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Thursday, September 10, 2009

East Aurora School District 131 Board Transformation Continues with Carol Farnum's Resignation

Since 2005, we have been advocating strong and bold changes were needed at East Aurora School District 131.

Two elections later, there has been "change" for the East Aurora School Board. Now, we have learned Carol Farnum, will resign and her resignation will be effective after the September 21st school board meeting.

Ms. Farnum has cited personal reasons and was first elected in 1999. Her term would have expired in April 2011.

That leaves Juanita Wells as the only remaining school board member from the past.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Farnum has effectively been gone from the board for several months now, ever since she nominated Juanita Wells for School Board president and Dee Weaver was elected instead.

She will long be remembered as the president of the "School Board from Hell"--known for secrecy, deception, cronyism, and disregard for our children's best interests. We can thank Ms. Farnum for the current School Board, which was elected by a community that was fed up with being told "no comment, the issue is over".

Ms. Farnum insisted that replacing the East High band director was necessary to bring, in her own words, "brisk ideas, new ideas". What happened instead, thanks partly to her leadership, was disastrous. Now we have a new School Board bringing brisk & new ideas.

Good riddance to the old-guard; good luck to the new leadership in replacing Ms. Farnum with someone who will make decisions in children's best interests!

Anonymous said...

Please. You are full of it.

Anonymous said...

Yep, 8:10 sure is full of it--full of support for this new, improved School Board. And full of concern for doing what's best for students in this district, instead of supporting administrators' personal vendettas.

Face it, 11:05--the people of this district spoke clearly last spring. We wanted to overthrow the old-guard board, and we succeeded.

Next step: replacing those administrators who so clearly care more about their image than our children.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree about the administration part they are just their for the money not so much for the children. If they where our middle schools would not be 8 years on the watch list for our high school 6 years on it. Even the state looks the other way with respect to our district because the state policies says by now someone from the state should of come down and for the 8 years replaced the school board and administrators.

Anonymous said...

Now if Dr. Roberts would resign I think the District could start moving ahead.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Roberts may not be an ideal superintendent, but he's a tremendous improvement over his predecessor, "Serial Bully" Radakovich.

And if Dr. Roberts were to step down, I would bet that Dr. Marin Gonzalez would want to be the new superintendent. That would be the worst thing that could happen to this district! She has a long history of being vindictive and just plain mean to anyone who refuses to kiss her well-cushioned rear end.

At least Dr. Roberts treats people diplomatically and reasonably.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that Marin Gonzales would be the next superintendant. I also think that Aird might think she would also be considered for the next superintendant and I highly doubt she would be considered. My guess is that the board would look for someone outside the district, willing to move here and therefore be someone who would be fair and unbiased. Remeber that this current school board has worked with the two above and know how unco-operative they are as they have not been forthright in giving the information they have asked for and answeres to questions and have put this current school board in a bad postion one to many times and trying to make it look like the current school boards fault.

Anonymous said...

No Dr. Roberts does nothing and it takes more than a superintendent to treat people diplomatically and reasonably. The man has no back bone and really is just doing his time to get his retirement. What has he done to get our middle schools of the watch list after 8 years and our high school after 6 years. Really by now the State should of stepped in as is the policy of NCLB.

What makes you think that this board would give Gonzales that position? My hope with this new board is they will step out of the box like U-46 and get someone who will really want to make change in this district. I do believe that this board does know that she would be a bad choice.

Lets hope some of the parents on the far East side steps up to be on the board.

By the way I was at the board meeting and was surprised to see Linda Chappa-Liva there. Was it because of the Urban League situation. Doesn't she sit on some kind of committee about schools? It seems when certain things happen some come out of the woodwork to the board meetings for who knows what reason but are silent in so many things that go on in the district and keep silent.

Anonymous said...

