The Will County School District 92 Board of Education decided to not renew Superintendent Pete Sullivan’s contract at its Jan. 23 special meeting.
In a 5-2 vote, officials opted to sever their ties. Board members Tom Adamczyk and Doreen Sweis were the dissenting votes.
The special meeting drew in a number of people seeking answers as to why Sullivan’s contract will not be renewed. Members of the school board and the administration havr chosen to remain mum on the subject, to date.
Several people on hand for the meeting expressed support for Sullivan and shared that the community feels concerned by the process in which the superintendent’s contract is being handled.
“Shame on us the community for not coming out here to the board meetings [in the past,] but as it’s been pointed out, I think if this had been brought to the community’s attention, you would have had a showing even larger than this at that point in time,” said Mike Peetz, a parent and volunteer for District 92’s strategic planning session in the summer of 2016.
According to the District’s website, a community survey was developed and administered in the summer of 2017 showing that 90 percent of respondents offered favorable responses to the District’s communication efforts.
Peetz questioned the District’s direction and said up until this point, reciprocal communication between the community and the District is an objective they’ve failed to meet.
“The overall confidence and trust is gone,” said Mary Creek, a teacher for District 92, referring to conversations shared with fellow colleagues since learning the superintendent’s contract is to not be renewed. “The moral is terrible, and I’ve been around a long time. It makes me sick to my stomach. … I feel our concerns are not being heard. We got an email, as staff, on Nov. 17 stating that Dr. Sullivan’s contract had not been renewed and would not be renewed.”
Creek questioned the District’s intent to find a replacement at this point in the school year.
“I shudder to think what you’re going to find in four months,” she said.
District 92 posted the position vacancy on the Illinois Association of School Boards’ website Jan. 19 ahead of the Board of Education’s decision. The next superintendent is anticipated to start as early as July 1.
“The process has been a long time [coming,] and the board has been discussing in closed session, as is appropriate for any personnel decisions,” said John Izzo, an attorney for District 92. “Part of that was dialogue with Dr. Sullivan. So, there was a consensus reached at a point that that to be fair him, to let him that was the direction was board was going, but also under his contract, he’s entitled to have a formal notice of that and that notice has to happen before Feb. 1.”
Taking action to not renew Sullivan’s contract brings the District closer to parting ways with him at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 academic year.
Izzo said that a policy in the law exists in regards to performance evaluations and the discussion of individuals and said this is why the board is electing to not share.
Sullivan declined to offer any comment at the conclusion of the special meeting.