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D204 leader applies for Indiana job

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Indian Prairie School District 204 Superintendent Stephen Daeschner has applied to be Greater Clark County (Ind.) Schools' next superintendent.

A little over a month ago, Daeschner responded to rumors that he was a finalist for the position and that Greater Clark representatives had visited District 204 by telling The Sun he hadn't even applied for the post.

But, on Monday, he disclosed that he'd decided to apply for the position because he had a "passion for at-risk kids, and they're all at-risk."

Greater Clark County Schools serve about 11,000 kids in the southern Indiana communities that sit right across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. Louisville is where Daeschner lived before he accepted his current position two years ago. There, he worked as superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools for 14 years.

All of Greater Clark's schools serve large populations of students from low-income families.

Greater Clark would appear to want Daeschner to return to the Louisville area. In 2007, a prominent Greater Clark board member told District 204 officials that he wanted Daeschner to be the next superintendent of his district.

Daeschner, though, said this isn't a done deal, and added that he isn't interested in leaving District 204 for any other job.

What are your thoughts? Should he leave? Is he already gone? How would District 204 hold up without him?

UPDATE: Daeschner accepted the post in Indiana on Wednesday. Daeschner reportedly agreed to a three-year contract for $225,000. District 204 said it does not know at this point who will take over Daeschner's job while the district conducts a search, which typically takes about a year.

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78 Comments

alwaysontherun on July 18, 2009 7:36 PM


Yeah Right! And you just happened to be reading this blog and wanted to comment....yadda yadda yadda.

I am from Greater Clark County, I wish you would have kept him. Did you know a supreme court justice makes 208,000 and Dr Daeschner makes $225,000? Not one public entity donated a penny to his salary, our school board set aside 150,000 for his salary, we're out 75,000

Nah, nah, nah, nah.
Nah, nah, nah, nah.
Hey, hey, Goodbye!

I hope for the sake of Greater Clark County, you don't screw them as much as you did District 204!

We're glad to see you gone. June 30 could not come soon enough.

To Anonymous on May 26, 2009 6:10 PM,

Your quote is probably in reference to the BS number from NIU which said 10,400 would be the 'peak'.

By the district's own numbers as of 3/08, it's really somewhere around 8800.

This is why building the 3rd HS was a waste of money. They knew the numbers before they voted to buy the land back in April 2008. They kept them quiet and even JC made a rant during that April meeting about how there are 'thousands' who won't have a seat that are in the system 'today' (a lie) and we have to build it for the kids. She even almost cried during that rambling. I couldn't tell if it was from knowing she was lying to the public or if she really was that clueless as to the real numbers (an equally bad situation for everyone in the district given her position and voting power).

The peak enrollment numbers worked out during the Freshman Center time were around 8600-8700. I'd say they hit it closer than anyone, even the "We deserve *our* Neuqua" crowd that pushed the scare tactics for the third high school.

I'm no Howie fan myself, but the record needs to be straight on the enrollment projections and actuals and who was more accurate and who was certainly way off base.

Again, enjoy your tax bills in the years to come.

By Original Joe on May 26, 2009 4:08 PM

I don't know who was right as to "peak" enrollment. All I know is that Crouse admitted that the reason why we paid for Freshmen Centers and a third high school is because of him. That's good enough for me not to wish him back. We need new, fresh leadership not more of the old.

"The Freshman Centers did not solve the problem. Mr. Crouse said he takes responsibility for that. He also stated that the solution of building a third high school and converting a freshman center appears to be the best option at this time." Citizens Advisory Committee Minutes, December 14, 2004, page 3.

To Anonymous on May 26, 2009 1:28 PM,

Where else but District 204 can you find people who believe a 600 seat deficit (at most) requires a $150 million dollar building. The NIU numbers to justify the 3rd HS are approximately 2,000 too high.

Enjoy your tax bill as a result of the overspending; especially in this economy.

Howie's numbers were more accurate than the 3rd HS people's with respect to peak enrollment. The committee back then was only off by 100-200, not 2,000 students.

By change-me on May 26, 2009 10:13 AM

Let's look at what probably drove Crouse out--the Freshmen Campuses. Crouse was instrumental in pushing the idea that establishing the Freshmen Campuses would solve the over crowding in the high schools. It didn't. It was only a finger in the dam for 3 or 4 years. He admitted that it was his fault at a meeting on December 14, 2004. He failed. The district wasted millions of dollars upgrading two middle schools and building two more. Then, the district had to concede it was the wrong idea and that a third high school was needed. So, the upgrade money was wasted. Granger/WVHS Gold/Fischer Middle School has to be retrofitted into a middle school again (signage, new flooring, etc.). Plus, the cost of overbuilding it will never be recouped for high school quality labs, weight rooms, music facilities, technology, learning center, cafeteria. The cost of building the third high school greatly increased between 2001 and 2006. Not to mention the waste of the Class of 2003 gift of monument signage of Ogden and Eola which was requested by the administration that now has to be removed along with the similar signage at the main "green" campus.

Crouse is a symbol of the debacle and the district needs to move on with fresh leadership.

I think the Dist 204 board ought to "come clean" about the hiring process that brought Daeschner to Dist 204 in the first place. Why was former Supt Howie Crouse "let go"? He was doing as good a job as anyone could do under the circumstances (people riled up on both sides of the 3rd high school issue / problems in some of the junior highs).
Howie Crouse was (is) a native of this area, whereas Scullen, McKinzie and Daeschner were not from this area. Plus, Crouse was a "career" employee with Dist 204 -- to the best of my knowledge, Dist. 204 was the only school district that Crouse ever worked in as teacher or administrator. When a person has spent their entire career in one district, that breeds loyalty, both on his part and on the part of those who work with him / for him. And last but not least, Howie Crouse was at least a decade younger than Daeschner -- so why, Why, WHY did the 204 school bd toss out someone as competant, loyal and dedicated as Howie Crouse in favor of a Super who obviously didn't give a "hoot" about the welfare of Dist 204 students, parents or teachers??
Would it be possible to bring Howie C. out of retirement and bring him back to lead Dist 204? At least then we wouldn't be starting from scratch with some new Super who just wants the "big bucks" that go with the Super's job in Dist 204 . . . HOWIE, WHERE ARE YOU WHEN WE NEED YOU??!!

