Learning for All Plan -- he should be tasked with focusing only on the services offered by the PPS department, including overseeing the in-house special education services previously provided by LADSE.
Dr. White certainly has his work cut out for him this summer in filling these vacancies and evaluating D181's administrative needs, but we are confident that he is up to the tasks at hand. We look forward to seeing how he will address these important issues.