Dist. 15 superintendent says school should not be renamed for him

Retiring Palatine Township Elementary District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson has taken a pass on the idea of placing his name on a school.

At a District 15 board meeting Wednesday night, Thompson said buildings typically are named for someone who has been a significant community member. Saying he doesn't rise to that level, Thompson asked the school board to drop the proposal that would have had his name replace Lake Louise Elementary School in Palatine.

On Jan. 9, District 15's board members were set to vote on the proposal to rename Lake Louise for Thompson, but they agreed to postpone the decision at the suggestion of board member Frank Annerino. The board was expected to receive more community feedback about the plan after initially hearing from several residents who didn't agree with the idea.

Thompson, who joined District 15 in 2010, said he was "really honored by the gesture" and didn't object to it last month. He elaborated after Wednesday's meeting on deciding to take a pass on his name's replacing Lake Louise.

"Really, I was just a little uncomfortable with the (recognition) and I thought it's really been a team effort," said Thompson, whose retirement will be effective June 30. "And to recognize me when it's really the team that's done so many good things, it just didn't seem like it was the right thing to do."

Board President Lisa Szczupaj supported the proposal of renaming Lake Louise Elementary for Thompson. Szczupaj said a committee of administrators and employees agreed Thompson's name was a worthy replacement for Lake Louise, which doesn't have a significant meaning behind it.

Szczupaj said she respected Thompson's decision to request that his name not go on the school.

Of 23 district buildings, 13 have been named for people who have local or national significance.

Four former District 15 superintendents - John Conyers, Frank Whiteley, Marion Jordan and Joseph Kiszka - have their names on buildings. Previous school board members Gray M. Sanborn and Walter Sundling were honored the same way.

Others whose names are on district buildings include Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, poet Carl Sandburg, and Stuart R. Paddock, a former Daily Herald publisher who promoted excellence in education.

Thompson was hired in July 2010 as the district's interim superintendent after Dan Lukich was ousted and given a $185,000 severance. Thompson received the job on a permanent basis later that year, starting with a $198,000 base salary that's grown to about $285,000.

He announced in 2015 that he intended to retire after completing a four-year contract.

Why District 15 is waiting to rename school after retiring Superintendent Thompson

Scott Thompson
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