Glad to see him go. The administrators and teachers were less than fully enthused about his personality and management capability. Very inconsiderate and ignorant of personal/personnel interaction. Let's hope our SB doesn't go out and spend money we don't have for a search firm. There are other avenues to broadcast this position availability. If possible, let's promote from within.
I found him like many of his staff insufferable with his attitude of condescension to parents, children staff and board.

So Daeschner is leaving, big whip. My concern is that we dont go all out and spend tons of money to get another high priced superintendant that only sticks around a couple of years. #1 We should hire a Superintendant that is coming from a comparable sized or larger school district. Not from a smaller one. Not from a rural one. Get my drift? #2 There are tons of people/teachers, admins, who want to move up in education. There are tons of people with teaching certs in Illinois looking for teaching jobs. So simple economics will tell you that we dont have to pay top dollar for these coveted jobs. I dont care what they pay in Winnetka or Barrington. Let them pay it. I'll bet you right now we have a competent qualified employee in D204 or in this immediate area who would make a great Superintendant and not demand 250K. That is quite a jump up from the position below it anyways. Way too high! People want to be in education and the pensions are great. No need to jack up the salaries. Look at the state of the economy! Be responsible with taxpayer money!! I dont believe for a minute that the best people require the top dollar. School Board: Dont be foolish. A school district like ours that has to staff and finish building a new high school has a lot of expenses to deal with already. #3 Lastly, along the line of pensions, we shouldnt be giving any pension money (that the state cant afford anyways) for less than 10 years of service. If you dont stay that long, bye!! Build incentives in the contract to stay a long time, like they do in the real world--business!!

The fighting on this thread is pathetic.

Things like referendums, new schools, etc will always be politicized. I used to be angry and fed up like many of you, but you know what...that left me feeling angry and fed up all the time! That is no way to live your life. If you have your health, your family, and a roof over your head...I recommend you try to rise above all the baloney and enjoy yourself.

Focus on where we can have a consensus: good education for our kids, quality facilities (MVHS getting built is a given at this point), and a peaceful town to live in. We can HOPE for good, unifying, unbiased leaders who will be responsible fiscal stewards for us, but we will NEVER reach a consensus on whether that is happening. Just accept that fact.

There will always be "I want mine" and NIMBY attitudes. But that is no reason to square off against each other. That attitude is just human nature. We all want what's best for ourselves. When a member of our community expresses a selfish viewpoint, don't square off against each other. Don't hate each other. At the end of the day we're all "NIMBYs".

If you think our leaders are poorly representing us, if you think they are playing favorites and being too political, if you think they are spending poorly and making up for it by reaching into our wallets via taxation...then VOTE YOUR OPINION and/or VOTE WITH YOUR FEET. If you vote and your side loses, then accept that your viewpoint is in the minority. Again, focus on your health, your career, your family, your faith, whatever...just rise above. If you just can't do that, then it's probably time to leave. But just remember the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side. (case in point: 204 vs. 203 ???)

Peace, Neighbors.

Sue, so are those of us still here.

Whine, whine, whine...I am so HAPPY my family and I moved out of Naperville.

And a huge collective sigh of relief is heard all around Naperville.

Daeshner's gone! He's gone! Accepted the job the morning.

From the blue blog..

The fun continues. Take a look at all the new friends Dr.D is making BEFORE he's even accepted the job!

JHS1982 http://community.cnhi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/46410611/m/9871068281/p/3
Free Time
Posted May 14, 2009 23:30 Hide Post
I wanted to pass along some important information that I feel the public needs to know. I only wish more people read this Forum.

Late last night / early this morning, I read C-J reporter Ben Hershberg's story from 5-13-09 entitled, "Greater Clark focuses on Daeschner." I wish I had read the story earlier, as there was something said by Dr. Daeschner that has me seething:

"In the meeting with business and community leaders yesterday morning, Daeschner vowed that he will help improve the average (GCCS) student ACT score of about 17 - which he called "RIDICULOUS" - to a more acceptable 20 in two or three years."

I'd like to address this quotation by Dr. Daeschner. First and foremost, as a parent of two GCCS students, I'm highly offended by his reference of "RIDICULOUS," and how he chose to use it in his statement. He might as well come out and said, "You people are dumba$$e$.....A 17??? WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN DOING??" If you read the context by which the word "RIDICULOUS" was used, it has NO other meaning in how it was stated!!! AND, it attacks all of us.....educators, administrators, and parents!!

For a candidate who has not officially ( ) been offered the job, he sure knows how to endear himself to his new community, doesn't he?? Right, wrong, or indifferent, he has a reputation that precedes him for this type of behavior. Is this a small taste of what's to come?? If so, look out....he'll have this community more divided that it already is. Why in the world would you make a statement as pompous as this??

Secondly, and probably more humorous, considering the statement he made above, the "17 average ACT score that he will raise to a 20 in 2 - 3 years" is grossly erroneous!! According to the Indiana Department of Education website (which is GOSPEL and what Indiana education officials reference when it comes to reporting test scores, dropout rates, etc., etc.) states the FOLLOWING AVERAGE ACT TEST SCORES FOR THE THREE HIGH SCHOOLS IN GCCS'S DISTRICT: Jeffersonville: 21.5 Charlestown: 22.3 New Washington: 22.5 Exactly WHERE did "about 17" come from Dr. Daeschner? I'm sure the business and community leaders your were meeting with had NO idea that the 17 you referenced was A HUGE ERROR!!

I'm sure they were all just taking it in, thinking here comes our cowboy on his white horse to save the day!! To those community and business leaders: We're already WELL above what Dr. Daeschner thinks we are at, and ALSO above what he'll strive to get us to in 2 - 3 years!!! What's sad about this, it took me all of 5 minutes to research and confirm this. Obviously, Dr. Daeschner has not done too much homework on our situation, AND for an experienced, high ranking, public education official, THAT'S INEXCUSABLE. Especially in the context in which he referenced all of this information!!!

