Why my trust in LF 115 Board and Administration has been lost: I have taken a great interest in this current race for LFHS Board of Education. I was also very critical of the process of hiring Superintendent Simeck, as well as how the public was treated regarding that decision, writing for Illinois Review and in other publications.
My continuing interest and research has led me to conclude that the incumbent members of LF Board 115 are simply a rubber stamp for an Administration. In becoming so, the Administration and Board have rightly lost the trust of the communities they served. We need new leadership, so I am voting for the Final 4 – Neubauer, Marshall, Mienville and Good.
Why has trust in Board 115 and Administration been lost? Here is one reason, among others, why lack of trust exists. When Superintendent Simeck was hired back in 2012, Superintendent Simeck stated he was finishing up his PhD.
Wanting to know where Superintendent Simeck was finishing up his PhD., I did some research about Mr. Simeck, knowing that the usual requirement is for a superintendent to hold a PhD. I found that In April 2007, in conjunction with seeking a Superintendent job in Midland Michigan, Mr. Simeck represented himself as working toward this PhD. Published reports further stated that he “expects to complete it by June 2008.” But Simeck didn’t complete his PhD in 2008 or in 2012 as he promised two separate school boards.
Further research uncovered the following. It appears Mr. Simeck had started his PhD in Educational Leadership in March of 2003 at Michigan State University. There was an 8-year time limit (as indicated on page 10 of the handbook explaining Michigan State University’s Doctoral Educational Specialist Degree), within which Simeck was required to finish his PhD. So when Mr. Simeck told the LFHS Board in February 2012 that he was finishing up his PhD, this would have been impossible. The 8-year time limit had already elapsed at least 11 months earlier, as early as March 2011, and probably even earlier.
Why has the current LFHS Board given Superintendent Simeck a pass on a requirement that should be very important to the LFHS taxpayers? Why is Mr. Simeck being paid so much more — about $300,000 — than many administrators with a higher degree of education? Has anyone on the current Board investigated how Simeck could tell the LFHS Board in 2012 he was finishing a PhD when it appears impossible that he could have done so at that time, absent something never revealed to District taxpayers and parents? Why has the current Board not demanded answers?
Over the years, I have submitted many FOIA requests to District 115 for information involving teacher hiring, questioning the number of highly paid administrators, teacher pensions, and wasteful use of tax payer monies for improvements not needed or called for. I have singled out the high-priced public relations department lacking transparency that seeks to hide bad school news and statistics and to instead promote in glowing terms only what it wants the public to know, and many other issues.
I never trusted this Administration to do the right thing for District taxpayers, students and parents. Many of its decisions are cloaked in secrecy. There is no transparency. For example, DailyNorthShore reported a current Board member has said that LFHS is getting rid of academic tracking. This isn’t what we were promised two years ago with the new principal hiring. And the present LFHS Board is to blame for not overseeing this present Administration, which continues to treat this community with arrogance and dismissiveness and secrecy.
When trust is gone, you have nothing.
This is why I will be voting for the Final 4 on the April 4th ballot — Neubauer, Marshall, Mienville & Good. If you care about how your taxes are being used, the quality of education students are receiving, and restoring trust and transparency, you must likewise do the same. Their website is at lfhs4.com.
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