New Dist. 59 policy would bar board members as subs
Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 school board members would be barred from taking jobs as substitute teachers for the district, under a proposed policy discussed Monday.
The draft rules, proposed by Board President Janice Krinsky as an amendment to the board's existing conflict-of-interest policy, comes in the wake of the election of Patti Petrielli, a District 59 sub who was the top vote-getter in a contentious seven-way race for school board.
During the campaign, Petrielli said she intended to remain a District 59 substitute teacher, but late last week, she told the Daily Herald she wouldn't.
Her contract as a district substitute expires Wednesday, April 24 -- just five days before she is to be sworn in as a board member. Before the new board is seated, the old board is expected to vote that night to bar members from working as district substitutes.
On Monday night, at least four board members on the seven-person elected panel expressed support for the policy change.
"I was concerned with the conflict-of-interest piece," Krinsky said. "It may make an uncomfortable work environment for teachers, administrators and other staff to have a board member reporting to them."
Petrielli, who retired last year after 25 years as a full-time teacher in the district, said it was her original intention to remain a sub to see what is happening in individual school buildings, bringing a "unique perspective" to the board.
Petrielli said after Monday's meeting that she still planned to visit schools as a board member to see and hear from teachers and students. At the same time, she says she plans to maintain her teaching license and substitute in neighboring Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54, bringing good ideas she sees there to District 59.
"I love to teach, even if it's not in District (59)," Petrielli said.
Petrielli was among the most vocal of candidates to criticize the district's curriculum implemented by Superintendent Art Fessler. She said after her election that she would hold the administration accountable for the curriculum and keep a close watch on spending.
The next-highest vote-getters in the April 2 election were two parents who ran together as a slate, Courtney Lang and Randy Reid. They also expressed concerns with the curriculum but have been supportive of other aspects of the district under Fessler.