UChicago Medicine Primary Care Creative 51123 UCM 017 D523 SAMEDAY v12
7-26-2018-4-13-15-PM-3142449

Upheaval at the top in Lyons School District 103; Superintendent, 4 principals replaced since June

Spread the love

Just two years after she was hired, and with one year left on her contract, Carol Baker is leaving the job of superintendent of Lyons School District 103.

Baker has been hired by Hinsdale Township High School District 86. She will be Assistant Superintendent for Academics/Chief Academics Officer, starting Aug. 1.

While personnel changes are not unusual in school districts, what is going on at District 103 is unusual, board member Jorge Torres said.

The district’s summer has been all about change as it has hired principals at four of the six schools, and now needs to replace Baker.

As for Baker, she walked a fine line, saying “a really great opportunity came across my plate, so I jumped on it.”

In reality, however, the school board and President Marge Hubacek had made it clear they would not renew her contract after the coming school year, forcing Baker’s hand.

“I was going into the third year of my contract. This is a way to not have to deal with that, if that makes sense, with whether or not they were going to extend my contract or not,” Baker said.

“It’s a resignation, mutually agreed upon, they (District 103) don’t owe me anything. I’m leaving under completely friendly terms. There’s no animosity. It is a really great opportunity. I think the board recognizes that, and we mutually agree it’s a great for me to accept,” Baker said.

Torres didn’t hold back, saying, “it’s politics.”

Torres is one of three board members affiliated with Lyons Mayor Chris Getty. Those three and the mayor supported Baker. The other four newer board members, not linked with Getty, voted on not renewing the principals’ contracts. And they had no intention of extending Baker’s contract.

Baker “has done an excellent job,” Torres said, and is worthy of staying.

“It’s really uncomfortable because they do what they want to do,” he said of the board majority. “I’ve told them publicly this is a dog-and-pony show. The meetings go on for four hours.”

After last week’s village board meeting, Getty said, “It’s unfortunate they are driving out good people who are trying to improve this district.”

He said Baker was “a great leader” who won admiration from parents and respect from teachers.

“We have a struggling elementary school district that we’ve been working for years to improve. It’s unfortunate we have board members who want to go back to the way it was. It’s very difficult to attract young families to a community like ours when our school district is struggling. I’m the one who keeps pushing for improvements, so they say I’m politicizing the schools by getting involved. I’m not.

“It’s a no-brainer. Good schools make for good communities. I could pave our streets in gold and people will still skip over our community and live in the next community that has a better school district,” Getty said.

Asked about Getty’s comment, Hubacek said, “The deal for me is, do your job.”

“My loyalty is to District 103. No matter who brought them in, if you do your job, it makes no difference where you came from. There is no politics with the people who are on (the board) now, except for the three (members) who are backed by Getty.

“I didn’t vote to get rid of anybody based on who got them in,” Hubacek added.

Baker said she “loved my time in Lyons, loved the kids, loved the teachers.” She said Lyons reminded her of growing up on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

She had hoped Theresa Silva, who resigned as principal from Lincoln School, and Christopher Cybulski, who was not retained by the board as principal at Washington Middle School, would still be in their jobs.

Those are two of the four principals who have departed since the end of the 2017-18 school year.

Kim Ontiveros left as principal at Home School but remained in the district as the new director of human resources. Jennifer Bednarczyk was not retained as principal at Costello.

New principals are Don Jones at Washington Middle School, Tara Kristoff at Lincoln, Kristen Smith at Home, and Mark Antkiewicz at Costello.

Hubacek admitted that votes sometimes are split between new and old board members.

“It’s no secret that (Carol Baker’s) contract was not extended. That’s true. Her contract ran through June 30, 2019. It’s based on job performance and the will of the board and evaluations, Hubacek said.

“I don’t have anything bad to say about her. It’s a benefit for her to go there,” Hubacek said.

Retired superintendents Patrick Patt and Robert Madonia will each work a half-year to replace Baker while a search is made to find Baker’s full-time replacement for the 2019-20 school year.

“Our job is to find the best people for the jobs,” Hubacek said. “At the end of the day, you have to do what you think is best for the kids.”

