Tonight was Huntley School Board President Shawn Green’s last meeting. He resigned to pursue policy concerns in a different arena, perhaps even another elective office. (He was elected a Republican Precinct Committeeman February 2nd.)
Green warns against using the schools for “social indoctrination” and decries the possibility of any future education fund tax increase.
Below are his remarks:
School District 158 has made tremendous strides in the last five years, and no rational argument could be made against that statement. By no means do I take personal credit for our achievements; it has been a real collaborative effort between the Board of Education, administration, staff members, the students, and the community as a whole. Still, we should never let our success get in the way of continuous improvement. As the saying goes, “good enough is the enemy of great.”
We still have many hills to climb and many things we need to do better, but there is no denying the fact that in terms of academic achievement, fiscal accountability, transparency, and overall district effectiveness, we are much better off now than we were five years ago. It has been truly rewarding to have played a part, however small, in making that happen.
There are a few personal accomplishments that I am most proud of, such as authoring a resolution in opposition to HB2354, and another calling for a legislative ban on public school employee strikes. Both resolutions received unanimous support from my fellow board members.
I am also proud to have been instrumental in exposing the destructive agendas of certain self-proclaimed “community watchdogs”. (Watchdogs serve a vital purpose, and their efforts are usually worthy of praise. But when the watchdog destroys the furniture, ruins the carpeting, and bites your kids, it becomes a liability rather than an asset.)
Perhaps the most gratifying aspect of my tenure on the Board is the knowledge that I never played politics in my role as a board member. One of my reasons for stepping down is to devote more time to local political issues, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that I will seek another elected office in the near future. But every decision I made as a board member was based on my belief that it was the right thing for the district, not because I was looking to score points with one group or another.
I encourage the Board and administration to remain on the current path, and continuously look for ways to improve.
I urge you to always be mindful that leadership and authority are not automatically synonymous. I also ask the community to be involved.
This is OUR school district-it doesn’t belong to the Department of Education, or bureaucrats in Springfield, or the IEA–it belongs to us; as residents of the community we have a duty to be informed and hold our decision-makers accountable. The same is true for all levels of government.
There’s an essay, commonly attributed to 18th century British professor Alexander Tyler, which outlines the stages of democracy: from Bondage to Spiritual Faith, to Great Courage, to Liberty, to Abundance, to Complacency, to Apathy, to Dependence, and back into Bondage.
I’m afraid our society currently rests somewhere between Apathy and Dependence, and it’s time we get our acts together before it’s too late.
I will personally remain involved, albeit in a much different capacity now, in school district affairs.
I expect the district to spend within its means, never find itself in a situation where another Education Fund referendum is necessary, and refrain from the social indoctrination practices so common in many school districts across the country. Keep moving forward, and I will be a vocal advocate; start moving backward, and I will become a determined adversary. I am confident the Board, administration, and staff will continue to do the right things for District 158, and it has been an honor to work with you and serve the community these last five years.
I officially tender my resignation from the Consolidated School District Board of Education, effective immediately.