Dr Roberts has made improvements the school are all set up with the best teaching materials and fired or replaced most of the dead weight. It is to soon to tell. The biggest problem with him is he does not live in the district. As far as the new board they have their own personal agenda's. They try to change programs just for the shake of changing them. The Magnet school has a program started by Roberts so they tried to stop it weeks from school starting. The Alternative school was a program Roberts backed again the tried to stop it with before the school year. Lewis Carlson and Weaver will never forget the band and they are playing get even with the students futures. The old board was cheap and petty but this one is no better.
As someone who works in the district ladies take note we don't want to hear about your son Weaver or your grandchildren Lewis and get off the band.

Anonymous said...

This board feels nobody in this district should get a raise because the schools did not make No child left behind. Wait and see early childhood learning programs will be shut down and teachers like the administrators will not get wages increases. This district will face the first strike in its history. If the new board thinks they are so smart then why did you not get teaching degrees and try to teach our kids. I amazes me Weaver was so opposed to the Alternative school her kids could have used it.

Anonymous said...

Lets focus on replacing the board member, is there going to be a special election or is the new board member appointed.

There are many good men/Women in the school district lets get the word out and bring them out and fill this position with someone who cares.

Anonymous said...

Weaver did not say she was opposed to the Alternative school if anyone was paying attention, she was conserned about the monies and where it would come from. Whether or not anyone believes this, this district is in financial trouble. If we are commited to the Alternative school, which it appears we are now, what are all of you going to say when you find out that there may not be monies for a teachers raise etc., because of this commitment? Weaver only mentioned about her son to let the community know why she would not be at whatever was going on tonight where the rest of the board seemed to be going. Nothing wrong with her children that I can see, her 3 daughters have all been on the honor rolls and excelled academically, So one made a minor mistake, haven't we all? She was punished for it. For the teachers who want to go on strike, have at it. You then would be hurting the students and the school year then would have to extended to cover the time you are not there. Also, there are plenty of teachers out there needing jobs. Seems like some of the teachers are not happy as finally there is some on the board making them start to tow the line. As far as Linda Chappa Lavia goes, she flip flops around more than a fish out of water. I would not believe anything that came out of her mouth if her tongue was notorized. They did not try to stop the Magnet Academy weeks before it started. If one had been paying attention they would have known that the administrators did not do their jobs and give the information they were supposed to and what Aird gave was wrong and did not get the corrected information she was supposed to and instead went on vacation. Love the way certain ones post to cover their own tracks and make others look bad. One thing I do agree with is the band issue. But, the bad thing about this is it leads back to bad decisions made by the old board. For those of you who disagree with this current board, why did you not run for it or try to get the opening that is there now? Just remember this about cuts that will be coming, the state is cutting grants and many other things, so where will the money be coming from. I do not know about Roberts and the best teaching materials, but it was Weaver that was the one who was instermental about getting the new school books. The ones that were replaced were somewhere in the range of at least 10 years old if not older. Notice you did not give her credit of this. The state has now stopped any funding for this type of thing and we will be on our own to replace them. Where is all this money going to come from?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else read in the paper today about the 2 German tests and German novel stolen from a classroom at East High last Friday and the teacher suspects a student? If it is found that a student did this they should be expelled. It is time for zero tolerance to be applied. I am tired of the coddling that is being done with students that do not follow the rules and tow the line. It is also time for parents to start the same thing and use tough love, and I do not mean sending them to an alternative school. This is just passing the buck elsewhere. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

Weaver never got new books she could never get any votes passed. Actually it was Ken Maurice and Dr Roberts pushing for this we also received a number of grants for new text books. It is true that those grants were cut but the grant writer and many of our principles/admin are working on new grants. The board has nothing to do with it.
It is clear Weaver has lost the support of her long time pal Rayanne Carlson. She has become a dictator and a one man show. Currently she has the backing of only one member another angry parent/grandparent Lewis. The board is a joke. The admin spends time preparing and copying report after report that she doe not read. Then she tells everyone to cover up for her lack of knowledge that the admins do not share info.
Just look at the online board packets they have info in them. Question her about a individual report and see if she can answer you.
She sets her own agenda. It is my understanding nobody on the board even knew the Magnet debate was coming. Gonzalez was talking about it and the next minute she was making a statement about the program being stopped.
She was given info on the Alternative school in June but did nothing. The other board members are fed up with long meetings and dodging her bullets she is now a lame duck in the true sense of the word.