Torres said it’s a waste of money to hire two former superintendents when Kyle Hastings, a former superintendent, is already working in the district and served as an assistant to Baker. Hastings’ contract runs through June 30, 2020, Hubacek said.

Local News

Marine Staff Sgt. Eduardo Figueroa salutes the fallen as members of American Legion Post 699 look on Monday. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Fallen veterans remembered at Lyons ceremony

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch An event that happened 78 years ago is often on the mind of Richard Vachata, but especially on Memorial Day. In 1945, his cousin, Joe Horky, made the ultimate sacrifice. Horky, 21, died after a Japanese kamikaze pilot crashed his plane into his battleship in the Pacific, Vachata said. Horky,…

Brother Rice’s Nathan Kramer gets ready to pound a serve against St. Rita on May 27. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | State volleyball and lacrosse tournaments will have local flavor

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff writer When it comes to the postseason, there are rarely guarantees. There are, however, two guarantees this season when it comes to having teams in the IHSA state finals this weekend. Boys volleyball and girls lacrosse will each have an area representative at their respective state tournaments. In volleyball,…

Marist's softball team passed Barrington for most home runs in a season on May 23. Marist photo

Baseball and Softball Wrap | Brother Rice and Lyons win thrillers; Marist softball sets state HR record

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Exciting to the last pitch. Two area baseball regional championships were determined in nail biting fashion on May 27. At the Class 4A Whitney Young Regional, Brother Rice, which finished third the state in Class 4A in 2022, got a bases-loaded to squeak by Mount Carmel, 6-5, and…

Alyssa Naeher had a clean sheet against Orlando on May 27 and was honored for a milestone after the game. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Sports Report | Orlando outshoots Chicago 19-2, loses 1-0

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Orlando outshot the Chicago Red Stars 19-2, including a 6-2 disadvantage with shots on goal, during a May 27 visit to SeatGeek Stadium. That would normally be a recipe for disaster for the home team. But the Stars defense and goalie Alyssa Naeher withstood the barrage, and the…

Two Worth offices wave from the roof of the Dunkin' Donuts at 6707 W. 111th St. (Photos by Kelly White)

Worth police hit the roof for Special Olympics Illinois

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Worth’s Police Department takes pride in having close ties with the local community. For the 11th year, the department was happy to once again take part in Cop on a Rooftop to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. Police officers mingled with residents on Friday morning at Dunkin Donuts, 6707 W.…

reporter oak lawn police logo

Oak Lawn is using technology to fight crime

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle While there has been a recent increase in crime, Oak Lawn officials want to assure residents that these incidents are being addressed. Village Manager Tom Phelan made it clear during an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning that they are working in tandem with the police to solve the…

A Boy Scout places a wreath at the Eternal Flame Monument as other members of Boy Scouts Troop 668 and Cub Scouts Pack 3668 look on last Sunday during the Memorial Day Observance in Worth. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Worth Memorial Day event recalls past conflicts, wars

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Worth Mayor Mary Werner welcomed sunny skies on Sunday morning. However, Werner said she could not take credit for the 70-degree temperatures before the Memorial Day Observance at Veterans Memorial Park at the corner of 111th Street and Harlem Avenue. “We have had plenty of times where we had coats…

Albert and Rosemary Dostal are at odds with city of Countryside regarding nine acres of land they want to sell. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Couple, Countryside at odds over land sale

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Albert and Rosemary Dostal want to sell their empty land in Countryside. But they are finding that a difficult task. The couple, which lives in the 9500 block of 56th Street, owns nine wooded acres south of 57th Street and west of La Grange Road. It’s been in the family…

bridgeview police logo - Copy

2 wounded in Bridgeview shooting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Two men were wounded May 21 after two groups started arguing in the parking lot at Menards in Bridgeview. Police said the incident started at 8:05 p.m. with an argument between two groups in the parking lot at 9140 S. Harlem Ave. Police Chief Ricardo Mancha said police are trying…

Elected officials, school board members and staff from Summit School District 104 break ground Saturday on the district’s new administrative center. (Supplied photo)

Summit School District 104 breaks ground on admin center, school improvements

Spread the love

Spread the love By Carol McGowan Cook County School District 104 broke ground May 20 on three projects to be done this summer at three locations within the district. The first ceremony started at 8 a.m. at the future site of the District 104 Administrative Building, that will the built at 7509 W. 63rd Street…

Neighbors

Northwestern Home Team 250x250 1
Budget vote brings General Assembly’s 2023 spring session to a close

Budget vote brings General Assembly’s 2023 spring session to a close

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The 2023 spring legislative session came to an end in the early hours of Saturday morning after the Illinois House gave its approval to a $50.6 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1. The 73-38 party-line vote came around 2:30 a.m.…

Legislature approves bill to tighten restrictions on red-light camera industry

Legislature approves bill to tighten restrictions on red-light camera industry

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers in Springfield have unanimously approved a measure that would place new restrictions on the red-light and speed camera industry’s involvement in state and local elections and government. House Bill 3903 would ban automatic traffic enforcement companies or their officers from donating to candidates for public…

Senate Democrats send budget to House, teeing it up for early Saturday morning vote

Senate Democrats send budget to House, teeing it up for early Saturday morning vote

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House is planning to work until the early hours of Saturday morning to finalize a $50.6 billion state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That announcement came early Thursday evening, more than 24 hours after Gov. JB Pritzker and the…

Senate Democrats send budget to House, teeing it up for early Saturday morning vote

Senate Democrats send budget to House, teeing it up for early Saturday morning vote

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House is planning to work until the early hours of Saturday morning to finalize a $50.6 billion state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That announcement came early Thursday evening, more than 24 hours after Gov. JB Pritzker and the…

UPDATED: Optional all-gender bathrooms bill will head to governor

UPDATED: Optional all-gender bathrooms bill will head to governor

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois General Assembly has passed a bill that would allow businesses and public institutions to provide multi-occupant all-gender bathrooms if they choose to do so. House Bill 1286 would change current state law, under which single-occupancy bathrooms are automatically designated for all genders, but multi-occupancy…

Lawmakers OK bill to limit constitutional lawsuits to Cook, Sangamon County

Lawmakers OK bill to limit constitutional lawsuits to Cook, Sangamon County

By PETER HANCOCK & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats who control the General Assembly muscled through a last-minute measure that will require any constitutional challenge to state laws to be filed in either Cook or Sangamon counties. The Illinois House on Thursday gave final passage to a set of amendments to…

Dems move to allow punitive damage awards in wrongful death lawsuits

Dems move to allow punitive damage awards in wrongful death lawsuits

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the General Assembly this week pushed through a measure that would allow state courts to award punitive damages in wrongful death lawsuits – a departure from the status quo for more than a century in Illinois. Illinois is one of 16 states that does…

Top Democrats announce budget ‘deal,’ but details are scant as last-minute negotiations continue

Top Democrats announce budget ‘deal,’ but details are scant as last-minute negotiations continue

By JERRY NOWICKI, HANNAH MEISEL & PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and Democratic leaders announced Wednesday they’ve agreed to a framework for next year’s roughly $50 billion state spending plan, even as negotiations continued in the final stretch of lawmakers’ already-extended spring legislative session. Their announced agreement included…

State report: Catholic churches harbored hundreds more abusers than previously disclosed

State report: Catholic churches harbored hundreds more abusers than previously disclosed

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Catholic dioceses in Illinois failed to disclose hundreds of abusive clerics before the state opened what would become a yearslong investigation into sex abuse within the church, Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced Tuesday. Included in a scathing 700-page report published by Raoul’s office at the end…

UPDATED: Environmental bills seek to improve soil health, ban state use of polystyrene foam containers

UPDATED: Environmental bills seek to improve soil health, ban state use of polystyrene foam containers

By ANDREW ADAMS & NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] [email protected] Editor’s note: This story will be updated as the measures make their way through the legislature this week. SPRINGFIELD – Several pieces of environmental legislation are making their way through the Illinois General Assembly on what was scheduled to be the final week of…

Regional dermatology associates House Ad
CRR NH Uhlmann Improvement House Ad