U-46, Bartlett High School principal accused of changing grades reach separation deal

Elgin Area School District U-46 officials Monday approved a separation agreement allowing Bartlett High School principal Michael Demovsky to resign at the end of the school year and collect a $50,000 severance.

According to his attorney, Demovsky was accused of improperly changing student grades, a charge he flatly denied. Attorney Steven Glink said the grades in question were marks from the school’s credit recovery program, where students are given a chance to improve a low grade.

Demovsky was placed on paid administrative leave March 15, and school board members earlier this month approved a resolution reclassifying him as a classroom teacher, with the corresponding decrease in pay, for the 2024-25 school year.

Glink, who described Demovsky as a “beloved principal,” said any action his client took was “in accordance with district policy.” Demovsky had requested a public hearing, which was set for Monday, before the school board. Had the issue gone to a public hearing, both sides could have called witnesses to testify before the school board, a process that could have taken years to resolve.

“The bottom line is both sides realized it was in the best interest of everyone to resolve the case rather than have three years of expensive and unpredictable litigation,” Glink said.

Board president Sue Kerr said the settlement, approved by a vote of 6-1, came after “considerable consideration” by the board.

“We are committed to moving forward in a positive direction,” Kerr said.

Board member Dawn Martin cast the only dissenting vote. She said she was unable to support the settlement agreement when she considered its impact on the district, staff and students. She further stated she would have voted to proceed with Demovsky’s reclassification and “action on employment” but said she respected the board’s position. Martin declined further comment after the meeting.

Kerr said the next step will be finding a new principal for Bartlett High School, who she said “will play a critical role in our healing process.” A district spokeswoman said information about the search for a new principal will be available in the near future.

Melanie Meidel, who served as a high school principal and assistant superintendent in U-46 before retiring, will serve as interim principal at Bartlett High School for the rest of the school year.

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