Anonymous said...

I heard Roberts has been living in Aurora for sometime.

Anonymous said...

First of all any new text books have to be approved by the board before getting into the classrooms so yes the board did have something to do with it and maybe it was Maurice but what is the difference. The text book grant has been there for a long time but I think this was the first time they used it.

The grant writer at the school doesn't even get half the grants this district should be getting.

As far as Rayanne and Weaver Rayanne can step away. She starts things and doesn't follow through is how I see it. The board makes decisions based on the facts they get and the last two where made because money is going to get tight and they where thinking of the whole district not just the few. Then when people came before the board crying and threatening them if they didn't get what they wanted something would happen did some of the board changed their minds. As far as I'm concerned they need to look at the facts first before they make a decsion and stick to it.

If Roberts is such a good leader why do you see so many building repairs lately that need to be done and will cost a lot. No he still lives in Joliet he just had a swimming pool put in his back yard and I hear that he has maintenance people come and work for him at home on the districts dime.

Anonymous said...

If Dr. Roberts does, indeed, live in Aurora he should make it known so people can stop criticizing him for not living in the district.

And 9:10 says to get off the band issue. The more time goes by, the more obvious it is to anyone with ears & eyes that the old-guard board & administration made a huge blunder. But largely because of that one issue, we have elected a new, improved School Board. And although the new members had been supporters of Mr. K, I have heard no specific mention of the EHS band program at board meetings for many months--they are too busy dealing with other important concerns in our district!

Anonymous said...

What I read was that Weaver was instrumental in getting the new books, not that she got them. There is a difference to me in this statement. Anyway at the meeting where they showed the new books Weaver was allowed by the board to tell about them and she did not take credit for it, she also gave thanks and the credit to Maurice and anyone else involved in getting them. This is something that should have been done along time before this. Board President Farnum let her tell about it as she mentioned something about Weaver wanting new books for the students for along time or something like that. Find something else to nitpik on. No, the board is not working on getting grants, that is not their job but it is apparent that the person whose job it is, is not doing theirs. All anyone had to do was go to the meetings in the last school year, before the new board was elected, to be aware of this. I can tell by all the negative comments being put here that it is by some teachers and/or administrators that know what they have done are not on the up and up. All anyone would have had to do was go to just some of the meetings in the last school to know and be aware of this.

Anonymous said...

It is Weaver that should step down because she is the person that never gets anything done. She did complain about the textbooks but she never did the heavy lifting research to complete the project. All she ever does is complain and cause work the board ,admin and staff. It is clear the entire board has had it. She claimed to have been speaking for them I guess they did not see it that way. She acts like she is the only one looking out for the districts money. Several other administrators and board members are as well. I can not imagine who will want to throw their hat into the middle of the Monday meeting from hell. Cutting programs without any thought or feelings of the students is not my idea of being a good president. April 2011 could not come to soon.
One last comment I have worked with Ms Carlson on different committees and she always follow up unlike Ms Weaver.

Anonymous said...

You have to ask what is the alternate school going to cost. It seems that the contract with the Urban League has not been signed and there is quote on what they will charge the district. Is the district suppose to give them a open check for what ever they want to charge them? What will happen if they charge more than what they thought and it cuts into some other program. Do you when you go into any contract leave that open so who ever you sign a contract with someone you don't know what they will charge and when they do will you complain that it is too much? It is to late after the fact. From what I hear they have not entered into that contract yet so you will just let them charge what they want?

