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updated: 8/12/2011 5:33 PM

Grayslake District 46 boss on hot seat

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Grayslake Elementary District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll's proposed contract extension remains on hold after some testy discussion about it during a board meeting this week.

Early in Wednesday night's session, the elected officials voted 5-2 to remove from the agenda a scheduled vote on Correll's contract. Board member Shannon Smigielski pushed the request, saying the extension shouldn't be voted on after just one night of discussion.

When it came time to address Correll's contract, board member Michael Carbone raised financial concerns and questioned the number of employees who've departed under her tenure. Three of seven building principals left after the 2010-11 school year.

"I gotta ask why," Carbone said.

That prompted a response from Correll: "Did you ask them how much more money they were going to be making, Michael?" she said.

Carbone went on to say he'd present information about Correll "that I came across in the last three weeks that I think the public needs to know."

That triggered an interruption from board member Karen Weinert, who motioned to enter a closed-door meeting for personnel matters. The board members voted 7-0 to talk in private and didn't address the contract when they returned to open session.

Before departing for the closed-door meeting, board President Ray Millington questioned why Carbone was casting allegations about Correll in public.

Correll's annual salary and benefits deal of roughly $223,000 runs through the 2011-12 academic year. The proposed extension, which may go to a vote in September, would cover the 2012-13 school season.

In June, board members agreed with an independent investigator's recommendation to issue a letter of reprimand to Correll that resulted from a complaint. It accused her of using district equipment to send political emails supporting two board candidates.

Correll said she responds quickly to emails and did not deliberately or intentionally want to help the campaigns of incumbents Susan Facklam and Mary Garcia in the April election. Facklam won re-election while Garcia fell short.

Hired in January 2005, Correll came to District 46 from Corning Painted Post School District in upstate New York, where she had been an assistant superintendent of instruction. Her first District 46 contract covered three academic years.

Some District 46 board members cited active ethics complaints, which included Correll, in gaining postponement on discussion about the proposed contract extension when the topic arose in May.