District 155 Announces 13 Layoffs

Thirteen teachers were “honorably dismissed” as of the end of the 2016-2017 school year by the Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board of Education on Tuesday night

Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board

Declining enrollment is the reason.

The cuts will have least affect on Crystal Lake South High School.   Only a part-time art teacher is being let go there.

Cary-Grove High School is seeing two laid off, a PE/Health teacher, an English and a Social Science teacher.

Prairie Ridge High School, there will be a part-time social science and full-time math and science teachers who will lose their jobs.

Finally, at Crystal Lake Central High School, a PE/health teacher, a part-time science teacher, a math teacher, a world language teacher and a full-time science teacher will be laid off.

The teachers losing their jobs are

  • Rebecca Adam (Crystal Lake Central High School PE/Health Teacher)
  • David Hartl (Part-time Cary-Grove High School PE/Health Teacher)
  • Laurie Koeppen (Part-time Crystal Lake Central High School Science Teacher)
  • Lauren Krumholz (Not showing on Crystal Lake Central High School’s staff directory, but other internet links indicate that she is a Math Teacher)
  • Alissa Mogavero (Part-time Crystal Lake Central High School World Language Teacher)
  • Benjamin Reiff (Cary-Grove High School Social Science Teacher)
  • Leah Rutkowski (Crystal Lake Central High School Science Teacher)
  • Karyl Shields (Part-time South High School Art Teacher)
  • Jordan Smith (Prairie Ridge High School Science Teacher)
  • Rachel Spolum (Part-time Prairie Ridge High School Social Science Teacher)
  • William Stastny (Prairie Ridge High School English Teacher)
  • Paige Stickle (Cary-Grove High School English Teacher)
  • Kristie Tyler (Prairie Ridge High School Mathematics Teacher)

In addition, Raymond “Corky” Card’s full-time position at Prairie Redge as a PE/health teacher was changed to a part-time job for the next school year.

Earlier this month the McHenry County College Board laid off 19 employees due to declining enrollment.


District 155 Announces 13 Layoffs — 33 Comments

  1. All of these teachers being laid off and yet nothing about the reduction in administration.

    The administration of our School District 155 is serving neither the student body or the teachers.

    It is all about AP and Johnnie.

  2. Scare tactics right before an election.

    Well played D155, well played.

  3. “All of these teachers being laid off and yet nothing about the reduction in administration.

    “The administration of our School District 155 is serving neither the student body or the teachers.
    It is all about AP and Johnnie.”

    Every time someone points out how overpaid and underworked teachers are, teachers point to the administration as if administrative bloat has any bearing on teacher bloat.

    These teachers deserved to get the ax because they’re no longer useful due to declining enrollment.

    The only shame about the lay offs is that they effect the youngest teachers, not the old fogies who dug this hole with their greed.

  4. “Underworked teachers”. Clueless. Tic tock, tic tock…

  5. Did you thank a teacher today?

    It’s never too late. Tic tock, tic tock…

  6. @Angel, you always seem to end with the comment of “Tic tock, tic tock” Your comment is dead on the money and I am amazed at your crystal ball.

    Enrollments at all schools, except Huntley HS are declining; I believe next year Huntley hits the peak of their population bubble.

    From that point it is down hill.

    What else is a school district to do when population of your students decline?

    You have to reduce teachers, it is a very sad reality of declining enrollment.

    Further compounding this issue is the next generation of adults in their childbearing years.

    That generation are the Millennials.

    The Millennials are not getting married until later in life, not purchasing homes, and they are having less children when they do have children.

    So you will see a decrease.

    The only true “X” factor are the immigrants.

    They are still having more children than the typical Millennial family.

    So they may counter balance some of the population decline.

    Finally, I did thank a teacher last week when MCC RIF a few of my neighbors co-workers.

    We sat in our garage and had a few beers.

    I also listened to my other neighbor when United Airlines laid off workers in Jan.

    No one likes layoffs, but their is a time when they are required.

  7. It’s time 155 stop hiring so many administrators with hire salaries and high benefits and bonuses.

    Wagner made sure we are stuck with Thomas for years before he leaves the board.

    He extended his contract two years before it would even be up for consideration to extend.

    He basically tied the hands of the future board members concerning this.

    Thank god he won’t be on the board anymore.

  8. Want to reduce Administrators?

    Get rid of the Fed Dept. of Ed.

    Eliminate ALL Grant Writing!

    Standardize ALL School websites.

    Eliminate social workers in schools.

    Let parents be parents.

  9. NWH:
    Wagner, and trustees Ann Somers, Amy Blazier and Gary Oberg voted “yes” for the layoffs of teachers, while trustees Rosemary Kurtz, Adam Guss and Dave Secrest voted “no.”
    “I just think teachers are more important that anybody, except the students themselves,” Kurtz said. “And I hope that we will reconsider [cutting] teachers and look at administration.”

