Here’s what just popped into my email:
CALL FOR ACTION
This letter is to inform ALL residents, taxpayers, and parents of Prairie Grove, District 46 of the goings on within our school district.
What was once looked at as an outstanding school district is sadly spiraling into something quite different.
These changes are coming from the Board Of Education (BOE) and spiraling down within our school.
The following is ALL verifiable from the school district through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). We encourage you to take a moment to read the below information, request your own FOIA information and go to the BOE meetings.
Did You Know
1.That the school district lunchroom was open to all parents to visit (on a trial basis) even though ALL administrators, teachers, local authorities and community members spoke out opposing this decision. In addition, after CT the previous BOE supported the decision of the administration to close down lunch in an effort to secure the safety of ALL children. This “trial event” also interrupted the Physical Education instruction to MANY children. The only person actively supporting this decision was the BOE president, Ms. Ponga. (FOIA Teacher Survey Regarding Open Lunch)
2. That the BOE voted to award retiring teachers $ 15,000. Retirement incentives were removed from the last PG teacher’s union contract by the previous board. This is to be reviewed on an annual basis. According to the McHenry County Blog “a proposal like this is so wrong because info like this should be coming FROM the district finance expert”. [This sounds like something that County School Supt. Leslie Schimerhorn told the Board.] The district financial specialist recommended $5000-$12,000. However, Ms. Ponga, proposed a retirement incentive of $40,000 plus payment for unused sick days. Who benefited from this? Those who distributed campaign literature on behalf of the teachers union.
3. That we have lost 4 out of 7 school administrators. This is alarming and unprecedented. Among those lost administrators is Lynette Zimmer, Superintendent. The reason for her leaving is “A
SUPERINTENDENT MUST BE CONFIDENT THAT HE OR SHE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE DAILY DECSIONS TO OPERATE THE DISTRICT EFFECTIVELY. BECAUSE OF PRAIRIE GROVE’S NEW BOARD PRESIDENT, I NO LONGER HAVE THAT CONFIDENCE” Dr Zimmer goes onto say, “SINCE TAKING OFFICE, MRS. PONGA HAS CREATED TURMOIL AND CONTROVERSY IN WHAT WAS ONCE AN AWARD-WINNING DISTRICT. MRS. PONGA HAS LITTLE RESPECT OR TRUST FOR THE POSITION OF SUPERINTENDENT AND NONE FOR ME IN PARTICULAR”. She continues, “IT IS A SAD DAY INDEED WHEN A SUPERINTENDENT FEELS COMPELLED TO GET AN ATTORNEY TO REQUEST THE BOARD PRESIDENT CEASE AND DESIST HER SLANDEROUS, DEFAMATORY AND DAMAGING BEHAVIOR”. (FOIA Letter from Dr Zimmer to BOE on Dec. 16,2013)
4. That at almost all meetings since the seating of the new board, that legal counsel has been present costing the taxpayers $250 per hour (on the average $1700
5. That against the advice of Regional Office of Education Superintendent, Legal Counsel and the Superintendent, that Ms. Ponga self-appointed herself as the chair of the Finance committee even though a qualified person was interested.
We were once the well respected school district and now we have turn to the laughing stock of McHenry County and the state, which will make it more difficult to find a good superintendent, affect our children’s education, our home values and
1. Attend the board meetings rotate in your neighborhood sending a resident to the meeting. The meetings on are on the 2nd JRHS Library. Next meeting is MARCH 11th.
2. Call the Board President – Margaret Ponga and express your concern firstname.lastname@example.org 815-477-3877
3. Call the newly elected board members who ran with Ms. Ponga. Tell them how
- Are you okay with this type of behavior?
- Whose interest are you here to represent?
- Were they aware of the actions the Board President has taken?
- Do you support this, and what are you going to do to make it better?
- Laura Barker 847-639-3415 email@example.com
- Rick Salvo 847-516-1641 firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Bowman 847-639-3890 email@example.com
4. Attend a Town Hall Meeting on March 18th at 7pm in the PGJH Library.
5. Visit https://sites.google.com/site/citizensforpg46/ to verify the above and get more information.
6. Demand the resignation of BOE President, Margaret Ponga.