District 155 Dueling School Board Slates Deploy Signs

There’s a fight for control of the Crystal Lake District 155 School Board this spring.

One team is led by McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz.

You can see that side’s four by four foot sign below:

At the five corners in Downtown Crystal Lake stands this sign.

Running with Kurtz are Raphael Krammer, John Pletz and Scott Vetter.

The candidates’ sign promises tax cuts.

The amount paid to District 155 out of my tax bill is second only to Grade School District 47.

Across Walkup Avenue, the side supported by area teachers has two signs posted.

There are two signs: one for the candidates teachers favor for District 155 and the other for two District 47 write-in candidates with no opposition

Leading the teachers’ slate is former Hannah Beardsley Principal Ron Ludwig, Jason Blake and Nichole Pavoris.

Running as unopposed write-ins are Jonathan Powell and John Pellikan.

Local conservatives could find no candidates for those board seats.

You can see the District 155 ballot below:

The 2017 District 155 High School ballot.


The District 47 ballot is below:

Crystal Lake Grade School District 47’s 2017 ballot.

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If you see other school board, municipal, library, fire protection district, etc., signs please take a photo and email it to McHenry County Blog. The email button is on the left of the page.


Comments

District 155 Dueling School Board Slates Deploy Signs — 16 Comments

  1. Candidate for Crystal Lake High School District 155

    Ronald P Ludgwig

    The Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 teacher union is endorsing Ron Ludwig, Jason Blake, and Nicole Pavoris.

    Mr. Ludwig was the principal at Hannah Beardsley in Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 from 1996 – 2014.

    For the 2014 – 2015 school year he was a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) teacher at the district, while Stacy Graff was the Principal at Beardsley for one year (she’s currently the Principal at Canterbury Elementary in the district), followed by Cathy Alberth who remains the Principal.

    No public pay or pension records for Mr. Ludwig appear after 2014 – 2015.

    It’s unknown if Mr. Ludwig remains employed as a public school teacher or administrator, or is receiving a public pension.

    One could submit a FOIA request to TRS to obtain the complete pay and any pension history.

    Here is the pay history for Mr. Ludwig that is available online:

    2015 – $078,605 – STEM Teacher, 28th year as an educator, including 2 years out of state and 1 year in another district.

    2014 – $122,284 – Principal

    2013 – $119,488 – Principal

    2012 – $119,879 – Principal

    2011 – $120,771 – Principal

    2010 – $121,641 – Principal

    2009 – $119,134 – Principal

    2008 – $114,510 – Principal

    2007 – $112,025 – Principal

    2006 – $108,279 – Principal

    2005 – $105,182 – Principal

    2004 – $102,734 – Principal

    2003 – $100,066 – Principal

    2002 – $095,323 – Principal

    2001 – $090,339 – Principal

    2000 – $083,898 – Principal

    +++++++++

    Northwest Herald

    District 47 Welcomes Two New Principals

    April 22, 2014

    by Jeff Engelhardt

    “Ron Ludwig, who has served as Hannah Beardsley Principal since it first opened in 1996, decided to finish his career by returning to teach in the classroom.

    Lori Sorensen, Principal at Richard Bernotas, decided to leave her position to attend to personal family matters.”

    http://www.nwherald.com/2014/04/22/district-47-welcomes-two-new-principals/agay8ex

    ++++++++++++

    There was a case in McHenry County Circuit Court named Deborah Bartelt v Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 Board of Education with Ronald Ludwig as a defendant from late 2013 – 2015 that was dismissed with prejudice.

    +++++++

    Deborah Bartelt pay history

    2015 – $57,897 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake Elementary District 47

    2014 – $56,476 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2013 – $54,702 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2012 – $54,313 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2011 – $52,604 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2010 – $54,159 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2009 – $52,130 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2008 – $50,380 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2007 – $46,311 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2006 – $43,916 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2005 – $41,521 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2004 – $39,639 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2003 – $38,205 – Social Worker in Crystal Lake CCSD 47

    2003 – $48 – Elgin U-46

    2002 – $15,232 – Elgin U-46

    2001 – $172 – Elgin U-46

    ++++++++++++

    Here is the pay history for Lori S Sorensen:

    2015 – $091,775 – Assistant Principal in Fremont Elementary District 79 in Mundelein. 29 years as an educator, 26 of those years in Crystal Lake Elementary District 47.