    Wagner responded saying “administrative issues” also are being looked at.

  10. As usual, cuts are made at the bottom but the real waste is at the top.
    Often times layoffs aren’t needed if administrators do their jobs and allow less staff due to attrition. But this requires those at the top to actually do a little planning and work.
    Same old story.

  11. Public sector employment contracts should be no longer than one year.

    It is not unusual for Superintendents to ask the board to extend their contract years prior to the contract expiring.

  12. I wrote the following elsewhere, I thought I’d share it here as well.

    There is a direct correlation between enrollment and teacher staffing levels.

    With enrollment declining every year for the better part of a decade now, with no end in sight, it would be financially irresponsible to not adjust headcount in response to declining enrollment.

    As to administrative staffing levels, there is less correlation to changing enrollment, but that does not mean changes cannot occur there as well.

    There are statutory notice requirements that the district has to meet when giving notice of a Reduction In Force.

    That requirement does not exist for administrative staff.

    Hence, teacher RIF notices are usually always first. And the union knows that. Administrators are typically on 1 year contracts.

    If the Superintendent hasn’t already developed a reduction plan for his staff, the Board will have the ability to instruct him in the next month to realign his staff, with certain employees not offered a contract renewal.

  13. There was years of over-staffing at the jail before Sheriff Prim and nobody was ever held accountable.
    The same occurs in school districts where over-staffing is rampant. Why is it allowed to continue unabated for years?
    Number one reason is that it is taxpayer money and those in charge care less about your tax dollars.

  14. I attended that long board meeting and the mood was heavy. These are difficult times, painful times and I agree with D 155’s Education Association’s President Devin Hester. It was a “shocking experience.” I have experienced being part of a reduction in workforce twice in my life. It’s hard, very hard. My heart and my mind were on the teachers at that moment and how awful an experience this is for them.

    I feel that some cuts should have been made to the administrative staff first or at least been included in these first rounds of cuts. I liked Ms. Kurtz’s comments on this; “I just think teachers are more important that anybody, except the students themselves,” “And I hope that we will reconsider [cutting] teachers and look at administration.”

    We have lost student population, about 500 students and we are on a downward trajectory. The board is being responsive and must continue to be so. It is vital to keep our schools financially sound so as to be able to continue to teach the students that will need our schools to remain open. In fact, it is the responsibility of the board and administration to do so. I’m looking forward to the teachers helping us find ways to do that as well.

    Dr. Jeremy Davis has already found ways to increase revenue through proposed modest student fee increases, that will put us in line with surrounding schools, who already charge higher fees. Yes, painful for the student’s and their families. It appears we are all going to be sharing in the pain of loss of income. The taxpayers have been experiencing this for decades as they have had more and more of their money taken from them in the form of increased property taxes.

    We will work through this together as a community, me must. John Pletz

  15. I am very saddened to hear that these teachers have been riffed!

    It is a shame that administration is not

    A.) Taking a cut in personnel, or

    B) Taking a pay cut across the board of at least 10% for everyone, administration, support staff, and teachers that are close to retirement .

    Nobody likes to see their pay decreased, but also nobody likes to lose their job as well.

    Why doesn’t the board take a pay cut as well?

  16. So much rides on the economic structure of the town of Crystal Lake and its businesses and citizens.

    You would think that the city planning commision and the school board of trustees and superintendent would meet and devise a plan of action.

    The handwriting is always on the wall, and we as well as elected leaders and officials should be able to read the tell tales signs of economic slow-down that will affect everyone in the town.

    I am not saying that elected officials have not paid attention, but why does this stuff always come out of the blue?

    And why is this happening when the economy is supposedly doing well?

    There was a recommendation by the districts consultants to close down CLC.

    Do you think that will not happen?

    It’s only a matter of time?

    I do not think we are seeing the whole picture as well.

    Maybe administration is doing something by letting these teachers go, if they are close to or over retirement age.

    Has the board shown good faith if there is no reduction in upper administration?

    I do not know all of the logistics of the area any more as I do not live there.

    But I did graduate from CLC, I love that school, it was a major influence of my life.

    The teachers there were exceptional and I would hate to see an institution, especially a historic institution going on 100 years of service to the community to be closed down. My apologies to anyone for any offending remarks it is not intentional.

  17. @Cal Skinner, you are right, your board members do not get paid.

    Larger schools may sometimes make some sort of payment, what that rate may be, I do not know.

    Thank you for clarifying.

  18. No school board member in Illinois gets paid to the best of my knowledge.

  19. Have never heard of a school board member getting paid for being a school board member in any district irregardless of the size.

