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Two More Administrators Exiting District 308

Angie Smith, director of business services, and Eric Koranda, dean at Oswego High School, are moving on to other districts.

One day after , the Oswego School District has announced two more resignations.

Angie Smith, District 308’s director of business services, is headed to Plainfield Consolidated Unit School District 202 to serve as assistant superintendent for business and operations. The Plainfield school board . Her last day in Oswego will be June 30.

Smith joined District 308 in 2009 as the finance manager before being promoted in 2011 to her current position. With the new job, she assumed responsibilities for the district’s transportation department, food service, liability insurance and purchasing programs. Smith is also a board member for the West Aurora School District.

“Angie has been an integral partner in our finance and business operations,” said Superintendent Dan O’Donnell. “Her ability to negotiate lower prices from vendors and find great deals has been critical to balancing our budgets. Her expertise also helped transform our transportation department. Our loss is Plainfield 202’s gain and we wish Angie well in this next phase of her career.”

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Angie for her assistance, support and dedication to the district over the past three years,” said District 308 School Board President Bill Walsh. “We wish Angie the best as she transitions to her new role.”

Eric Koranda, dean, has also handed in his resignation. He has accepted an assistant principal position at Fenton Community High School District 100 in Bensenville.

Koranda has been with District 308 as an OEHS dean since 2007, and also coordinates the district’s F.I.R.S.T. robotics program. He previously worked for six years at Morton West High School in J. Sterling Morton High School District 201.

“Eric had a ready smile and a helping hand for students as a dean at East,” O’Donnell said. “We know he will be just as successful in his role as an assistant principal in his new district. We wish him continued success.”

Smith’s departure is the latest in a line of top administrator exits that began with Assistant Superintendent for Administration Todd Colvin’s . He was followed by and Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance , along with Thompson Junior High Principal Tracy , Long Beach Elementary School Principal , and Brokaw Early Learning Center Principal .

In April, the District 308 Board to replace Neubauer, and last month with former Ankeny, Iowa superintendent Matthew Wendt to step into the top spot in Oswego. This month, the board Shannon Leuders as Thompson’s new principal, and hired Christine Smith to lead Long Beach.

And on Monday, the board as the new principal at Brokaw, and agreed to enter into negotiations with an unknown candidate to take over Colvin’s duties as executive director of administrative services. A final decision is expected on that by Thursday.