    2014 – $123,271 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake Elementary District 47

    2013 – $122,104 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2012 – $121,930 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2011 – $120,329 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2010 – $120,348 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2009 – $118,444 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2008 – $115,645 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2007 – $106,812 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2006 – $103,219 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2005 – $095,058 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2004 – $092,514 – Principal at Bernotas Middel School

    2003 – $087,848 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2002 – $076,093 – Principal at Bernotas Middle School

    2001 – $073,159

    2000 – $069,094

    ++++++++++

    Sources: Better Government Association pay database, Open the Books Widget, ISBE TSR, school district records.

    Lori Sorensen sometimes appears as Lori Sorenson in school district records.

  2. Candidate for Crystal Lake High School District 155 school Board

    Nicole M Pavoris

    She is running on the slate endorsed by the high school district teacher union with Ron Ludwig & Jason Blake.

    Nicole Pavoris is a Social Studies teacher at Larkin High School in Elgin U-46 School District.

    2015 – $69,606 – 13th year teaching

    2014 – $66,065 – 12th year teaching

    2013 – $62,968 – 11th year teaching

    2012 – $62,073 – 10th year teaching

    2011 – $60,359 – 9th year teaching

    2010 – $60,231 – 8th year teaching

    2009 – $55,816 – 7th year teaching

    2008 – $11,208 – 6th year teaching

    2007 – $50,672 – 5th year teaching

    2006 – $45,292 – 4th year teaching

    2005 – $30,963 – 3rd year teaching

    2004 – $01,047

    2003 – $38,401 – 2nd year teaching

    2002 – $32,792 – 1st year teaching

    source: Open the Books widget, Better Government Association salary database, ISBE TSR, school district website.

  3. Crystal Lake High School District 155 has 3 candidate groupings.

    ++++++++++++

    Group 1: Incumbents

    – David Secrets

    – Ann Somers

    The Daily Herald website has profiles of both from the 2013 election.

    +++++++++++

    Group 2: Challengers to the Stats Quo

    – Donna Kurtz

    – Raphael Kamner

    – John Pletz

    – Scott Vetter

    +++++++++++++++

    Group 3: Teacher Union Endorsed Candidates

    – Ron Ludwig

    – Jason Blake

    – Nicole Pavoris

  4. typo correction it’s David Descrest

    ++++++++++++++

    Challenger overview:

    Donna Kurtz – McHenry County Board Member District 2. Mother Rosemary, a former State Representative for the 64th District from 2001 – 2005 (2 terms), was elected to the CHSD 155 Board 2 years ago as a reformer.

    Raphael Kamner – Real estate professional.

    John Pletz – Owns a Service Master franchise. They offer several commercial cleaning services.

    Scott Vetter – Manufacturing Production Manager. Previously in the Navy & former small business owner. Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee Secretary. Algonquin Township Precinct 36 Committeeman.

  5. What exactly is a “reformer?”

    Is it someone who runs on one issue or a person who intelligently evaluates a situation first before deciding how to proceed?

    D155 needs to replace the terrible leadership of Ted Wagner and Gary Oberg.

    Running on the issue of taxes is tricky (see Pres. George H.W. Bush) when you don’t really know that school boards are limiting what they can actually do.

    You can choose to pick on teachers and administrators for their salaries, and say you’ll cut jobs, but the reality is until you’re actually on the Board you will not know what you can do.

    Is there waste in D155?

    Yes, but there is waste in every government agency.

    Schools, fire, police and infrastructure are the most important aspects of a community.

    Who will inhabit McHenry County when you gut education because they are the most expensive items?

    This is short sighted.

    If the candidates want to fully analyze the situation in D155 and then act that is one thing.

    To campaign saying you’ll cut taxes without detailed knowledge is foolish.