    Some school districts have guidelines for expense reimbursement (travel, meals, hotel) for school board members attending conferences or other expenditures, and they may be provided laptops or tablets.

    There is the annual Illinois Association of School Boards conference which some board members from some districts attend.

    There is also an annual National School Boards Association conference.

  20. What about the events that have happened at the schools being an influence on why student numbers are down, or why people are choosing to move away from district 155?

    No school district is perfect of course, but I would imagine there is some influence there.

    At least to consider looking at neighboring communities.

  21. Just like any good business, it is important to understand what value you are providing to your customers.

    The customers here are the students and our teachers are providing the value to those students so eliminating teachers should be a last resort.

    I understand declining enrollment but there was an immediate need and the knee jerk was to cut teachers.

    So the administration needs to look inside their own organization and understand if those in their departments are efficient and if not what improvements can be made.

    Then through attrition people will not be replaced.

    I look at D155 organization and how many are staffed in each department and compare it to a manufacturing company with an equivalent “sales revenue” as D155 (approx $100 million),D155 runs heavier in headcount.

    Why ?

    Example – Accounting in D155 has 9 people.

    Most $100 million businesses I have been associated with have 4.

    There are currently 24 open positions at D155.

    Really, and we laid of 13.

    Just an observation as I know some are summer school etc…

    Looks like a need is there to possibly improve managing the resources in the district ?

  22. The students are not the customers.

    The students don’t fund public education.

    The taxpayers are the customers.

    The students are the beneficiary’s of the education service.


    The public education model in Illinois is broken.

    The biggest problem is the pension system and the benefit and pay hikes which drove up the cost of the pensions, and the broken collective bargaining system.

    There are plenty of other problems.

  23. Mark right again and then there are Employees like Angel, that make the entire system look bad, and the Taxpayer’s are stuck with their opinions in the classroom.

    Time to end tenure and hold them personally accountable.

  24. Well that is a scary notion.

    The students are not the customers?

    Your response is exactly why we have overblown educational systems in the first place.

    Failure to understand the product and the value provided to the “customer” leads one to continue to add overhead and burden to a system that does not require it.

    It is important to truly understand the “product” that is being provided and the product in this case is an education and the receivers of that education are the students, ergo customers.

    It’s the job of the school districts to provide that education at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers.

    In order to do that the administration needs to look inside and address all those actions that are not providing an education to the students and assure that we are not wasting resources from a capital or human perspective.

    I do agree with you regarding pension spiking and there are many other costs that are piled into the system that ultimately has the one goal of providing an education to a student.

    Please rethink your statement because without understanding what value is really being provided and who the customer is we just continue to build a system that doesn’t give the customers what they want.

  25. Students are not the customers.

    A customer pays money to buy something.

    Taxpayers pay money to purchase educational services for students.

    Students don’t pay money to purchase educational services for students.

    The students are the beneficiaries of the public education services purchased by the taxpayers.


    One reason public educational is dysfunctional in Illinois is the taxpayers don’t understand what has transpired in public education legislation.

    The educational “product” that provides “value” to the “customer” includes:

    – administration

    – teachers

    – support staff

    Of those, the largest cost is the teachers.

    Nowhere in the Illinois School Code does it say the job of the school district is to provide education at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers.

    One example is the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA), which is the law that granted collective bargaining rights to teachers (teachers had very limited rights before that).

    There is no question this law his hiked costs.

    The unions would argue the increased cost is justified by a better product.


    If someone wants improved results in Crystal Lake High School District 155, get involved in the schools.

    Watch and understand school board meetings.

    CHSD 155 finally has recorded school board meetings.

    Now taxpayers can, at their convenience, watch a YouTube Video of the school board meetings.

    The first CHSD 155 recorded school board meeting was April 18, 2017.



    A good next step for the CHSD 155 school board is to post a board agenda packet prior to each school board meeting.

    A board agenda packet is one large pdf that contains all the documents to be discussed that the school board meeting.

    We can compare a board agenda packet to a few other board meeting documents.

    A board agenda packet is different than a board agenda.

    A board agenda packet contains the agenda and all the documents to be discussed at the board meeting.

    A board agenda is simply an outline of what will be discussed at the meeting.

    Another board document is board minutes.

    Board minutes are a summary of what was discussed at the meeting.


    The flow of money is a different concept than providing value to the beneficiaries.

    Obviously the primary purpose of public education is to educate students.

    However, that is not the primary purpose of the teacher union.

    Teacher unions represent teachers, not students.

    That becomes crystal clear in cases of teacher educational misconduct, such as when a teacher is accused of having sex with a student.

    The teacher union represents the teacher, not the student.

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