D-80 board indecisive on new superintendent search direction

Board debates interim superintendent vs potential sharing with other Districts; charity criticizes outgoing superintendent for blocking fundraising

District 80 needs to have a Superintendent in place by July 1, the first day of the new school year, but the ad hoc committee charged with moving forward with the search of a new Superintendent has not yet made a decision on how to proceed.

The committee sent communications to the local districts asking if any of them were willing to share their Superintendents in an interim capacity. District 79 outright refused, and District 234 was willing to have a conversation after the election.

Other options is to ask search firms to look for a new Superintendent, however the lack of time may make it difficult to find a replacement before the deadline.

Norridge Schools Foundation (NSF) VP (and District 80 board candidate) Lou Mezzano, speaking at the board meeting, questioned outgoing Superintendent Paul O’Malley why he had not responded to communications regarding a fundraiser for the school, and why a NSF fundraiser request to be held at the school had been denied.

O’Malley responded that the District 80 board of education’s policy on this matter is fundraisers “should not disrupt the school day”.

NSF President Fiona Tanny and the board discussed the NSF possibly coordinating fundraiser activities with the PTA/PTO to take place during a “fun day”.

The teacher union has requested District 80 hire a dean of students for the 2019-2020 school year, claiming it as a necessity. O’Malley responded that “this board’s philosophy is, and has been very clear … we do not want to add to administrative staff”, asking the board what “it would be willing to give up especially from the student’s side, in order to have a dean”.

Board member Jennifer Paoletti wanted an explanation as why the school needs a dean. Board President Srbo Radisavljevic suggested hiring a dean would require an increase in class sizes (which are already high) due to the school’s financial situation.

Recording of the March 19 2019 D-80 Board Meeting (until closed session, 45 minutes)

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