After months of bitter debate, Superintendent Ellen Correll’s contract was extended to June 2013 during Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting.
Board members Kip Evans, Shannon Smigielski and Michael Carbone all voted against renewing the contract, each citing their own reasons.
“Ellen has been more than accommodating, but there are still major problems,” said Evans. “I have received emails both pro and con, and after taking it all into consideration, I have to vote ‘no’ on the contract extension. The people who voted for me want to see change.”
Smigielski said that although she personally likes Correll, she could not agree to the extension.
“I have to do what I believe is in the best interest of the district, and I will not be voting in favor of renewing the contract,” she said.
Unlike Evans and Smigielski, Carbone did not reveal his vote prior to the roll call, but took the time to question Correll about emails that the board had not been given during the ethics and electioneering investigation that surfaced around the April board elections.
“Ellen, why is it that the district attorney, Kevin Gordon, told me he no longer has the electronic files the district sent to him to review before submitting to District 30?” Carbone asked. “If we paid him $35,000 to help us, we have a right to see all of the emails, including the redacted ones. It may end up we have to get another attorney and file a lawsuit in order to clear this all up and move forward.”
Correll was both defended and chastised during public comments.
Former board member Colleen Wade asked the board to focus on the parameters of the contract — student achievement and academic performance.
“I ask the board to stay focused on what is relevant. Consider what is best for the district and what is best for the kids in the district,” Wade said.
Winthrop Harbor District 1 board member Dee Georgou, who said she was attending as a citizen and not as a representative of her district, reprimanded Correll for misusing her authority, citing multiple cases of email correspondence.
“You made a joke in an email about a board member being censured before he even knew he was going to be censured. What kind of role model is that for the children in this district?” Georgou asked.
The next board meeting is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Meadowview School.