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Oswego 308 Superintendent to Employees: “We Have Great People Doing Great Things”

Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt publicly thanked Oswego 308 transportation, maintenance, custodian and grounds employees for their work during the cold-spell last week.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

School was cancelled last week on Monday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 7 due to the snow and extreme cold weather that saw wind chill values of -40.

But as Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt noted, not all Oswego 308 employees remained warm and cozy at home.

On Tuesday, Oswego 308 transportation, maintenance, custodian and grounds employees showed up for work to get the schools ready to go for a Wednesday return.

“We had employees out in those elements Tuesday,” said Wendt.  “I commend these folks.”

Wendt said the buses had caked on snow that he’d “never seen,” which employees had to clean off to prepare for the over 13,000 students that rode the buses daily.

Wendt said that across Chicagoland, several school districts were unable to open Wednesday because of issues that were not addressed by the aforementioned employees.

“We have great people doing great things,” said Wendt. “We know how fortunate we are.” 

Mike Francis January 15, 2014 at 01:34 PM
What a joke. Does he not realize that private businesses were open both days while his teachers were sitting at home? It's all a matter of perspective.
Walt Hines January 15, 2014 at 10:32 PM
What do you put in your corn flakes?
Mike Francis January 15, 2014 at 11:41 PM
Obviously nothing as bad as what you're drinking. When the super puts out a press release for thanking his employees for showing up to work on a cold day then I think any sane person would find that to be ridiculous. The vast majority of private workers all over the state showed up for work.
Richard R January 16, 2014 at 03:02 AM
I'm with Walt on this one. You drink some strange kool-aid sir. At Caterpillar they had people stay home 2 days due to this Polar Vortex. I think the Press Release was a way of him showing that under circumstances, of not the norm., he was letting the people know that their efforts was greatly appreciated. I work at Cat and live right near the plant and I came in both days, but there was not many others in the place for 2 days. It was tough on people for sure. And if you made to your job those 2 days, I'm sure you employer was happy you did, and most likely appreciated it to. Oh and I'm a sane person, and do not see anything wrong with the press release.
John Weber January 16, 2014 at 09:32 AM
Classy move Dr. Wendt, I also appreciate the efforts of the district employees. I think Mr. Francis by his numerous negative posts is always going to be negative. For any employer to thank their work force for doing their job is not ridiculous. It is a matter of perspective and Mr. Francis it's clear you're an unhappy individual who expects others to be equally as negative and unhappy! I hope you don't supervise others in your line of work, because I'm sure they hate working for someone who would expect people to show up in difficult conditions and to not be appreciated for it.
Natalie Stevens (Editor) January 16, 2014 at 09:35 AM
Just to clarify, this is not from a press release. Dr. Wendt made these statements at the Monday night School board meeting to publicly commend the 308 employees who came in on Tuesday and very early Wednesday.
Logansdad January 16, 2014 at 09:36 AM
There is a difference between showing up and working in an office and showing up for work only to work outside in the elements. The people who showed up for work in this case were working out side in the cold and subzero temperatures. "transportation, maintenance, custodian and grounds employees showed up for work to get the schools ready to go for a Wednesday return." “We had employees out in those elements Tuesday,” said Wendt. “I commend these folks.”
David Johnson January 16, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Mike, Don't take this the wrong way, but you're kind of a jerk. Next time your boss gives you a compliment for going above and beyond, remember your words here. I guess that'll be a matter of perspective, as well. :)
Mike Francis January 16, 2014 at 01:43 PM
Since when is showing up for an outside job and working in the elements considered by be going above and beyond? There were tens of thousands of people in the private sector who work outside and who showed up for their jobs. There weren't strong winds, or even a lot of snowfall. It was cold weather that a person can dress for. Ironically, it was the closing of the schools that required some parents to stay home with their kids and not go to work themselves. These outside workers at the school are paid handsomely, above and beyond their private counterparts, and have no reason to be praised other than their excessive pay and benefits. And David, are you psychotic? You told parents in the Bolingbrook forum that they should be driving their kids to school on the same day or they should bundle their kids up to tolerate the cold at the bus stop. So it's OK for kids to be out in that weather, but not highly paid professionals?
Logansdad January 16, 2014 at 01:51 PM
"Since when is showing up for an outside job and working in the elements considered by be going above and beyond?" Do you workout side Mike or do you have a cushy office job? Do you think it easy staying outside in sub zero temperatures trying to do a job. Just because you don't think it is going above and beyond doesnt mean it isnt. What's wrong with the Superintendent recognizing the hard work of his employees. Praising employees is a good thing. Let us all know where you work so we can tell your boss you don't like to be praised when you have done a good a job. "Ironically, it was the closing of the schools that required some parents to stay home with their kids and not go to work themselves." What did these parents do over Christmas break, not go into work because their children were off. What do these parents do during the summer, not work? Seems like you are blaming the school because you had to stay home to take care of your kids.
