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Board OKs Boundaries, Accepts O'Donnell's Resignation

Outgoing superintendent leaving over differences in leadership philosophy with board.

The School Board voted Monday night to accept the original recommendation of its boundary committee in redrawing the district’s 2012-13 attendance lines.

After another four hours of debate and public comment, the board voted 5-2 with board members Lynn Cullick and Laurie Pasteris voting no. Lessening the student population at The Wheatlands Elementary School was not addressed Monday night, and the board will discuss options for that at its March 5 meeting with a possible vote on those boundaries coming March 12.

One option being considered for The Wheatlands would be to move students from the Four Pointes or Amber Fields North subdivisions to Wolf’s Crossing Elementary School. The special education Life Skills program also could be moved to Wolf’s Crossing or Homestead Elementary School. The board will also discuss the possibility of removing kindergarten from The Wheatlands to help enrollment. 

As for the rest of the district, Monday's final vote will mean:

  • 324 students from the Homestead attendance boundaries will be moved from Bednarcik Junior High to Murphy Junior High in Plainfield.
  • 66 Churchill Elementary School students from the Prescott Mill subdivision also will end up at Plainfield's Grande Park Elementary School and Murphy.
  • 100 students from the downtown area, Saratoga Springs and Orchard Prairie will shift junior highs from Traughber to Thompson.
  • 40 Bedncarcik students from Auburn Lakes in Plainfield will move to Murphy.
  • 100 elementary students from Auburn Lakes will move from Wolf’s Crossing to Grande Park.
  • 130 Morgan Crossing and Deerpath Trail students will move from Hunt Club to Prairie Point.

Board policy on boundary variances will allow for exceptions when capacity and programming will accommodate. However, bus service will not be provided for boundary exceptions.

The board also voted 6-0, with Pasteris abstaining, to accept the resignation of Superintendent Dan O’Donnell effective June 30.

After the meeting, O’Donnell said his resignation was due to a difference in leadership style between himself and the current board.

“This board is a lot different than the board that hired me, and I think it would be better for everyone if they were to hire a superintendent who more closely matched what they have in mind,” he said. 

O'Donnell also said he has no other job prospects at the moment and will take some time to consider his options.

"I may just end up retiring," he said. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the location of Homestead students now heading for Murphy Junior High. We regret the error. 

Julie DiCaro March 03, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Put me in whatever category you want. At least I'm not ignorant enough to complain about people getting interested in local politics and blame our local issues on the person in the White House.
Walt Hines March 03, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Ladies the tit-for-tat between the 2 of you is not very becoming. Since when did having an opinion become a crime and the use of belittling words. While you might not agree with each other or like the past or present president it's your personal opinion, for now we're allowed to have that. Not everyone likes the boundary changes and some just want to move on. Honestly at this point they should have hired the professionals, paid the $25,000.00 and been done with it. IMO, I feel something is not quite right at play here. This whole fiasco stinks of .....
ayar March 05, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I have to agree with what Guy says : it's a direct conflict of interest. If Laurie really wants her husband considered, she should consider resigning from the board. After the current superintendent Dr. O was hired by a school board that had two former school board members placed there by Dr. Paul Nordstrom, regional superintendent, I don't know if it would engender a lot of community togetherness pulling a board member's spouse onboard.
Christina Spaulding March 10, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Dear Concerned Parent: I too am a concerned parent of this area for 17 years. I have been through three boundary changes and at NO time did the board ever come up with the boundaries themselves. They were always drawn up by a parent boundary committee, tweeked by district administration and then presented to the board. I would love to hear your idea on how to keep every aurora student in a school with an aurora address. If you had such a plan you should have donated your time to the boundary committee. And have you forgotten that this is the Oswego Community School District-Maybe we should build you a high school in Aurora as we currently do not have one located there. Should we follow your advice and say none of the Aurora schools should be bussed to Oswego? Sounds crazy doesn't it? As far as you calling the school board lazy, I am wondering if you would spend your Monday nights at meetings twice a month, field hundreds of emails on your own time, and spend countless hours talking to concerned parents, all the while working a 40+ hour a week job. If this board is so lazy, be sure to get your name on the ballot and donate your time. Or are you too lazy to do that?
Christina Spaulding March 10, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Jennifer- That is easy for you and your friends to say because you got what you wanted. I am sure you would be singing a different tune if Murphy was not opening. Not everyone wants to be part of "The Murph". You need to get over yourself and your self entitled attitude.

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