    School boards need not be adversaries with the teachers/administrators.

    that model does not serve the community.

    “This is a journal of news and opinion designed to bring to light matters of public interest and to encourage public participation in the governmental process.”

    Are you open to another viewpoint?

  6. Incumbent Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board President Ted Wagner and Vice President Gary Oberg are not seeking re-election.

  7. MQT states the CHSD 155 board has had “terrible leadership.”

    So Kurtz, Kamner, Pletz, & Vetter are not the only candidates who believe there is work to be done in CHSD 155.

    A reform candidate is someone who believes changes is necessary to improve government.

    If there is “terrible leadership” a reform candidate might work to improve the “terrible leadership.”

    Listing salaries paid by taxpayers is educating taxpayers not picking on teachers or administrators.

    Taxpayers are entitled to know component prices they are paying for services.

    No candidate is running to “gut education.”

    No candidate is running to be “adversaries” of teachers and administrators.

    There is no shortage of opinions on this website.

    Taxpayers decide if taxes are too high just as they decide if the price of anything is too high.

  8. “Listing salaries paid by taxpayers is educating taxpayers not picking on teachers or administrators. Taxpayers are entitled to know component prices they are paying for services.”

    Well said, Mark.

    Although I’m not sure why you only posted the salaries of teachers and not the other taxpayer paid candidates like Mrs. Kurtz.

    That’s probably where the perceived bias comes into play.

    Also, just to clear up an error, Donna Kurtz was not “elected to the CHSD 155 Board 2 years ago as a reformer” as you suggested in an earlier post.

    Donna’s mother Rosemary Kurtz was elected to the D155 board.

    On a side note, I’m not sure that it’s a good idea to have two family members on one 7 person board.

    Some might see this as a kind of conflict of interest.

  9. Comment above was,

    “Donna Kurtz – McHenry County Board Member District 2.

    Mother Rosemary, a former State Representative for the 64th District from 2001 – to 2005 (2 terms) was elected to the CHSD 155 Board 2 years ago as a reformer.”

    +++++++++++++

    Rosemary Kurtz receives 2 pensions.

    One pension, GARS, for 4 years as a State Representative (2001 – 2005), was $11,326 as of 2016.

    Another pension, TRS, for 23 years of service as an educator including CHSD 155, retired in 1990, was $43,137 as of 2016.

    School board members don’t receive a salary.

    +++++++++++++

    Donna Kurtz

    McHenry County Board

    2015 – $21,808

    2014 – $21,000

    2013 – $20,962

    2012 – $20,629

    2011 – $19,827

    2010 – $760

    +++++++++++

    The point of having a mother and daughter on a school board is noteworthy which is why it was mentioned.

    A conflict of interest generally in this context generally refers to how someone could profit from having a mother daughter relationship on the board.

    Board members are not compensated.

    Do they have friends or relatives that work in the districts, or are vendors to the district.

    Donna Kurtz is running on a platform of lower taxes.

    The Daily Herald has a candidate profile for Rosemary Kurtz from the 2015 election.

    ++++++++++

    A big issue with District 155 is lack of board transparency.

    They don’t videotape board meetings and post them on their website.

    They don’t post board agenda packets for the taxpayers.

    A board agenda packet contains all the documents to be discussed at the meeting, or approved at the meeting, in on pdf document.

    A searchable board agenda packet, which is preferred, is not that difficult to create, allows the use of find, and copy and paste selected information to another document.

    The taxpayers are asleep at the wheel for not demanding these transparency measures.

    They don’t post collective bargaining change documents, with for instance, underline text for additions, and stricken text for deletions, so taxpayers can identify changes from the previous document (that is the case for most districts).

    Taxpayers are not allowed to vote on the collective bargaining agreement, but rank and file teachers are allowed to vote on the agreement (that is the case for all districts).

    There are plenty of other issues.

  10. Speaking of collective bargaining agreements.

    Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 (D 47 in the sign in the article) approved a new collective bargaining agreement for one of its four bargaining units (union locals) named the Crystal Lake Association of Support Staff (CLASS), IEA – NEA.