As far as the text books I believe before Mrs. Weaver was on the board she went before the board and commented about how old some of the text books where and nothing was done then. After that the district got on board about the text book grant and got it and got some looked at text books and brought it before the board when Mrs. Weaver was on the board. Most might not know that any text book must be approved by the board before going into the classroom. In fact I don't think most people know the real role of the School Board. It is the Administrators and curriculum committee that is suppose to do that and bring it to the board for approval and I don't believe she is on that committee.

Cutting programs without any thought or feelings of the students is not my idea of being a good president. Have you looked at the paper recently many districts are having to cut programs and just like Mrs. Weaver they have thoughts and feelings. Just the other day their was an article about a district that even though their football team could go to the finals they would not have the money to send them. So which program do you cut? It will happen sometime here. We must be the only district in the state that isn't having money problems but it is coming and we don't need board members that will cave into someone personal agenda.

It is not the responsibility of a board member to get back to someone from administration about what is going on in the district it is the Superintendents job. The problem with this board is they are stepping out of their boundaries and doing what the Superintendent and Administration should be doing. Take the time to look about how a school board should be handling things and you will see that in most cases it isn't true here. Rayanne is a board member and she should keep herself that way and stay focused on board business. Don't forget the mess she got into with Waldo and that could happen again. Take the time to look at other districts and you will see that this doesn't happen there. Just like in any form of government someone is going to have to make a decision that most will not like but one has to be made just like our President is making on health care.

Anonymous said...

One last comment I have worked with Ms Carlson on different committees and she always follow up unlike Ms Weaver.

Did you ever think that Rayanne only has her committee business to take care of and Ms. Weaver has the whole board business to take care of. If she doesn't reply right away keep trying she does get back to people and remember she has many people complaining to her besides the people in this district.

So complain all you want and if you feel up to it run for school board but I think you don't live in this district because if you did you would step up to the plate and make things better.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Rayanne ran for the board because of what they did to Mr. K and the band program and that will be always be her agenda to get back at the administration. She might have been quite for awhile about this but she will bring it up whenever she can. What will she do if they have to cut the band program will she vote to cut something else a parent feels strongly about to keep it?

Anonymous said...

8:45, Rayanne is not the only board member who was a strong supporter of Mr. K, and who is still upset with certain administrators about the band situation. Dee Weaver and Anita Lewis also had signs in their yards and/or wrote letters in support of Mr. K.

It would be one thing if the band had improved under new leadership, as the old-guard board & administration promised. But it's been 4 years, and the EHS band has gone noticeably downhill in quality. I give Rayanne, Dee, and Anita (probably Annette also as she seems similar-minded) credit for concentrating their effort & time on the most important issues facing our district. But I'm also sure that the band issue is simmering on the back burner, and may come back to bite certain administrators in the butt when they least expect it.

Anonymous said...

Dee we all know you are bragging about yourself being a good board member. Stop singing your praises that will come back to bit you in the butt. It already was you have a split board that was evidence of the last board meeting

Anonymous said...

Weaver will become the cause of the first teachers strike if the board does not step in and put a stop to it. The board has three petty women on it who had a ax to grind with the school because they had problem children. This board lacks professional people. Johnson and Gonzalez are professionals and it shows.

Anonymous said...

11:34, Anita Lewis is a friend of mine, and I can assure you that she NEVER had "problem children". And as far as Rayanne and Dee's kids, their problems were comparatively minor.

On the other hand, Dr. Marin Gonzalez's son has had serious problems with the law.

I would agree with you, however, that Annette Johnson is professional and it shows. Interestingly, she votes along with Dee, Rayanne, and Anita most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Johnson never had kids in the District and talks about her boyfriends kids in D204. I wonder if she really lives in the district. I know she has property in the district and has opposed to the referendum. She may be a professional but her interest are in the kids of D204. She does seen to listen so the jury is still out.