No wonder he's been quoted in Naperville and Aurora publications as saying "all (GCCS students) are at risk." If I hear that one more time, I'm going to puke!! My kids are "not at risk," Dr. Daeschner. If you'd have done your homework, you'd find THAT was not the case. Just how much do you really know about our system and situation? And why wouldn't you research this instead of shooting from the hip, which you obviously did in this situation??

Could it be that it's to your and our Board's advantage to grossly decrease the scores you referenced in order to inflate everyone's opinion of you, justifying that BIG salary I'm sure you're going to be paid? Did you not think someone would check out the validity of those scores? C'mon, Dr. Daeschner......as an experienced educator, you should know that 17 is a VERY LOW score, and before referencing it, you should have checked into it more closely. As soon as I saw your quote referencing it, I KNEW it was too low. After all, I pay attention to these numbers when it's posted annually in the Evening News!!

I just wanted to get the TRUTH out to everyone regarding this situation. It's all factual. Go to the Indiana Department of Education website and see for yourself. Bring up our three highs schools......it will take you five minutes to research!!

Lastly, and probably the MOST disheartening, I called a GCCS Board of Trustee member and requested that it (the Board) go on record publicly (via its website, the E-N, C-J, etc.), and report that the numbers that Dr. Daeschner referenced were wrong. I asked that this be done by Saturday (5-16-09), before Dr. Daeschner meets with the public next week, and considering the E-N is not published on Monday. The public has a right to know about this info, his erroneous reporting of it, and the ability to ask questions about it. I also asked the Board to request Dr. Daeschner submit an apology to the MANY (parents, teachers, administrators, etc.) that he offended with his "RIDICULOUS" reference. It's offensive, no matter how you look at it, especially since the info used was wrong!! After requesting this be done, I COULD NOT get a commitment from the Board to do this.

I'll let you make your own determination if what I asked for was over the line. I personally do not think it was. If Dr. Daeschner is half the man the Board seems to think he is, he should have no problem apologizing to this community, especially when the "facts" he referenced were wrong. AND, I stand by the premise I've had from day one when this process began:

Is Dr. Daeschner the best candidate GCCS had to choose from out of the 14 candidates for this position, especially in light of the FACTS I've provided above? I guess we'll never know, because the Board chose NOT to put together a "think tank" like me and so many others in the community suggested when this process first began. They ignored our pleas, DIDN'T EVEN ADDRESS THEM, and chose to rule with that "iron fist" they've become notorious for!!

Let me close by saying this: There are those of you out there that will say, "Rod Daily's on a witch hunt." That's not the case at all. And NO, I WILL NOT BE RUNNING FOR A SCHOOL BOARD POSITION!! I made it PERFECTLY CLEAR to Ms. DeArk during our two hour phone conversation Wednesday afternoon that I WILL work with and support Dr. Daeschner when (not if) he's hired to improve GCCS, providing he and the Board will let me. BUT, I also made it PERFECTLY CLEAR I would continue to call him and ANY Board member out that I thought was not representing our kids, teachers, administrators, parents, and taxpayers.

She and I also had a L O N G discussion about our Board's "reputation" within the community. She acknowledged that reputation, and those problems, and I stressed to her the importance of communicating with the community from that day forward, in which she totally agreed they could do a better job of. (I'm NOT putting words into her mouth.....it's EXACTLY what she said!!) However, I gave them the opportunity to communicate with the public on this erroneous information, which I think would be a GREAT start in healing some of the wounds, and I couldn't even get a commitment!! Sad, indeed.

Everything I've stated above is factual, with a little opinion thrown in here and there. BUT, the numbers I've referenced are factual and cannot be denied. Should we not expect the same out of our new Superintendent? Should he not be held accountable to statements that are made in error? Is he above saying, "Oops....my bad!!" And shouldn't our Board be more forthcoming in admitting when it's wrong as well? These are questions I'll let YOU decide.

Good night, everyone. Hope you have a good Friday, and a better weekend!! Thank you for letting me set the record straight!!

Rod Daily

This message has been edited. Last edited by: JHS1982, May 15, 2009 00:27

By Original Joe on May 13, 2009 2:00 PM
Atown:

"just look at all the south naperville folks up in arms about sending their high schoolers to the same address as people from the georgetown neighborhood."

'all the south naperville' ? How many specific families do you know who feel the way you say out of how many families total who live in 'all the south naperville' ?

---
I think the pain most people had was for the following reasons:

1. longer bus ride for kids who could go to a school virtually across the street wasting time, causing traffic congestion, pollution, higher fuel use, and poorer safety for kids. A stupid illogical decision because virtually all school districts everywhere use actual travel distance to determine boundaries - why? because it's logical

2. gross abuse of power and waste of money by building a school at a different location far from the original location heavily marketed to get the votes that were delivered because of the location.

3. minipulation of the public, which at a minimum is blatant lying, by pumping up the future enrollment projects and downplaying the student seat capacity via a sham study conducted by NIU -- as well as taking out 1200 high school seats for a middle school that was no longer needed (because it helped justify a new HS by further reducing capacity).

4. general dishonesty (cheating) the taxpayers/parents by withholding information, lying, deliberately targeting neighborhoods and individuals...in a very ugly affair.

5. building the new high school in a location the school district and board said was unsafe only 2 years earlier - and still is unsafe due mainly to the gas lines running through the property and the increased RR traffic.

6. here's where the academic/demographic concerns would go (sixth place)..even though WVHS will have the highest academics when the new students begin showing up there...and the demographics of the students will not be much different than NVHS and MVHS in 2010.

Believe it or not Dash did do some good things curriculum-wise. Even though our district is blessed with well-educated parents, smart kids and wealth, there were still some things going on because "that's the way it was always done" back when we were a bunch of farmers.

So, even Dash had some impact there, where for example schools were asked to have distinctly different education plans geared more to the diverse students attending the schools. In a diverse district every school cannot teach the same things the same way.

I do not know what Clarksville has in the way of demographics, but if it is not a big city, maturing suburb, maybe Dash's experience will have a lot more beneficial results there than here. Dash's interpersonal style did not mesh with our parents and teachers, but it might be just what's needed in the other district.

Our school district needs somebody like D203's super but with a degree from a well-known education oriented university that he/she attended in person.

So when's the big announcement? I know many persons that would be glad to help him pack his bags.

Grandpa has been terrible for this district. We had our share of problems before he got here but thanks to him, Mark Metzger and Kathy Birkett the three of them have made the district even worse.

We are sitting here with a school in a terrible, unsafe location that we don't need and can't afford. Daeschner had a lot to do with negotiating that location and then jamming it down our throats. The only people happy with the school are the 14% of the district that live up that way and Brookdale so they can get out of Wabonsie.

Dumb decisions all the way around. Adios, Grandpa and don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.

Chip0317,

Stacy1116 is correct. Some parents did not like the new location of the HS that is currently under construction. Some believe that placing a High School 220 feet from a 36 inch Natural Gas Transit Pipeline that runs through the middle of the property (along with another 36" and a 20" pipeline) is a very dumb, reckless and irresponsible idea. DrD and many parents concerned with hoping to increase their property values with a school close by don't seem to care about student or faculty safety. For a video of a 36" line explosion and fire you can view this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At8e24Eft3I It happened in Virginia back in September 2008 with a single 36" line that was not quite as old as the lines we have only 220 feet away from our shiny new school.

You can decide for yourself what your district is in for when it comes to judgment going forward.

Please tell me this bum does not get a pension for the massive damage he has done over the last 2 years.

Maybe he can take Metzger and Birkett with him and further cleanse the administration of the cancers.

Its clear Grandpa was not a good fit in the district and I hope (and pray) that the Board will be more careful in the selection of his successor. This is a great district despite the damage he did and the division he, Birkett and Metzger created. The kids and parents can recover though once these three tumors are removed. We deserve better!!

Maybe he'll fit in better somewhere else where they don't mind having an arrogant windbag who hides in his office and ignores the wisdom of the teachers and parents. Lotsa luck.

Chip0317

There is a lot of baggage associated with our district. Dr. D came in at a time when our third high school location had to be changed in order to save the district money. Where it ended up made some people mad. Dr. D was of course blamed for that. There are many people that don't post on here that like what the man has done.

He has definitely come in and made some changes to our district. All day kindergarten and a change in our middle school schedule. The success of these is not known yet as the man has not been around long enough to know. On the flip side, he is not a hand-holder as many parents would like him to be. He can come off brash. He cares about getting the job done and doesn't care if parents like him or not.

Personally, I think he's overpaid as many administrators are in this district. I'm disappointed that he wants to leave and can't commit to his three years here. I hope if he stays, his contract is not renewed as he has shown his true feelings. Part of me understands why he wants to leave when you read comments like the above in this blog. I think he would have some great ideas to give to your district. I don't know if he can raise your ACT scores by as much as he claims but ya never know! I personally don't want a superintendent that doesn't want to be part of 204 anymore. He can be replaced.

ironcondorz

Sorry...I dont think that your conclusion is obvious at all. In fact, I think it is highly unlikely and is not supported by any of the evidence.

Every action the board took up till the failure of quick-take and the outcome of the condemnation suit shows exactly the opposite to be true.

It's never too soon to start planning the party... and this time is will be us who is thankful the Super is leaving.

"We would all be better off if we merged SD 203 and SD 204 to form one school district."

Wouldn't that be nice - my child could walk to Naperville Central instead of our area being bused ( 45-50 minutes) to almost the furthest NW corner of the district - as far from our area as one can get and still be in 204. Thanks to Dr D. and his support of the JC - M2 agenda to place the school where the least kids are. Nice $150M legacy you leave behind...

Can't help but think of the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. The kinfolk said "Stephen move away from here, so they loaded up the truck and moved to In - dy."

Maybe he can build a Ceeee-ment pond in Clarksville!

Goodbye, Mr. Daeschner. I am glad to see you go.

See ya later, Dr.Daeschner. It's been a long 2 years. In a very short period of time you've managed to destroy our district more than anyone could have imagined. Take your autocratic, top-down, "shut-up all you entitled parents" attitude and ride into the sunset. I never found one good thing to say about Daeschner. He was a mistake for our district from the start.

I feel sorry that there's another district out there about to be further destroyed. The poor folks in Indiana won't know what hit them. Be warned, chip0317, the road's about to get bumpier.

Let the healing of our District begin. We need a top-notch leader - not more of the same. Kathy Birkett won't be bringing the change we need - let's get new blood.

chip0317,

He enjoys throwing the phrase "the data suggests...." around a lot to support initiatives. He may have 'data' but do not always trust that it's accurate data. At the same time, don't expect your board to do anything about the inaccuracies either because they are probably already on board with the agenda.

My condolences.

Your loss is not our gain I fear. Although he is being touted as a A+ superintendent, our school system cannot afford his salary and asking business men to contribute to his salary! Did you have any problems with him?

Apparently it's a done deal. He is leaving.

So, I AM a parent in the "greater" clark county school system corporation, and I am wondering what experiences you have had with Dr Daeschner.... who has been cornonated superintendent by GCCS robbie valentine.... can you tell me if you liked him or not and why?

Atown:

"just look at all the south naperville folks up in arms about sending their high schoolers to the same address as people from the georgetown neighborhood."

'all the south naperville' ? How many specific families do you know who feel the way you say out of how many families total who live in 'all the south naperville' ?

Atown,

Just what part of "south naperville" are you talking about? Last time i checked, re D204, most of the district families are in "south naperville" which is commonly called 75th street.

It is pretty obvious that Daeschner was brought in to further Mark Metzger and Jeanette Clarks' agenda of moving the location of Metea High School from Brach Brodie to points north. There was never any intention for the school board to build the school where voters wanted and Daeschner's "temporary" job was to ram the change of location through and take the flack, knowing he was just a caretaker and did not have to live with his decision. I have to believe there was never any intention on his part to remain in D204.

Not only should this guy leave, he NEVER should have been hired. Why do you think he got thrown out of Louisville? 204 is a very attractive school district. Wouldn't you think we could have hired a superintendent who was able to retain a job? This man is rude, thoughtless, and vulgar to staff and could care less about what parents think or want. Listen to him talking sometime. He's a hillbilly and should fit right in at some hic school district that's looking for someone with an ego that's a lot bigger than his vocabulary.

anon 1059pm.

204 would be an aurora community school district and naperville 203 would never merge because aurora is "dangerous"

just look at all the south naperville folks up in arms about sending their high schoolers to the same address as people from the georgetown neighborhood.

Merging the districts would be one way to bring savings. I would suggest that we do that plus allow vouchers for all private schools including Religious schools, to reduce student numbers further; That we then close and combine schools as needed to save operating costs (example, D204 has an entire HS worth of empty space in its elementary schools or about 3000 seats not occupied by students); Then we gut the highly overpaid admin staff to match the new district footprint; Then we rationalize the bus route logistics so we do not waste a single dime; etc.

The combined districts without religious school voucher program would be about 45,000 students and about $450 million in revenue. With the religious voucher program, we might lose about $30 million...and minimal students (say another 1000). So $420 million for 44,000 students with duplicate administrators.

Further cost cuts: We could eliminate 50% of the combined admin cost (maybe $50 million) through staff cuts. We could cut another $20 million in annual supply chain costs (food, bus costs, materials). We could cut another $30 million in teacher costs via performance based pay, program consolidations and attrition. This requires new thinking including the elimination of benchmarking with other bloated/corrupt/mismanaged districts. Note that while the new budget with cost cuts looks adequate, we should expect to lose another 10-20% in revenues over time due to depressed housing values and declining population. That means both districts have to make similar cuts anyway just to tread water. It is a new finncial reality so please wake up taxpayers and districts.

We would all be better off if we merged SD 203 and SD 204 to form one school district.

One entire administration system could be shed at a savings of several million dollars per year. One superintendent center could be closed at an additional savings. Both boards could be dissolved and a new school board elected that would get us back to where one school board voted for what is in the best interest of all of Naperville.

If anyone from Plainfield, Aurora, or Lisle, etc doesn't like the idea of having one Naperville community school district... fine. Then let's redraw the district boundary lines with our neighboring school districts and let Aurora areas go join East Aurora schoold district... Plainfield go to Plainfield, Lisle go to Lisle, etc.

We waste way too much money with all of the duplication. We waste way too much money competing over the same teachers. This model of school districts is in the best interest of the teachers and the administration. It is not in the best interest of the students or the taxpayers.

There is no time like the present to fix this mess.

Why can't the two Naper school districts get it right by actually doing true due diligence and hiring winners as their Supers?

In 203, they used the excuse "the headhunters blew it!", and in 204 ----- well, what exactly is their excuse?

All in all, both Boards have failed in their last super hires.

To Anonymous

"So Maestra, the shortcomings are numerous in 204 but you won't be leaving until AFTER your youngest one finishes high school? The shortcomings can't be that bad if you are willing to let your child spend 3 more years wallowing in it? I'm with you on spending the money wisely, but someone must be doing "some" things right for us to have a very good school district?"

I shouldn't have to explain myself, but here's the math (I do hope that you can figure this out)
1. moved here - 2004 (husband transfer)
2. eldest child graduated - 2006 (that equals a move during high school)
3. youngest child - to graduate in 3 years (already in high school)

If you are a parent of a child and your family has already had to move once during the high school cycle of 1 child, would you move again during another child's high school education? Keep in mind, that as a high school teacher, I know what students have to go through when they move! As for, "someone doing 'some' things right," I'll get back to you on that in a little while... But right now, my youngest child's "benchmarks" are behind my 2 older children's who went through middle school elsewhere... However, I should be happy from what I understand, because my youngest child will attend Matea Valley next year.

Former WV Mom

I love both of your posts here. Not defensive. Not divisive. A nice mix of reality, common sense, and accountability.

I did not find your 'you can move' comment to be especially provocative. I have seen the same idea phrased in ways on these blogs that were designed to provoke. As I read it from you, it was simply presented as a valid choice for people to make.

Thanks.

Maestra on May 7, 2009 9:53 AM
The short-comings of the District 204 school system are far too numerous to mention here in this forum. As soon as the youngest is out of high school, my husband and I are planning to relocate, hopefully to a school system that will appreciate our tax dollars and spend the money wisely

_______________________

So Maestra, the shortcomings are numerous in 204 but you won't be leaving until AFTER your youngest one finishes high school? The shortcomings can't be that bad if you are willing to let your child spend 3 more years wallowing in it? I'm with you on spending the money wisely, but someone must be doing "some" things right for us to have a very good school district?

The tax cut will be funded by what is now estimated to be between $1,500-$3,000 a year tax increase in energy costs per house called cap and trade.

What Obama give with one hand he takes 3x away with the other.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
By what the? on May 7, 2009 11:39 AM

HA HA OBAMA: You may not want to dismiss Obama's tax cut just yet. Given there are 53 weeks in 2009, that gives you an extra $689 this year. $200 of that can go to pay your increased tax bill. That leaves you $489 extra. You may want to enjoy that extra cash now, because in the next year or two when we start to be taxed for Metea's operating costs, that too will probably be gone.

Anonymous 11:48,

Well said about the parents in 204. Just read the blogs and you'll see the unreasonable parents who try and advise others to call meetings with their kids teachers over the most trivial issues. If their little Johnny doesn't get handled exactly the way they want, they wreak havoc on the district and teachers.

To TiredoftheBS

I also voted against the new high school; I have not voted Yes on every referendum that has been presented by the district. But it still passed and I am willing to deal with that result and what happens in the future. Taxes in this district have been higher than many neighboring areas for a while, since before the housing slump. It still comes down to voting. More voters came out in each case to vote yes. My point was that it is not just the current superintendent or the current board that have caused these issues. It's been a long time coming. And I agree that the Gregory issue was not handled properly. Of course I have never voted for the main culprit on the school board in that issue. Never have, never would.

No most teachers are not in it for the money. If they were they would not go into teaching. My point about writing the notes was that there are some amazing teachers in this district. Most of whom rarely get to hear how amazing they are. What it all comes down to is that my kids got a great education here, are highly successful in college, and are on track to be amazing adults. Some of this can be attributed to some great teachers. As a teacher, I would rather be told I am doing a good job than get additional compensation. I did spend my summers going to grad school, attending classes and workshops to further my skill, working on curriculum committees, and preparing materials for the upcoming year. My evenings during the school year were spent doing much of those activities too. While I will say that I think that salaries at the administrative level have gotten too high, I still feel that the teachers as a whole are not overpaid. I would like to see tenure eliminated since I do think there are too many poor teachers who manage to get through that process. Good teachers do not need tenure to be successful in my opinion. I have no doubt that I would still be teaching had I not taken time off for my family.

As far as my teaching is concerned, just because I found a higher level of parental stress involved in this district, it does not mean I was not a good teacher. If you talked to any of the students I had in this district, you will find that I was one of their favorites. In fact, when I decided to leave the classroom and concentrate on being a parent during my kids last few years at home, every parent I ran into asked when I would be coming back. This is because I was able to work effectively with them even when they were causing me a bit of stress. There are some parents in the district who do not have a realistic view of their kids behavior or abilities. Not every child in 204 is an angel and academically gifted. Some are just normal, which is okay. Since when has being normal become not enough? Unfortunately there are some parents where normal is not enough. I just think there are some people in our area that need a little perspective.

I just get tired of the one-sidedness often presented on these boards. And the personal attacks people make on others. I was trying to show that there is more to the people involved than what is presented here on these boards or in the media.

To TiredoftheBS

I also voted against the new high school; I have not voted Yes on every referendum that has been presented by the district. But it still passed and I am willing to deal with that result and what happens in the future. Taxes in this district have been higher than many neighboring areas for a while, since before the housing slump. It still comes down to voting. More voters came out in each case to vote yes. My point was that it is not just the current superintendent or the current board that have caused these issues. It's been a long time coming. And I agree that the Gregory issue was not handled properly. Of course I have never voted for the main culprit on the school board in that issue. Never have, never would.

No most teachers are not in it for the money. If they were they would not go into teaching. My point about writing the notes was that there are some amazing teachers in this district. Most of whom rarely get to hear how amazing they are. As a teacher, I would rather be told I am doing a good job than get additional compensation. I did spend my summers going to grad school, attending classes and workshops to further my skill, working on curriculum committees, and preparing materials for the upcoming year. My evenings during the school year were spent doing much of those activities too. While I will say that I think that salaries at the administrative level have gotten too high, I still feel that the teachers as a whole are not overpaid. I would like to see tenure eliminated since I do think there are too many poor teachers who manage to get through that process. Good teachers do not need tenure to be successful in my opinion. I have no doubt that I would still be teaching had I not taken time off for my family.

As far as my teaching is concerned, just because I found a higher level of parental stress involved in this district, it does not mean I was not a good teacher. If you talked to any of the students I had in this district, you will find that I was one of their favorites. In fact, when I decided to leave the classroom and concentrate on being a parent during my kids last few years at home, every parent I ran into asked when I would be coming back. This is because I was able to work effectively with them even when they were causing me a bit of stress. There are some parents in the district who do not have a realistic view of their kids behavior or abilities. Not every child in 204 is an angel and academically gifted. Some are just normal, which is okay. Unfortunately there are some parents where normal is not enough. I just think there are some people in our area that need a little perspective.

HA HA OBAMA: You may not want to dismiss Obama's tax cut just yet. Given there are 53 weeks in 2009, that gives you an extra $689 this year. $200 of that can go to pay your increased tax bill. That leaves you $489 extra. You may want to enjoy that extra cash now, because in the next year or two when we start to be taxed for Metea's operating costs, that too will probably be gone.


Should he leave?

These are complicated and usually personal decisions, IMHO this is a private matter.

Is he already gone?

There must be some reason he is out interviewing.

My guess is that he was implementing the school board's policies, Mr Metzger's, and either found them distasteful or the opposition more than he cares to deal with. Calling a parent who's kid was raped a MF for complaining about it was probably the straw that broke the camels back. I would not allow my name to be associated with Metzger's.

How would District 204 hold up without him?

All of us are easily replaced, the show will go on.

What are your thoughts?

The administrators and teachers are employed at will and allowed to leave in search of a better deal: the parents should also be allowed to take their money and leave in search of a better deal in the form of vouchers for all who want them.

Our NEW SB must decide based on the facts. The facts are that Dash is looking elsewhere for work. Therefore, they should begin the process of replacing him. They should NOT negotiate with him. He has displayed poor ethics and therefore, is not promoting the values we SHOULD have.

The Benefits of looking beyond Stephen:

1. He is old and has demonstrated OLD THINKING in many actions (tin ear to advise and input, arrogance to teachers/staff/taxpayers). Normally age makes people wiser - wiser to the fact that you cannot succeed without LISTENING.

2. We can do better than a superintendent from bastions of education like Alaska and Kentucky! Hello?

3. Why not get a top EDUCATOR from a known top district with diversity (SB- that means a school dsitrict that has high marks in COLLEGE entrance exams where those exams must be taken by every student, and for lower grades, ranks high on national tests...not state tests - unless the state has top tier performance on college entrance exams and all students take those tests). Note here that state tests are rigged - yes RIGGED - to hide sub-par performance...recent example: Texas had no schools on the worst schools in America list - ha ha.

4. The top educator will be cutting edge NEW thinker with proovable track record of success. Obviously America is not doing K-12 education very well, not training our future workers very well, is weak in science and math - these are national security risks. Yes - meaning risks to our way of life. Do you think Dash even thinks about this when he is biking and looking for a new district to milk?

5. Get a real negotiator for teacher salary issues who will get corporate performance standards into the classroom - yes pay for performance.