    The Northwest Herald reported, “In addition to a 3.75 percent pay increase each year of the contract, …”

    ———-

    The board voted 7 – 0 to approve the contract to hike pay more than would have been allowed with the existing contract.

    The just replaced contract (not the new contract) had the following language.

    “3. 2017 – 2018 School Year: Prior school year hourly rate plus or minus the bodily fluid rate
    + Consumer Price Index (CPI) used on the 2016 tax levy with a floor of no less than 1.5% and a ceiling no greater than 30%.”

    What is the bodily fluid rate?

    The just replaced contract (not the new contract) had the following language:

    “Annually, Paraprofessionals performing bodily fluid duties will be paid an additional $1.07 per hour to perform these duties.”

    Have never seen such language in a collective bargaining agreement anywhere.

    Perhaps it has something to do with assisting disabled children with toileting.

    +++++++++

    The current agreement was set to expire, “the day before the first school day of the 2017 – 2018 school year” which would be about August 2017.

    It’s not uncommon for Illinois education collective bargaining agreements to have such language.

    From a taxpayer perspective, it would be much easier to have a hard date to track, such as August 15, 2017.

    +++++++++

    IEA = Illinois Education Association, the statewide union affiliate.

    NEA = National Education Association, the nationwide union affiliate.

    +++++++++

    CLASS represents support staff, not teachers.

    +++++++++

    Look at the Crystal Lake Elementary District website:

    http://www.d47.org

    Try to find any mention of a collective bargaining agreement being negotiated between the support staff and the board / administration team.

    Try to find the new collective bargaining agreement.

    – Nothing on the home page.

    – Nothing in the board section of the website.

    – Under Departments, Human Resources, Contractual Agreements, the following appears:

    “2015 – 2018 CLASS Agreement (incl contract extension through 2020 – 2021 school year)”

    No press release?

    Download the agreement.

    It’s not searchable.

    Run it through Adobe Enhance Recognize Text feature to allow copy and paste (can’t district do that).

    Instead each taxpayer who wants and knows how to do this, must do it themselves.

    There’s an apple on the cover sheet.

    Is there a change document, using for example underline text for additions, and stricken text for deletions.

    No.

    How is the taxpayer supposed to identify all the changes, or even the major changes, in the document?

    The taxpayer would have to FOIA such information from the school district.

    Will anyone do so?

    No.

    And we can go on and on.

    Gee, wonder why taxes are so high?

    Repeat this process over and over for all the units of state and local government in Illinois to which you pay taxes, for each bargaining unit (union local).

    The system is rigged against the taxpayer.

    That’s the bottom line.

    We really don’t exactly what happened before, during, or after the negotiations, in almost all cases, unless we want to jump through hoops, and even then, the taxpayer has not know what to ask for.

    ++++++++++

    Current board members of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47

    Mr. Jeff Mason, President

    Mr. Curt Wadlington

    Mr. Rob Fetzner

    Dr. Betsy Les

    Mrs. Donna Ricci

    Mrs. Eileen Palsgrove

    Mr. Ryan Farrell

    ++++++++++

    Superintendent of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 –

    Dr. Kathy J Hinz

    ++++++++++

    Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 –

    Dr. Greg Buchanan

    ++++++++++++

    A Phd board member, a Phd Superintendent, and Phd Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources yet the above lack of transparency.

  11. The two incumbent candidates on the Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 school board ballot, and the three write-in candidates not on the ballot (voter has to write the name of the candidate on the ballot), for the 4 open school board positions at the April 4, 2017 election were covered in the following blog article.

    McHenry County Blog

    CL Grade School District Has Three Write-In Candidates

    February 10, 2017

    http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2017/02/10/cl-grade-school-district-has-two-write-in-candidates

  12. The District 155 board needs to look at administrative costs.

    The number of highly paid district administrators has doubled, possibly tripled, in the last 10-12 years.

    Administrators now receive bonuses and annuities.

    I’m not sure when this started.

    Most of the current district administrators don’t live in the boundaries of the district, pay taxes in our community or have children attending our schools.

    They are here to build their resumes.

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