Lewis did have problems with her kids and the band and cheer-leading. She has argued with the special ed teachers over her grandson and does hold personal grudges. She has treated the staff very poorly and now is cutting early childhood because she never had those programs available for her grandson. As for the referendum first she was for it then against it. She never makes up her mind and flip flops like a fish out of water. she even supported the new band director and gave her input into hiring him
As for Weaver and Carlson everyone knows what a pair they are.
This is our board you may not have agreed with Carol but at least she made the tough choices.

Anonymous said...

Carol did not make tough choices, she let the superintendants do it.

Anonymous said...

Hey "annee" shut the hell up.

Anonymous said...

3:37, Anita Lewis did NOT recommend hiring the new band director! She (and the other parents consulted) rated Mr. Liska the highest of the applicants for the position, but those parents clearly stated that neither he nor the other applicants were qualified. And the past 4 years has proven that fact over and over (I blame the administration at the time, including Ms. Farnum, for that blunder!)

Ms. Lewis and the other parents tried to make the best of the situation for the sake of the kids. They tried to give the new director a chance, but last fall's disrespectful halftime show was the last straw for many. Now more and more in the community are wising up and recognizing that the administration's decision about the EHS band was NOT in our children's best interests.

Anonymous said...

7:29, who is Annee?

Anonymous said...

Who are you people?

Anonymous said...

Who is Annee?

Someone who should run for the School Board!

Anonymous said...

The old board, the new board. There are going to be critics of everyone.

If people are there for the students and community, it always shows. People who are one issue members eventually find themselves on the critics end. It's the nature of elected positions.

The band issue will always continue to come up - largely because it was a personnel issue and things could not be talked about. Not giving people answers always leads to suspicion. Even if Rayanne, Dea, and Anita can read previous board minutes and closed sessions, they still can't go and tell people the entire story if it's a personnel issue. It can be frustrating. We have to trust people until they prove otherwise.

We have 7 individuals who have stepped up to serve regardless of their motives. If you want to be able to know everything about a situation, run for the board and put yourself out there for service.

Anonymous said...

8:09, very well said.

Yes, it can be frustrating, especially when administration promised something (an improved band program) and delivered only excuses & denial. Our kids deserve so much better!

At least the new board has given the community better access to financial records. And they do seem to be trying to be available to answer our concerns. It's a thankless job sometimes--I'm grateful to those who step up to the plate!

Anonymous said...

As far as this old band issue from reading about the responsibilities of the board in this issue should of been if the old director was doing his job. It is the Superintendent that really makes the choices about teachers placements. I'm not sure what went on in this and why they had closed sessions about this but at that time if the parents really knew the process and if they should of gone into closed session someone could of gone to the States Attorney about it and see if they did they right thing with going into closed session. It seems like the people sitting on the board at that time thought their might have been something the director did that was wrong. I'm not saying he did. But what you have to ask is that a reason to go into closed session? It is too late to open that can of worms because probably those tapes have been destroyed. By law the district should go through closed session tapes twice a year and I believe after 18 months they can destroy them which probably what has happened. Someone should of gone and challenged if those meetings should have been held in closed session but since most people don't take the time to really see how public meetings should be held it is to late for that. So going forward if you think the board shouldn't go into closed session about something challenge that. Don't live in the past with this make sure it doesn't happen again.

We have a new board and whatever you think about them make sure they follow the law about when they go into closed session and is the issue that they are going into it under the context of going into them. Take the time to learn about the open meetings act and you will get further with that. I do think they have been more open in the things they discuss in open meetings and people need to really listen to all that is said not just what they want to hear.

Anonymous said...

7:33, from what I remember the only thing the band director did wrong was to refuse to kiss certain administrators' behinds. For example, he didn't want pep bands to be required to play for games that had been scheduled after the official list of commitments had been set (and handed out to families at the beginning of the school year). Unfortunately, the athletic director at EHS, Rick Johnson, was Superintendent Radakovich's Minooka crony; also, the president of the board at the time, Larry Malaker, was a good buddy of Radakovich (whose car could be seen in Malaker's driveway on an almost daily basis). And the whole movement to get rid of Mr. K was started by Gordon Postlewaite, who "had it in" for Kevin ever since Kevin had the guts to speak up for the best interests of band students & parents back when Postlewaite had been principal at East High. Radakovich brought Postlewaite out of retirement and back to D131 (as director of secondary education) for about 6 months--just long enough to help him bully Kaisershot out of his high school teaching position.

