Former Woodstock Northwood Middle School Principal Arrested for Theft

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former Northwood Middle School Principal Jerome “Jake” Wakitsch has been arrested for “stealing ‘several thousands’ of dollars from the bank accounts of two school groups.”

Wakitsch resigned on August 3rd, the paper reports.

Read the whole article.


Former Woodstock Northwood Middle School Principal Arrested for Theft — 7 Comments

  1. Chicago Tribune

    Northwood principal stole money from parent, sports groups: police

    By Amanda Marrazzo

    September 2, 2015

    “Wakitsch was an authorized user on both bank accounts, but signatures of two authorized users were required for withdrawals, and Wakitsch forged those signatures to remove money on several occasions between February 2014 and this June, police said.”

    Why would parents want a middle school principal to be a decision maker in how parent money is spent?

    Parents are not decision makers in how school money is spent.

    Double standard.

    Wonder if the theft is considered work related in which case if convicted he could lose his pension.

    Teachers Retirement System of the State of Illinois

    Tier 1 Member Guide

    July 2015

    “Felony conviction

    If you are convicted of a work-related felony while you are a member of TRS, you become ineligible for TRS membership and benefits.

    However, you may take a refund of your TRS retirement contributions (see Chapter 15: ‘Refund of Retirement contributions’).”


  2. Your citation seems to be spot on, Mark.

    Perhaps we’ll find out if that’s the case.

    Provided he’s actually convicted of the felony count, somebody would sure have to do some fancy talking to convince anyone that this is NOT work-related.

    After all, were it not for his position, he would not have access.

  3. Stealing from public school student funds is common.

    the administrators make sure that there are no internal controls and auditors are not allowed to persue investigations due to “materiality”.

    In Crystal Lake, we have seen an Athletic Director and a school secretary caught stealing thousands of dollars of funds the kids raised.

    Neither went to jail.

    I have done audits on several northern Illinois school districts, and student funds are poorly managed virtually everywhere.

    This is common, and is considered a fringe benefit of school employment.

  4. Thanks Charles, we saw this back in the 90’s too, in District 47.

    No accountability for money the children would bring in.

  5. Still remember my High School coach the great Ron Tomczak, digging in his own pocket continually, to purchase weight room equipment for the school.

    Driving us in his beat up VW beetle to S.S. Bessmer Park every Sunday, where he worked part time to make ends meet, so we could play a little BB.

    Now that’s a man that was ‘for the kids’, Not like today’s spend other people’s money crowd.

    He spent his own.

  6. Woodstock D200 is set to approve a budget on Sept 22 school board meeting.

    This budget includes pay raises, bizarrely high transportation fund increases (2 years running)with enrollment flat, no routes have been instituted (and periodic borrowings for new buses’ are paidfrom debt fund).

    This budget includes many new hirings, including more administration.

    This budget supports an administrator-tostudent ratio FAR in excess of Illinois or National averages.

    this budget mentions capital spending without supplying details.


    This school budget represents a property tax rate for Woodstock citizens of 5% of home value.

    With a median income of %57,000

    Median home value $182,000

    14% poverty ratio

    THE WOODSTOCK PROPERTY TAX RATE REPRESENTS OVER 15% of the median household income.

    (National average percentage-of-household-income-paid-to -property-taxes: 3.5%)

    Without further explanation from the City of Woodstock and Woodstock D200, this is an obscene exploitation of the poorest and most vulnerable households in this community.

    Is there any response justifying/defining the value-added received in return for paying 500% of the national average household-income-to property-tax-rate???

  7. Susan, I feel your pain. It’s ridiculous, they should close one of the high schools and eliminate all the positions.

    It’s a scenario that many schools in IL will be facing eventually.

    You may either complain and get nowhere or run for school board (find some like minded folks ready to stand with you) and effect some much needed change.

    We can’t all sit back and comment/complain. We must run or support those that will. Time to get real

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *