Vote to Extend D46 Superintendent Contract Fails

The Grayslake District 46 School Board voted 3 to 3 Wednesday on a motion to extend Supt. Ellen Correll's contract. The tie resulted in the motion failing, but a second vote is imminent.

The Grayslake District 46 School Board is expected to take a second vote on whether to extend Superintendent Ellen Correll's contract after Wednesday's vote ended in a tie, which resulted in the motion failing.

As they did last year, board members Michael Carbone, Kip Evans and Shannon Smigielski voted against extending Correll's contract.

Ray Millington, Keith Surroz and Karen Weinert voted in favor of giving Correll another year, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, at an un-changed salary of $170,844.

Sue Facklam, who left the meeting early after stating her husband was in the hospital, was not present for the vote, hence the 3-3 tie.

Board secretary Lourie Shipley advised the board that due to the tie, any board member could bring the motion back to the table for a second vote, which could happen as soon as Nov. 7.

Pattern of mistakes

When Correll's contract came up for discussion, Carbone said she had "made too many mistakes" that could not be overlooked.

Carbone said Correll demonstrated a pattern of behavior that he alleged included not following directives related to securing bids from multiple health insurance brokers to save premium costs, which Weinert disputed on Correll's behalf.

Carbone also accused Correll of using poor judgment in hiring practices, which led to a lawsuit by a former business manager who was quickly fired after it was discovered he had been placed on administrative leave by his former school district.

Carbone also took issue with the Correll's contract being up for a vote when teachers were working without one themselves and could be preparing for a walk-out.

"We're talking about your contract when the people who do all the work don't have a contract. To me that is failed leadership."

Carbone said Correll should "have the decency" to wait to get her contract extended until the union contract negotiations are resolved instead of "putting yourself first."

Millington said the board was required to give Correll notice by April 1 whether it intended to extend her contract. "We owe her the respect of knowing," he said.

"The last thing I want to do is flash in front of the teachers that we're giving the superintendent an extension of her contract and we don't know what, if anything, we could do for our teachers and staff," said Evans. "There's a lot of people in this district who haven't had raises in a few years, if ever."

Weinert made it clear that Correll's contract extension did not include more money. "There is no increase. It's an extension, and we need a superintendent," she said.

"No, we don't. Let her go," said a member of the audience in a low, disgruntled voice.

"The only reason I'd like to push for the extension is to give some stability to the district," said Millington. "All we need now is throw another new person into the mix."

Tim Froehlig October 19, 2012 at 05:19 PM
@Terri: He also spoke on behalf of the board, which he is completely out of line for doing. And no, he was not clear about that at all. The money can be spent on anything the board chooses, and he clearly from his own words does not seem aware of this.
Terri October 19, 2012 at 05:24 PM
"Lastly, this money is part of fund balance. Any deficits ultimately get paid out of fund balance." No good deed goes unpunished...
Sandra Sims October 19, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Tim: I was responding to HM's comment above that it is sad that the community has to try to solve the fiscal mess the board has wrought. I certainly was not criticizing more community input, in fact, I believe I posted "Thank God they are doing so". My point was that maybe business owners would have a more powerful voice, since obviously the majority of this board is not concerned with homeowners and their property taxes. If businesses are being put at risk, along with the jobs they provide, that may well increase the pressure to actually SOLVE this mess. Please try to read my posts before attacking me. Thank you.
Angela Sykora October 23, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Editor's Note: To clarify, this is the definition of curriculum funds Chief Business Official Anna Kasprzyk and Supt. Ellen Correll confirmed to Patch. Curriculum funds are a line item within the Education Fund. "Funds are used for instruction, meaning, teaching of pupils or the interaction between teacher, assistants, aides and pupils. The only restrictions are on funds generated by grants and restrictions are grant specific."
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