University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
3-15-2019-1-31-25-PM-7988139

Lincoln, Robinson school principals ousted in SD 103

By Steve Metsch and Ray Hanania Ê

Two principals in Lyons School District 103 will be looking

for new jobs.

At Monday night’s committee of the whole meeting, the school

board accepted a letter of resignation from Lincoln School Principal Tara

Kristoff, and voted to not renew the contract of Robinson School Principal Al

Molina.

The resignation of Kristoff, on paid leave since Feb. 14, is

effective immediately. Molina will serve out his contract that expires June 30.

The school board has scheduled a special meeting for Monday, March 18, to appoint an interim principal for Lincoln School.

Molina, 48, has been principal of Robinson for 14 years. The

board did offer him a teaching job, but he is not leaning that way.

“I’m doing everything I can to look elsewhere for a position

and get away from the politics,” Molina said. “It’s so toxic.”

Molina said he planned to talk with his lawyer about the

decision to not renew his contract, noting his past job reviews had been “very

good to excellent.”

Kristoff, in her first year as principal at Lincoln, did not

return a call to her home Monday night.

Molina said that he had been told by one of the two interim

superintendents “there were concerns but he refused to tell me what they were.”

Board President Marge Hubaceck said, “It was about the

teachers, not the children.”

{{more}}

She said at the start of the meeting there would be no

comment on personnel matters.

Molina said while he was disappointed, he was not surprised.

“Knowing the union president (Toni Jackman) was behind this. She’s always taken

an adversarial approach against me.”

Molina thinks it stems from last year when Hubacek asked him

to sit on the district’s side during teacher contract negotiations. He was the

first principal to do that, he said.

“Numerous teachers at the time told me how upset Toni was

that I serving in that role. I was told at some point to be careful about

retaliation. Obviously, it took place. So, this is the price I pay for helping

our school district. Had I known this would happen, I would have declined

assisting.”

While the actions were not a surprise – each principal had

been clearly targeted at the board’s Feb. 25 meeting – the vote was.

The vote was 4-3 to accept Kristoff’s resignation and 4-3 to

not tender a renewal offer to Molina.

Two of the “no” votes came, as expected, from the board’s

minority members, Jorge Torres and Michael Bennett. The surprise “no” vote was

from Joanne Schaeffer.

Torres and Bennett both refused to attend the executive

session. Torres said both knew the decision to “punish” Molina was decided by

the board majority beforehand.

“His options are to leave or take a demotion,” Torres said

of Molina. “I don’t know what they discussed about Kristoff. She’s also gone.”

Torres was surprised by Schaeffer, who is in the board

majority and hardly ever votes with Torres and Bennett.

“It wasn’t because of Jorge or Mike, but because I don’t

think this was done at the right time in the right way,” Schaeffer said.

“Ask them what the urgency was. I felt we should wait until

the new superintendent comes in. Both of those principals were good, decent

principals. The one at Lincoln needed a mentor. That’s a big school,” she said.

She’s concerned about Molina, 48, finding a job: “He’s a

good guy. I like Al.”

Molina said he’s known Schaeffer “for years.”

“I think she voted for me on behalf of what was right. I

taught her grandson 16 or 17 years ago. Ever since then it’s been all good. Lot

of respect,” Molina said.

He thinks the board moved fast to buy time for damage

control before the April 2 school board election.

Molina has said there’s a “personal vendetta” against him,

courtesy of Jackman. And Jackman, as she did for the Feb. 25 meeting,

made sure Robinson teachers were out in force Monday night.

Asked if she would be named to take Molina’s job, Jackman, a

seventh-grade science teacher, smiled and said, “I haven’t applied for

anything.”

A woman sitting with the teachers came up to a reporter

during the meeting and said the teachers had been “encouraged” to attend.

The board last year decided to not renew contracts of three

principals, making it five principals in two years. The superintendent left

with one year remaining on her contract.

“We have a new handbook on how to get rid of principals.

Just follow the pattern just set,” Schaeffer said.

She said that since she voted against the majority, “I’m so

deep in the kitty litter box right now, I’ll never get out.”

During the public portion of Monday’s meeting, some teachers

criticized Molina. But many students and parents said they were shocked, calling

the board’s and the teacher’s union’s actions “bullying.”

Parents angered with the dismissal complained that the board

lacked transparency and the dismissal of Molina was a surprise. They said

parents should have been informed about the board’s intended actions before the

meeting and the dismissals took place.

Parent Kelly Medina said: “You guys as a board are doing

things that should not be done. That is wrong.”

Another woman who identified herself as Alma, told the

board, “We just learned about this only three or four days ago. This is very

alarming. The accusations and rumors are not how things should be done. É You

should provide information and proof to the parents to show why Molina should

be dismissed.”