ayar June 27, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Not only are many teachers avoiding getting a masters, they have a reason to, sad to say. It makes them very hard to hire. .It is almost as if there is a statewide "quiet" close to a freeze on hiring educated teachers that have more than a Bachelors degree under their belts. Show me a district hiring Masters degreed teachers and I'll show you a district that cares for the quality of teaching in their district. And the teachers buy their own college funding, it's not given to them any more than some basic office supplies they have to buy out of their own pocket. Each year.
Olivia5307 June 27, 2012 at 09:23 PM
In Illinois, teachers are NOT required to earn master's degrees. They are to accummulate 180 continuous professional development units over 5 years. These units are achieved by taking courses and workshops and mentoring student teachers. Their salaries increases as they hit higher pay grades. A master's degree can make it difficult to change districts, as many primarily hire kids just out of college and don't want to pay higher salaries.
Robyn Vickers June 27, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Tim, your argument would hold more water if you actually compared apples to apples. First, you're comparing 2011-12 Oswego with 2010-2011 Naperville. Second, you added in the TRS benefit for the Oswego salaries, but not for the Naperville salaries. The REAL numbers for a first year teacher from the links you posted: 2011 Oswego $36,628 - $46,287 2010 Naperville $40,034 - $55,538 A difference of $3406 might not seem like a lot, but when it's nearly 10% of the salary, I'd call that a lot.
Tim June 27, 2012 at 09:31 PM
D202 is Plainfield, not Naperville. And those numbers are not 10% different(its actually 9.4%), you are picking the 'before-TRS' payments in Oswego(that the board picks up), with the 'after-TRS payments' for Plainfield D202. Not coincidentally, the TRS contribution paid by property taxes is 9.4%, and is exactly the number you left out for some reason. Why would you not include the full salary for Oswego, with the full salary from Plainfield when trying to compare them.
Robyn Vickers June 27, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I don't see anywhere in the 202 document that the salary listed includes TRS contributions. That's why I didn't include the TRS amount for D308. I just misread the 202 and thought you were comparing to 203. Apologize for the error.
Tim June 27, 2012 at 09:59 PM
D202 also pays the TRS payments for the teachers, and includes this in S11.12 of the recently signed labor agreement; http://www.psd202.org/Departments/BO/APT_Contract.pdf (page 22) "Although designated by the Illinois Pension Code as teacher contributions, the amounts herein required to be contributed by the board are being paid by the board in lieu of contributions by the teacher" The point being, that D308 teachers are nowhere near the low end of the scale, and in fact, when other benefits are included, are rated by third parties as number 1 in the entire state of Illinois. http://www.teacherportal.com/district/illinois/Oswego-Cusd-308 "TeacherPortal Salary Rank: 1st"
Robyn Vickers June 27, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Unless I'm missing something, that rank of 1 based on cost of living, salaries, etc. Per their site: "Our Process The Comfort Score examined average salaries (both starting and overall) and compared that to the cost of living. We then ranked each state by this metric to find which states were friendliest to teacher's - from a salary perspective." http://www.teacherportal.com/salary-comfort-index That doesn't mean we pay the most. We don't. And anyway, who cares? We're arguing about a small difference while Rome is burning as the saying goes.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Being a District employee it's easy to point to a Board that won't grant your every wish and make them the "Royal Seven". Funny I thought that's what you would have called the past Boards or maybe the title "Rubber Stamp Seven" would have been more appropriate.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Well the fingers can be pointed any which way you want. The question IS if that passes and pensions become the Districts...what then? How do we pay for that while we continue to pay for our own lives and needs?
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:32 AM
What would changing a school board do? You can put in the most liberal and "yes man" board you want or you can put in the most conservative and "no to everything" group you want. You said it yourself, pensions numbers will be difficult to cut regardless of who the board is.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Another point to consider is Chicago, they pretty much control Springfield. Chicago taxpayers are taxed twice in terms of teacher pensions. Once for their own and again for the State fund. That control block could be a big voice in the "reform"
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:42 AM
@Richard..maybe so or maybe so now. Matt and I spoke quite a bit towards the end and he said it was a 3 year deal. So maybe they are all different. Regardless there are many reasons for these people leaving. The number one reason we like to think they are here is "for the kids" specifically our kids. When they leave it's easy for us to say "oh they left because of the Board" if you don't like the board then that's an easy comment to make. Reality is that Colvin for example pretty much maxed out his position in this District. His chances of becoming the Superintendent were probably slim to none so what does someone do when they want to move up and can't? They relocate. Corporate relocation is my business and I work with it every day of the week all over the area. School Districts are no different than any other business. School Administration at it's basest level is management. We seem to hold an illusion that administrators and teachers are locked in to helping OUR kids. Kids are kids, whether they are here or in Naperville or Winnetka or Hinsdale or Somonauk. Districts, like companies, tend to pay more for experienced workers or managers. Those that can afford to that is. The days of a person working for the same money they made 10 years ago and the days of promoting from within from mailroom to CEO are gone.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:45 AM
The Superintendent of Niles, IL was making $600,000 a couple of years ago.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:47 AM
@Michele...you are right...the money in education is not in classroom teaching...it's in administration. Don't forget about that little bump in pay they do in the years before retirement to boost the pension draw. I don't think that happens with teacher pay but it sure does with administrator pay.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Sure they are hiring less teachers with Masters degrees....Bachelor Degree are cheaper!
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Many years ago I wrote in the Ledger "my wallet is not a laboratory for Dr. Behlow's experiments in education" I see some validity in the statement about a BS/BA 3rd grade teacher and a MS/MA 3rd grade teacher. 2+2 = 4 whether or not you use Everyday Math (stupidist program ever) or New Math or Old Math. There are changes in "techniques". I remember when I went to school we memorized multiplication tables and had weekly spelling tests. When my oldest kids went to BH 12 years ago there was neither, when I asked I was told it;s not part of the curriculum. When my son went to BH 3 years ago spelling was back but in 3rd grade there was still no memorization of multiplication facts. In 4th grade it was assigned as homework. in 5th grade it was back. So I guess my point is that there is too much "book smarts" in the teacher corps and not enough reality. One of my favorite reactions when I speak with a teacher, especially a young, untenured teacher is when I remind them they they were kids too, they'd prefer to swear that they never were kids. The older long time teachers are more inclined to agree that not all the "experiments" over the years have been the greatest.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 02:04 AM
