Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/19/2011 4:53 PM

Grayslake D46 newcomers want time to decide superintendent deal

Success - Article sent! close
  • Ellen Correll

    Ellen Correll

  • Lennie Jarratt

    Lennie Jarratt

  • Shannon Smigielski

    Shannon Smigielski

  • Kip Evans

    Kip Evans


Grayslake Elementary District 46's outgoing board president says she's recommending a vote on a contract extension for the superintendent occur next month when two new elected officials are seated.

But political newcomers Shannon Smigielski and Kip Evans, who were elected April 5, say they couldn't adequately participate in a decision on Ellen Correll's deal if it happens the night they take office.

Correll's pact expires June 30, 2012. Approval of a proposed one-year contract extension through June 2013 originally was listed as an action item on Wednesday's agenda.

However, the scheduled vote was removed Tuesday as part of a second "corrected copy" of the District 46 board agenda. Garcia said she's recommending it occur May 3, the evening Evans and Smigielski start.

"That has always been my recommendation," Garcia said.

Smigielski said she's already asked the board to delay a vote on Correll until at least May 18.

"We can't make a judgment within a few minutes of reading an evaluation," Smigielski said Tuesday.

Evans said he'd want to examine all job performance information and intends to ask for a postponement if Correll's extension is up for a vote just after he's seated on the board. Smigielski said she'd join Evans in such a request.

Garcia said there are timing issues related to voting on Correll's extension next month. Smigielski and Evans disagree.

"You've got (later in) May, June and July when you can do the extension," Evans said.

Evans, Smigielski and incumbent Susan Facklam won the three, 4-year board seats, while Garcia and Marchell Norris fell short. Norris, Smigielski and Evans had concerns about Correll, such as her decision last November to spend $435,000 in federal stimulus money on bonuses for teachers and some administrators.

Meanwhile, Correll is contending with an ethics complaint filed against her Tuesday by Lake County tea party founder Lennie Jarratt of Round Lake Beach.

The complaint centers on a claim Correll improperly used the publicly owned District 46 email system for political purposes. Jarratt attached a March 14 email in which Correll stated she'd check with the district's lawyer on a question about a meet-and-greet gathering related to the Facklam and Garcia board campaigns.

Correll declined to comment, saying she was unable to read the entire complaint. Facklam couldn't be reached, and Garcia declined to comment because she didn't receive Jarratt's accusations.

Garcia said Jarratt's complaint may have to be forwarded to an attorney for review at a potential cost of $250 per hour.

Jarratt said he's just concerned about how Correll is running District 46.

"It all goes to Ellen's leadership," Jarratt said, "and her leadership is very lacking."