As far as the closed sessions are concerned, that's probably standard procedure for dealing with personnel issues. But I do remember Carol Farnum was behind the destruction of the tapes from that period of time. Whatever was discussed on the tapes is long gone, I'm sure. But that doesn't matter much, as long as so many in this community remember clearly who was responsible for this disastrous decision and why it was allowed to happen.

Anonymous said...

Here is a new law to the School Code that Governor Quinn just signed. Now maybe we can see what Carol gave Dr. Roberts in his early renewal of his contract.

This is a new law signed by Governor Quinn. Let's hope this district follows the law since it has a full time webmaster.

Section 5. The School Code is amended by adding Sections
10-20.46 and 34-18.37 as follows:

(105 ILCS 5/10-20.46 new)
Sec. 10-20.46. Salary compensation report. On or before
October 1 of each year, each school district in this State,
including special charter districts, shall post on its Internet
website, if any, an itemized salary compensation report for
every employee in the district holding an administrative
certificate and working in that capacity, including the
district superintendent. The salary compensation report shall
include without limitation base salary, bonuses, pension
contributions, retirement increases, the cost of health
insurance, the cost of life insurance, paid sick and vacation
day payouts, annuities, and any other form of compensation or
income paid on behalf of the employee.
This report shall be presented at a regular school board
meeting, subject to applicable notice requirements. In
addition, each school district shall submit the completed
report to the office of the district's regional superintendent
of schools, which shall make copies available to any individual

requesting them.
Per Section 10-20.40 of this Code, as added by Public Act
95-707, a school district must post the contract that a school
board enters into with an exclusive bargaining representative.
The school board must provide the terms of that contract

(105 ILCS 5/34-18.37 new)
Sec. 34-18.37. Salary compensation report. On or before
October 1 of each year, the school district shall post on its
Internet website an itemized salary compensation report for
every employee in the district holding an administrative
certificate and working in that capacity, including the general
superintendent of schools. The salary compensation report
shall include without limitation base salary, bonuses, pension
contributions, retirement increases, the cost of health
insurance, the cost of life insurance, paid sick and vacation
day payouts, annuities, and any other form of compensation or
income paid on behalf of the employee.
This report shall be presented at a regular board meeting,
subject to applicable notice requirements. In addition, the
board shall make copies of the completed report available to
any individual requesting them.
Per Section 10-20.40 of this Code, as added by Public Act
95-707, the school district must post the contract that the
board enters into with an exclusive bargaining representative.

The board must provide the terms of that contract online.

Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/13/2009

Steve Lawson said...

The blog owned by Rayanne Carlson and on other anonymous individual is bad for East Aurora High School (posting here as Aurora does not have a Patch). This blog is filled with hearsay and offensive posts that directly affect EAHS negatively is a variety of different ways. The blog allows participants to post an array of very seedy and non-regulated comments (or should I say at the blogger's discretion. All posts are moderated and thus they determine what is posted publicly).

All this has done not only hurt the individuals being targeted, but has kept potential educators from considering EAHS as a place of employment.

Anonymous said...

I for one appreciate this (and the other) blog. It is one of the few ways an average citizen can express an opinion on a controversial topic without censorship. And as far as people applying for teaching jobs, I have a teaching certificate and would much rather know the recent history of a district BEFORE I work there than after.

Knowledge is power!

Annee said...

WAAAAA...cry me a river.

This is 2014. Blogs are here to stay.

And what's keeping YOU from disputing anything here that is supposedly "hearsay" or "offensive"?

Are you lazy, clueless, or both??