After one board member issued a mea culpa, the Board of Education voted Monday night to release 80 classified and non-bargaining staff.
The unanimous vote to release the staff was made during the board’s regular business meeting. The vote was taken after the board approved the hiring of three new principals.
Board Member Mark Rising said he couldn’t vote on the measure without reiterating the position the board was in.
“I don’t want our classified staff to feel they haven’t been given the attention that our associate staff received,” he said. “I know there are 80 staff that are going to be released. I want our classified staff to know we did everything we could. … This was the best outcome we could decide on.”
With that statement, a motion was made and the board voted to release the staff.
Before voting, Superintendent Kathy Birkett presented three candidates for open principal positions in the district.
Mary Howicz was approved as principal of , Tyrone Smith as principal of Brooks Elementary School, and Jason Stipp as principal of .
Howicz and Smith were already employed with District 204. Howicz has been with the district since 1998. Most recently, she worked as the coordinator of special education, gifted testing, discipline, and staff development. She is replacing Brian LeCrone, who is assuming the principal job at .
In 2003, Smith joined District 204 as assistant principal at . The following year, he became the assistant principal at . Smith will replace Dave Younce, who will be the new principal at .
The last of the three hires was the only one to come from outside the district.
Board Member Dawn DeSart made a point of saying that the board had asked district administrators to hire from within as often as possible. She said she was pleased that two of the new principals were internal hires.
None of the board members were opposed to the hiring of Stipp, who has worked in Wheaton's Community Unit School District 200 since 2000. For the last four years, he was principal of Monroe Middle School in Wheaton. He replaces Kristine Marchiando, who is retiring.
As she introduced the nominees, Birkett said, “We want to make the system stronger and I think we are doing that with these individuals.”
The new principals will start their jobs on July 1.