John Weber January 16, 2014 at 01:58 PM
Again, the previous comment comes from negativity and most likely some kind of personal issues. Showing up for any kind of work and being praised by the boss is not something that is negative. I only feel the need to comment at all further because it's comments and thinking like this that is ruing my country! The fact here is that Mr. Francis doesn't like anything that tax dollars pay for and as such anyone associated with it should be unhappy because he is, it seems. There's no debating someone who thinks so negatively. Again, this wasn't about saying anyone who didn't work for the school district who works outside did NOT do their job or that they didn't do a great job; this was simply about thanking the people who work for Dr. Wendt's school district for doing a good job! A little appreciation goes a long way. Something, obviously lost on Mr. Francis!
David Johnson January 16, 2014 at 02:08 PM
Easy Francis, and thank you for twisting my meaning to fit your argument. What I said was that if parents are concerned about school being open during cold weather and their children's safety at the bus stop, it's their responsibility to drive them to the bus stop to ensure their safety. That's a personal responsibility argument a Tea Party Patriot like yourself should be salivating over. What that issue has to do with Wendt thanking his employees for a job well done I'm not sure. However, I'm sure you'll find a way to twist it around.
Henry T January 16, 2014 at 02:29 PM
Come on, did you really think that someone could say something nice about people who work for the schools or the school district without someone on the patch using the word 'overpaid'? You know sometimes it is ok just to complement someone for doing their job in difficult conditions... Then again I suspect these same folks would have gotten upset if a mayor said something nice about a firefighter who had to fight a fire when it was that cold or whatever... Some people just live to complain.
Mike Francis January 16, 2014 at 05:51 PM
I guess that I thought the job of schools was to educate the students. With outrageously high taxes and low performance in this District I think they should have the dignity to not be bragging about people doing their jobs. It's like the Pope giving speeches about morality. When this District can find a way to provide a decent education at reasonable costs then they could be proud about those accomplishments. But I take it as a slap in the face as a taxpayer for them to find something menial to brag about while failing at their main mission. So this has nothing to do with a typical employer who is pleased with an employee's work. It has everything to do with employees whose benefits are negotiated with the threat of a strike as their backup plan. As a consequence, we overpay them for what they do. So they are the last people to who should be proud of simply showing up for work. And there is a big difference between what a private sector employer does versus a school district where the taxpayers are forced to pay for their salaries and benefits. And yes, I have am self employed and my profession requires me to work inside and outside. I had appointments on both days for which I did not cancel. I simply dressed for the weather and provided my clients with what they paid for. And I would never expect them to feel that I did something exceptional simply by showing up in cold weather. Geesh.
John Weber January 16, 2014 at 05:55 PM
Mr. Francis, you are a fanatic! Thanks for showing your true colors so we know not to put anything into your opinions. Please let us know your business' name so we can avoid contacting you?
Mike Francis January 16, 2014 at 07:31 PM
You are in the minority if you feel that you are getting good services for the cost in this District. Must be something special to run a school district and only be able to be proud that people can brush snow off school busses. Yeah, that's what the taxpayers are just begging for, isn't it? And you are quite unusual if you would prefer to not use a business where they are reliable and show up on time. Yet you criticize me for failing to recognize that someone who shows up at work should be commended for doing so. If your only defense is to argue in favor of both sides of the argument, then you need to check your sanity. Just like Mr. Johnson who recognizes that it's OK to send your kids to school on those cold days but then says that the people getting paid to work on those days are suddenly doing some so special that they should be publicly acknowledged. None of this would matter if it weren't for the excessive taxes we pay to this District. Paying a high price for something requires extraordinary results- so don't take my money then brag that you showed up for work to brush snow off school busses. Let me know when the test scores correlate with the money that we pay into the system and I'll acknowledge excellence when that happens.
Logansdad January 16, 2014 at 08:27 PM
"I guess that I thought the job of schools was to educate the students. With outrageously high taxes and low performance in this District I think they should have the dignity to not be bragging about people doing their jobs." If you feel you could do a better job educating your own children for less money, then why don't you educate your children at home. There are many people in this village that don't even have children and we are paying for your children's education.
Lisa Udy January 17, 2014 at 08:46 AM
Are you the same Mike Francis that was Director of Finance for Oswego308 about 9-10 years ago? Just wondering.

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