@Committed.....I currently don't have a dog in the fight as I took my son out of District 308 last year because frankly...it sucks. However as there are limited choices for private high schools in the area he will probably return to the district unless I move elsewhere. I'm curious about the comment you made about grading. Are you talking K-5, JHS or HS level? I would say that 80% of the papers in K-5 were graded by the students and about the same in JHS with the exception of larger assignments. So is that time budgeted then for entering the scores of the student graded papers or for end of term grades being entered into the system and collecting the grades from PE, Art, etc? just curious.
Devoted June 28, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Please check your facts before you type. The administration leaving this district are devoted, dedicated people that have sacrificed for the children, and they want to! I take exception to your comment about lying, cheating, stealing. Where do you live? This is Oswego. We need a BOE that will work for what's best for the CHILDREN, not themselves!
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Oh boy...here we go...the old how dare you criticize a teacher...we slave away turning your punks into diamonds routine. Before you jump on me, I have spent time in the classroom as a volunteer and that experience told me two things: 1) I could never do it day in and day out and 2) thank you teachers but if you are not happy with the commentary on here, it;s probably not going to get better in the short term, especially if pension reform comes to pass. The ship may not be sunk here but it sure is taking on a lot of water.
Devoted June 28, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Your blind. Get your facts straight.
Devoted June 28, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Well said 308teacher!
Peter Brady June 28, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I live in Ankeny Iowa and i must say im so glad Went is your man and not ours. WOW watch out his ego is as big as your state. best of luck
joe June 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Hi John. I have a problem with criticism like hers because of the general nature. If she had specific issues and communicated them, that would be fine. To say " These are the same people that given the chance will lie, cheat and steal from the system" is simply someone voicing an opinion in which they have no idea of what they are talking about. I will not sit around and listen to that crap.
John Spasojevich June 28, 2012 at 01:31 PM
@Joe...I agree. Sometimes people speak or write passionately...and when you do sometimes facts escape you...it happens to me! I just wish people would get a more realistic picture of education and in particular administration. Why is there this concept that a teacher will start right out of college in a classroom and still be there 30 years later, never moving, never leaving a district. You send your kid to 3rd grade...does he stay in 3rd grade for 10 years? Hopefully not, so really if the teacher moves on in their career and it takes them to a different district, so what. Principals, Assistants, Deans, Superintendents, Directors, etc are administrators. Administration is the BUSINESS of education. It's the MANAGEMENT of education. A move from labor to management translates generally into more responsibility and more money. Generally if you can move up to an assist. super. or a principal at a HS you are going to make more than teaching or principal at a small school. We grow attached to these folks and appreciate their efforts for the most part. I don't recall telling the comcast guy...hey what happend to so in so, he's not coming so your company must suck...but by golly, let a teacher or administrator leave and holy cow! BOE you are morons there must be a problem.There is in order to retain and keep management you have to increase salary, in a school district you can increase salary and the public then moans and groans that the money should be spent elsewhere.
Olivia5307 June 28, 2012 at 05:31 PM
John -- It is totally untrue that the superintendent in Niles (or any Superintendent in Illinois) was making $600,000. Do your research -- don't just pass along rumors. One resource to find a listing of the top 200 Illinois superintendent salaries is http://www.familytaxpayers.org/salary.php Of course, O'Donnell made that list. The top pay -- a whopping $358,750 -- is paid out in Schaumburg. In my view, there should be a direct connection between student outcomes and superintendent's pay. Devoted -- Regarding your statement that "The administration leaving this district are devoted, dedicated people that have sacrificed for the children," WHAT have they sacrificed??? It's a job, for which they are paid.
Mark Z June 29, 2012 at 03:24 PM
There is not tuition reimbursement. None. Nada. The teachers that chose to (really more or less forced to) extend their education do so out of their own pockets, just like the pockets they use to spend money on their classrooms and students. After getting a masters degree, you are not just still a 3rd grade teacher, you are a better 3rd grade teacher with more resources and skills to teach. Taking masters level courses while still teaching does take talent. It takes a smart, hard-working person to balance the two. Teachers earning their masters degrees cannot take the time off and then return to teaching and certainly don't teach less while learning. Not to mention all the time and effort put into their own educations during the summer and other breaks which is when the bulk of their classes take place. The classes during the school terms often focus on things to improve the classes they are teaching. Rather than take away from your children, they are providing even more. Please look into these matters before complaining about them and going off of here-say. Talk to a teacher sometime, maybe.
Committed to D. 308 June 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM
@John S, in terms of letting facts escape you, the grading comments were offensive. I teach English, and I have NEVER had anyone grade my papers but me. My assessments are projects, papers, or classroom discussion. Papers take 15 minutes EACH to grade. I have 75-90 junior high students per year. Do the math on minutes spent grading one assignment, and then perhaps keep that in the back of your mind the next time you are slamming dedicated professional educators. Also, TRS is part of our compensation package, and it goes straight to our pensions. If you cut TRS, the package will be balanced somewhere else. That's just reality.
John Spasojevich June 30, 2012 at 10:44 PM
@Committed...well now you see why I seldom criticize teachers. If you dare to make a critical comment the immediate reaction is just what you gave, the old "How Dare You" routine. Save it, it's old and worn out, teachers are no different than an other group, they are not a sacred thing that has to be accepted without question. My oldest is 23 and my youngest is 14 so I have played the game before. As I suspected there is less or in your case no student grading of papers....are you saying that not even xeroxed worksheets are in that? Well if you are interested I can show you a whole tub of papers from a District 308 K-5 school which were student graded, you can tell they were because the student who graded signed the paper, this was routine apparently in this school as I have them from different grade levels. Now its been two years since our last one left there so maybe it's different now? Perhaps you are having them write poems or short stories of several pages. I'm talking about the single sheet worksheet type stuff.
John Spasojevich July 01, 2012 at 12:18 AM
@ Olivia...that $600K figure was broadcast on WGN in a story about 2 years ago about school funding and waste. I believe it also appeared in the Chicago Tribune in a similar article.
john August 24, 2012 at 09:10 PM
where is 308 school board on the convicted drunken ass. principal I guess charactor only counts if your a student not ass. principals. This guy has lost respect of students and parents and should just quite to save face.But he won't where is mothers against drunk drivers should we protest in front of old post to show this guy that he should think of a different job. How can he still come to work when stundents and parents are giggling behind his back? Most people would be embarressed.

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