6. Get a administrative wonderkind who can assure that the tax revenues are going mostly to one place - high performing experienced and INEXPERIENCED but talented young teachers with results...versus box tickers who mark time and do whatever is required to get more money - in D204 that's time plus degree plus training plus admin position.*

*Note in following link http://www.championnews.net/district.php?did=10043&year=2008&sort=salary (and this is before the up to 4% raises already agreed to and supported by your SB, and the fact that most of the teachers and many staff work only 9 months per year...so gross up those figures another 33.3%) that our district now pays over 1100 teachers/staff more than $60,000 or more, over 740 paid $70,000 or more, over 490 paid $80,000 or more, over 260 paid $90,000 or more, over 110 paid $100,000 or more. If that does not make you hair stand on end, then note that the top 260 admins/teachers get paid an average of $101,700 for less than a full year's work before the big 2009 raise and benefits!!!!

7. Get an economist type thinker who recognizes that we are on a collision course with declining enrollment, eroding tax base, corruption, waste, and inability to deliver quality education to our children, and makes the changes needed to avoid the oncoming train.

8. Get a pragmatist who recognizes that teacher pensions are a growing burden, and will take hard actions to address the issue, like gutting the pension plan to a level that is deliverable in the future - perhaps one that is similar to those of successful corporations - where most retireees after 25-35 years get $2000-3000 per month...not 3-10 times that number like teachers get.

9. Get a leader who has the credentials, is a leader by example, and a person taxpayers admire and respect.

10. Look for someone who is successful in the above - not someone who says what the SB WANTS TO HEAR. We are not a bunch of farmers anymore...this is a business and it needs to perform well. Not performing well could result in a disfunctional district where taxes are high and results poor.

11. Get someone who does not benchmark everything to surrounding districts that are corrupt, wasteful and stupid playing the benchmarking game. If supers and teachers and administrators only care about $$$ then let them go. We will be better off for it.

Like TiredoftheBS says, if 203 and 204 are equal, why is 204 failing the AYP in the NCLB so miserably? The numbers aren't even close.

http://iirc.niu.edu/ListDistricts.aspx

Look up D203 and compare with our 7th year of failure at WV and 5th failure at NV

My family also moved here in 2004 and I began teaching in a neighboring school district on 2006. Our eldest child graduated in 2006, another will graduate in a few weeks, and our youngest in 3 years. I have lived, worked (as a teacher), and paid taxes in 4 other school districts in other states. The taxes here are by far the highest that we have ever paid, and the return is not even close to being worth the expense. The short-comings of the District 204 school system are far too numerous to mention here in this forum. As soon as the youngest is out of high school, my husband and I are planning to relocate, hopefully to a school system that will appreciate our tax dollars and spend the money wisely.

We moved to Naperville and bought a house in D204. At the time we really didn't care if we were in 204 or 203 as we understood both to be well run districts with excellent schools. Fast forward four years and I'm disappointed in many things within the district. I don't expect to be happy with every decision a school board makes but I do expect they keep in mind the best interests of our children as well as the taxpayers. Regardless of when the third high school was put "in the works" the facts used to justify it were incomplete and projections were off. The third high school, however, is just one example of the poor decisions made: let's also remember the boundary issues (they didn't impact us but were quite heated and poorly communicated in meetings), the issue with the boy at Gregory which to this day the SB hasn't had the guts to do anything about, the overspending etc etc etc.

As for Former WB parent: I get it - the parents here were too hard on you and expected you to do too much blah blah blah. I'm sure all the teachers of your children liked your nice notes and emails but at the end of the day they are really liking the pay increases and above average pay grades they get in this district. Your advice for people who question decisions (move out of the district) is a shining example of why the parents in this district might not have shown their appreciation for your teaching style. Perhaps actually thinking through an answer before giving one would have helped.

Please Dr. Daeschner, spare us more of your pathetic attempts to guide this district and go.

I love all the if you don't like it, move comments. HMMMM, lets see how practical that is right now. I bought my house in 2006 for $420,000, the tax assessor says its worth $440,000 now and I know from comps I MIGHT get about $400K for it, IF there was a buyer and I was very lucky and I was on the market for about 8 months. The other thing I know for sure is I got my tax bill a few days ago and I'm paying about $200+ more this year to the SD than I did last year. And you know, I'm still not a satisfied customer of the SD. And Dr. D, MM, Clark and several other clowns are the reason. So when they leave, do not run again or step down, I am pleased. So in summary, the SD is indeed the source of contention in the community and the bad news is, most people are not going anywhere because they can't. Now for the good news, HA HA OBAMA gave me my middle class tax cut and my pay check is up $13 per week. All praise Obama.

MH,

You assume too much by the low voter turnout. Unless you polled every registered voter who stayed home that day, you are simply speculating. Continue though, it's entertaining.

First, to address Mr. Trouble maker. Your remarks are what causes the divide in this distrit. To me you sound jealous. What if those remarks we made against where you live? That is what discrimination looks like.

As for taxes, there will be a point in time where many will not be able to afford to move into district 204. Many might look at district 203 and find it a better deal. I just love the comments that if you don't like it move. Do you watch the news? Many can't sell their homes right now. These increase taxes may cause many more foreclosures which will hurt district 204. Lost revenue. We are already facing a deficit and yes we could of gotten by without this 3rd HS. Anyone hear about NALCOS case against the district and how they want some tax money back. Who is going to make up that difference???

As for DR. D. He is unproffessional. He has not gotten the job yet, but it shows his lack of dedication to this district. He is in it for pay and pention. If he cared about the district he would wait until his contract was up and give the district time to select a new super. This district is not the same great district it used to be. Both HS failed NCLB and test scores are on the decline. So much time wasted on this 3rd HS that we forgot to educate our kids. We have spent more time fighting eachother.

ChecktheFACTSplease,

I know the voter turnout was low - - that's the point.

Look at it area by area - there are more happy with the district and Metea opening than not, as proven by the recent election. The small voter turnout in the Neuqua attendance area, combined with the strong support by them (of the few that turned out) for the candidates that would not touch boundaries, or disrupt Metea, shows they were protecting their turf, and will do it again at referendum time.

ChecktheFACTs

I have noticed a funny thing about the "facts" in this case.....the ones people believe seem to be different depending on which side of the issue they find themselves on.

I believed we needed a third high school and was willing to pay for it. And I voted that way.

