March 21 Board of Education meeting

Logo+courtesy+of+District+158%27s+website
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March 21 Board of Education meeting

Logo courtesy of District 158's website

Logo courtesy of District 158's website

Logo courtesy of District 158's website

Logo courtesy of District 158's website

Jarrod Khoo

The March 21 Huntley Community School District 158 Board of Education meeting began on time at 7 p.m. and moved fluidly last night, the first notable highlight being the board’s recognition of the Heineman Middle School basketball team and cheerleading squad.

The basketball team recently earned fourth place in their final tournament for the season. The cheerleading squad recently competed in their state competition in Peoria, Illinois. The basketball team and cheerleading squad then posed for photos with the board members.

The board then deferred to Heineman Principal James Litchfield, who introduced Heineman basketball coaches Courtney Fulton and Cole Wilford. Litchfield then passed the room to coaches Fulton and Wilford.

The coaches then introduced the basketball team members to the board and elaborated on their achievements throughout the season. Afterwards, the team received a standing ovation from the board and audience.

Litchfield then introduced Heineman cheer coaches Shannon Mansfield and Madison Thennisch to the board. Litchfield then passed the room to coaches Mansfield and Thennisch. The coaches then introduced the cheerleading squad and elaborated on their achievements throughout the season. Afterwards, the squad received a standing ovation from the board and audience.

The board then opened the session to public comment, during which Jim Opalone, a retired teacher who now works as a substitute teacher at Huntley High School, addressed the board.

Opalone explained that the substitute teachers at District 158 are overworked and underpaid, stating that seven class periods is too much for a substitute teacher and that other school districts such as Barrington and District 214 pay much better and require much less of their substitutes.

Opalone then compared working for District 158 to indentured servitude, again emphasizing the subpar compensation and inhumane treatment. He also noted that many substitute teachers are leaving the district, never to return.

Opalone then criticized the board’s underpayment of its full-time teachers, stating that the district is hemorrhaging teachers due to its flawed pay scale.

Sandra Vitucci was the next speaker to address the board. She spoke on behalf of Brad Aney, reading out loud to the board a written statement by Aney. Aney’s statement spoke in support of the board, thanking them for the efforts to improve the district.

Vitucci then voiced her support of Aney’s statement, including his position that he and other Huntley educators will be endorsing the board’s reelection campaign.

After some routine updates, the meeting proceeded to conclude at 8 pm.

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