After the meeting, about 40 parents and students, some with

tears in their eyes, hugged Molina and thanked him, he said.

“I feel very good about the person who I am. I love these

students, staff members, parents and community to death.”

Local News

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

election 2022

Update: Morrison, Gorman duking it out for county commissioner spot

By Jeff Vorva In what is one of the nastiest races around, Sean Morrison and Liz Gorman are duking it out for a commissioners’ spot on the Cook County Board. Gorman had the job in the 17th District from 2002-2015 but gave it up to work in the private sector. Morrison took over and had…

dvn sports wiffle ball

World Wiffle Ball Championship returning to south suburbs

The 43rd World Wiffle Ball Championship is returning to Memorial Park in south suburban Midlothian on July 16-17. “We’re excited to gear up for this year’s Championship at Memorial Park in Midlothian. We can’t wait to see old and new Wifflers alike this summer come together to beat some plastic,” said Mike Baniak, Commissioner of…

election 2022

Morrison, Gorman duking it out for GOP county commissioner nod

By Jeff Vorva In what is one of the nastiest races around, Sean Morrison and Liz Gorman are duking it out for a commissioners’ spot on the Cook County Board. Gorman had the job in the 17th District from 2002-2015 but gave it up to work in the private sector. Morrison took over and had…

Suri Davis, a 15-year-old sophomore at Argo High School, was shot to death in November inside her apartment building in Justice. (Supplied photo)

Justice police arrest teen in Suri Davis murder

By Bob Bong A 14-year-old boy was arrested last week in the murder in November of Argo High School sophomore Suri Davis. Justice police said the teen was arrested June 13 and charged with one felony count of first-degree murder in the November 22 shooting death of Suri Davis, 15. Police said the teen lived…

election 2022

2 incumbents seek Dem nomination in newly drawn 6th District

By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The district covers the Midway Airport area, Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood and the…

Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz, Park Board President Carrie Bernardoni, Executive Director Jennifer Bonbrake, and Commissioners Tom Bosworth, Larry Noyes, and Tabatha Sutera in front of the new park equipment at Commisioners Park. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Justice welcomes Commissioners Park revamp

By Carol McGowan Justice residents and officials welcomed a break from the hot weather last Saturday to officially open the revamped Commissioners Park. Justice Park District Executive Director Jennifer Bonbrake, Park Board President Carrie Bernardoni, and Commissioner Tabatha Sutera all took to the podium to address the crowd that gathered for the 10 a.m. ribbon…

AMANDA

Pro Soccer Report: Kowalksi, Pugh score for Red Stars in draw at KC

Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The Chicago Red Stars suffered a big blow on defense when defender Kayla Sharples was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Sharples’ replacement in the starting lineup on June 18 was Amanda Kowalski. The Arlington Heights native decided to add some offense to her game,…

Troy Grevengoed

Area Sports Roundup: Troy Grevengoed leaving Richards to coach volleyball at Chicago Christian

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer As the girls volleyball coach at Richards, Troy Grevengoed coached against Chicago Christian when two of his daughters played there. He has also watched his daughters from the stands as a fan. Now, he enters a third phase. Grevengoed is the new girls volleyball coach at the Palos Heights private…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion overturning…

6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker

6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker

By PETER HANCOCK & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Republican voters in Illinois will choose from six candidates to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the upcoming June 28 primary. The field includes a conservative farmer and state lawmakers who is the recent polling frontrunner, the mayor of Illinois’ second largest…

Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office

Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] Illinois voters might know Alexi Giannoulias as the state’s treasurer from 2007 to 2011, or they might know him as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate who lost to Republican Mark Kirk in 2010. He’s now looking to get back into public life as he runs for secretary…

Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights

Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released…

Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state

Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago City Clerk…

Republicans see opening in secretary of state race

Republicans see opening in secretary of state race

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For the first time in nearly a quarter century, there is an open race for the office of Illinois secretary of state as incumbent Democrat Jesse White prepares to retire, and Republicans hope that will give them an opportunity to pick up a statewide elected office.…

Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore

Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to all of the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago…

Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement

Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge in Chicago handed down a one-year prison sentence Tuesday for a former state senator who once chaired the Senate Labor Committee. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of embezzlement for receiving salary and benefits from…

CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act

CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – In a 4-3 decision with a blistering dissent from the Republican minority, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to rule on a question of whether Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Act is unconstitutional. It was the second time the case of the People v. Vivian Brown came before the court and…

State audit finds billions in unemployment fraud

State audit finds billions in unemployment fraud

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A state audit released Thursday found nearly $2 billion in federal money intended to help unemployed Illinoisans during the pandemic was lost to fraudulent claims in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Employment Security blamed “insufficient and flawed federal guidance” and a lack of controls on a…

DVN First Midwest Bank House Ad
CRR NH Trianos Pizza House Ad