The following article appeared in the Daily Herald. If you do not subscribe to the newspaper you should. Mr. Gaunt has always done an excellent job when reporting about schools. It would be well worth your while to go back and read his articles how school districts tax more than promised and his bond series.
This story highlights the patronage and corruption that exists in our public schools. If you look at the board of your school district you will find that board members are often related to school employees. This is a great article. Nice payback to Mr. Stewart for being a yes man. Any chance they would have made the same exceptions for Mr. Snow or any other citizen if they had wanted the position? How about getting rid of tenure and teaching certificates, schools could then hire the best people for teaching jobs. Perhaps hiring real chemists and physicists, etc to teach these subjects would best aid student performance. How about getting rid of the requirement that administrators be certified as school administrators so they can hire more MBA's.
Public schools are nothing more than government schools that are plagued with waste, fraud, corruption and patronage just like other forms of government.
Board members gets Dist. 158 job with $101,000 salary
BY JEFFREY GAUNT
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006
Huntley District 158 board members hired one of their own Wednesday night to fill a newly created, top administrative position.
Board member Glen Stewart will take over July 1 as the district's chief operations officer, a position created after the March resignation of assistant superintendent Mike Kortemeyer.
Stewart, who will receive a starting salary of $101,000, will be responsible for overseeing the district's transportation, food service, operations and maintenance and health services departments.
He will also serve as the district's liaison to village governments and home developers on growth issues.
"I feel confident that Glen has the capabilities to perform the job adequately and in the best interest of the school district," board President Mike Skala said.
Stewart, who has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, last worked as a general manager for a tool and die company. He has been out of work since March.
"I looked at that job description and said, 'That's a job I can do,'æ" Stewart said. "Instead of doing this as a part-time job, I can serve the district full-time, and that's pretty cool."
Board member Larry Snow, the only person on the seven-member board to vote against the appointment, lambasted the district for hiring one of its elected representatives.
"It's just political patronage," Snow said. "Friends giving a friend a high-paying job because he's out of work.
"I simply can't believe there's not another, more qualified candidate that applied for the position," Snow said. "This hiring policy is a sham."
In response, Steward said Snow objects to everything involving Stewart. "We're here to focus on the future," he said.
Stewart abstained from voting and Skala said he was not involved in any of the closed discussions on the position.
Stewart will have to resign his board seat before starting his new job.
District officials say he was the best person for the position out of the 14 who applied.
"One thing that Glen has demonstrated as a board member is his total commitment to the community and the students," said Human Resources Director Lauren Smith, who was on the committee that recommended Stewart for the position. "There's no question about what his motives will be in joining the district."
Smith said Stewart's 20 years of management experience, familiarity with the district and successful history as a project manager will serve him well in his new post.
But she also added: "The ability to lead and project manage, those are elementary compared to some of the visionary requirements and leadership skills. That's what Glen is going to be able to do."
Skala also defended the board's actions in light of Snow's criticism, saying it's up to district officials - and the superintendent in particular - to recommend the best people for the job.
"They still have to perform the job," Skala said. "If they're not performing the job, I would expect the superintendent not to recommend them for rehire."
Stewart has never been employed by a school district. But Skala said that wasn't a prerequisite.
In fact, board members changed the job title from assistant superintendent to chief operations officer so candidates wouldn't have to be certified as a school administrator. That way the district could attract applicants with business backgrounds, Skala said.
Headline spec: 2 col; 28pt NewBskvll SeBd BT Regular
Hire: District says official best candidate for the jo