MH, I guess we will see what people think in the coming referendum, when all the facts are clear. Most people were concerned about boundaries unfortunately and didn't have the real facts. Lets see what they think when they have all the facts about MVHS cost and need and then have to pay for it in another referendum.

Let's keep in mind that the third high school was in the works before Daeschner came. While I have not agreed with everything decision he has made, I am realistic enough to know that he has made some good ones and some bad ones. Just as Howie Crouse, Gail McKinzie and Tom Scullen did before him. And I also have to say that he has raised some terrific young girls. His daughters are delightful. So I don't think he is the devil that so many try to portray him as.

Personally, I can relate to his statement about working with at-risk kids. Having worked in both the East Aurora school system and District 204, if I ever go back to teaching I will go back to East Aurora. While I was there I felt that I was making an impact every single day. I was a much happier teacher there. Both can be stressful districts, but I find the stress in East Aurora to be realistic stress, not stress caused by the unrealistic expectations of parents.

Yes, both my kids graduated from 204. But I also made it my duty to send each teacher a note at the end of the year thanking them. And when each child graduated, I sent out an email to each teacher they had had over the years and let them know the impact they had made on my kids and the lessons my kids learned from them that had helped them develop into the people they are today.

As far as taxes, yes ours are high. But anyone not happy with them is always free to move somewhere else where the taxes aren't as high. Every raise has been the result of a vote supporting it from the majority of the people who voted on it. I have not necessarily voted Yes on every referendum, but I am willing to pay the taxes to live here. It's part of the package of living where I live. And until school funding is drastically changed in the state of Illinois, it is a reality we have to deal with.

Adios!

I have to disagree with your assessment of who did the most to foster division within the district.

Clearly it has to be those few who filed suit against the district and the REST of the taxpayers in their bid to stay at the HS of their choice, no?

MH, you better check your facts and see how many in D204 voted.

Funny how people like troublemaker and BlahBlah...want to talk about everything but the facts. Like the third high school we don't need. They talk about McMansions and bogey men, but never justify the need for MVHS. Misdirection at it's best. Don't discuss the facts, just denigrate others. Maybe DD has some room in the SUV for you too.

Adios!, let's set you straight:

It's a little more than 13% that are happy my friend. As evidenced by the voter turnout/results by the NV residents.

They are quite happy, and will do what they need to make sure they stay where they are boundary-wise. So, add us very happy folks in the North to them, and it's a majority - - the same group that will pass a referendum when needed.

Go cry about your taxbill.

I don't care if he stays or goes - - he got a lot accomplished in the last two years. Howie Crouse would have still been fumbling around.

Plus, we have a great set of new Board Members to steer the district in the right direction.

Blah Blah Blah - how about we start with people with attitudes like you and troublemaker- YOU are the reason this district is divided. More so than any of my 20 years here -

enjoy the HS we don't need - but hey, 13% or so of the people in the district are now happy they have 'theirs' , make sure to sign up for that $20M+ ref coming within the next 18 months -

Can someone PLEASE ask Dr. D to hold off just a few more days???

I just started my mail order doctoral degree program and I'm afraid my check won't clear in time for me to apply.

Hey "Troublemaker" (or should I say Daeschner??)You are so clueless it's almost humorous. Almost.

Glad to see him go !!! Maybe the rest of the school board could go with him. (Have you seen your tax bill ???) Thank you 204 for the third high school we don't need)

And for the bull dozer running through the neighborhood as recommended by mr. troublemaker, maybe it could run through the third high school we don't need. People have a right to whine. Taxes are out of control and so is the school board.

Oh, I guess that I forget --- I shouldn't complain, because is All For the Children !!!

He hasnt been offered the job.
He hasnt accepted the job.
He hasnt left yet.
He hasnt made plans to leave yet.

But IF he goes, who will the anti-metea crowd choose as their bogey man to blame for their lot in life? They better start planning now. I think a meeting in the White Eagle clubhouse is in order! Lets invite Sean Collins!

Thank God we've got a new SB president who gets it. Life will move on just fine if he decides to leave - in fact I believe will be much better. Regardless people leave jobs all the time - key sales people, executives etc and we have a new SB president who is used to dealing with this. Once the emotional attachment is severed like now ( not sure it ever existed) - you let the person go and move on, regardless of what may ideal in terms of turnover. The other reactions are what I'd expect from people without this experience.

As for you Troublemaker - if you are an example of a right minded voter we are all in trouble. Seek help for your jealousy issues over McMansions ( btw you may want to get a new phrase since that is so 1990's ). Houses don't make people, people are who they are regardless of income or housing stock, and there are good and bad ones in all areas - but obviously you have issues with success and stereotyping people. . You got your high school we don't need- in an area that doesn't have the kids to fill it so we have to transport kids across the district to do that - so really no one needs to hear any more of this 'class warfare' nonsense. - This attitude is why 204 is as divided as it is today - nice post to demonstrate why.

Kathy Birkett, anyone???

Don't let the door....

If he goes, he doesn't get yet another pension for 'retiring' from here.

Everyone should say an extra prayer tonight for it. I hear that word around the office seems to be he's not the most respectable boss man with his behavior either.

Good riddance.

Great. Just great. The whiners have finally won something after their whiny efforts in the election were appropriately foiled by right-minded voters. Now that they finally got themselves someone's head, I doubt they'll go back to their entitled little lives in the their McMansions. I can't imagine why anyone would want to work for the spoiled, whiny babies who live in 204. This community would be better off in the long run by driving a bulldozer straight through some of the problematic neighborhoods than by chasing out Superintendents.

It's always best to resign rather than to get fired!

Get this arrogant, lying, do-nothing super the heck out of here! D204 will be much better without him and his attitude. I hope (am praying) that they offer him the job and he accepts. I think it is a done deal and he is gone - good riddance!

This can't happen fast enough. Better them than us. Unfortunately, the damage is done. Hopefully, this time, they will get someone in who has a good track record and is in it for the right reasons... not because s/he wants to go out with a big salary, thus a big pension.

Daeschner was clearly in way over his head and now Indiana is throwing him a rope. Take it, Steve!!

Can we pack his bags?

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