Superintendent Raymond Lauk voted out in 2005

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District 130 Parent

Chicago, IL

#1 Jan 25, 2010
10/11/2005 10:00:00 PM

D103 board wonít renew superintendentís contract
Personality clash hinted as driving factor
By BOB UPHUES

After three years heading up Brookfield-Lyons Elementary School District 103, Dr. Raymond Lauk will be out of job at the end of the 2005-06 school year. On Sept. 27, the District 103 board voted 4-3 not to renew Laukís contract despite the fact that it voted him a raise just six weeks ago.

Voting to renew Laukís contract were Gregory Frana, Judith Petrucci and Humberto Andrade. School board President Joanne Schaeffer, Stephen Mazur, Michele Visk and Deanna Huxhold voted against renewing the deal.

"Iím shocked," said Lauk.

"The decision surprised me considering that student achievement is higher than at any other time in the district, that finances are better than at any time since the Ď80s," he added.
Asked if he knew what was behind the boardís decision, Lauk said, "I donít know, because I wasnít given any reasons. Nothing makes any sense."

Board members who voted against renewing Laukís contract, admitted that during Laukís tenure, the district had improved in a number of areas, specifically in attracting high-quality candidates for the posts of curriculum director, special education director, and principals at Lincoln School in Brookfield, Costello School in Lyons and George Washington Middle School.

"Heís a good CEO and a good business person," Schaeffer said. "I really appreciate working with him and really wish him the best."
Board member Stephen Mazur added that Lauk "did a good job and put a lot of good things in place."

When asked where the disconnect was between Lauk and the majority of the board, Schaeffer declined to elaborate, saying those issues were hashed out in an executive session.

"The last thing this decision was, was hasty," Schaeffer said. "Iím proud of the board that they were able to sit and discuss this amiably. With this board sticking together, weíll be able to move forward. The board stands committed to that goal."

Despite that endorsement, it appears that personality conflicts lay at the bottom of the decision not to renew Laukís contract.
"It was his attitude toward the people. He didnít fit in," said Mazur, who had his share of personal run-ins with Lauk during the past two years, although Mazur said he and Lauk had "made up" during the past six months.

The battle between Mazur and Lauk reached a boiling point last winter, when Mazur was found guilty by the District 103 board of intimidating district staff, including Lauk, during a January incident at Robinson School in Lyons. Lauk in March issued a second complaint against Mazur for intimidation, but it was later dropped.

Mazur also said Laukís "accountability wasnít there," citing direction by the board to institute a human resources program early in his tenure. Mazur said Lauk never did that. He also referred to a dispute the board had with Lauk over the hiring and firing of some staff in the district office.

"My personal opinion was, it was his attitude," Mazur said.
Petrucci said she was "terribly disappointed" by the boardís vote, saying Lauk "brought in a number of innovative ideas which the board accepted and implemented." Petrucci named the districtís English as a Second Language program and new alternative in-school suspension program as prime examples of Laukís contribution.

"I think itís an attitude, a feeling, a desire to keep moving forward," Petrucci said. "He has a great vision for our district."
She also said that board members should better understand their roles as policy makers.

"For the most part, itís people who want to micromanage and donít understand their position," Petrucci said. "Theirs is not one of doing day-to-day management of the district."

Frana declined to get into specifics of what prompted the majority to vote Lauk out, but said Lauk had the district headed in the right direction.
concerned in BI

Chicago, IL

#2 Jan 25, 2010
The biggest problem in Blue Island education is a lack of accountability!

Dr. Raymond Lauk is forcing 10 experienced teachers out of Kerr Middle School. Mr. Roberto Sarli who has taught for 33 years without missing a day of work and had very high evaluation marks every year he has taught was dismissed from his teaching position!!

Mr. Sarli is a long-time leader in the Blue Island Hispanic Community. He has mentored and coached countless Hispanic children and has made a long term committment to our children.

Dr. Lauk has done no such thing. He has throughly disrespected the BI Hispanic community and must answer for his actions!
AVoice

United States

#3 Jan 26, 2010
Before we go running up the hill with torches in our hands to Frankensteins Castle to get the Monster...ASK why teachers at Kerr School were whacked?
I did. The teachers that were let go didn't do their jobs. The Students were not learning a DAMN THING! The students at Kerr were underperforming. I've made a few discretionary inquiries to other teachers & union reps. They have replied that the teachers who were let go were incompetent. I laud Dr. Lauk.
he is doing what must be done for the good of the children of Blue Island. We don't need thumb-twiddling do nothings teaching our children. As for Mr. Sarli
ask union reps for the Teachers & Para-Pros why he also was given his hat.
disgusted

Chicago, IL

#4 Jan 26, 2010
Mr. Sarli has taught for 33 years, never missed a day of work and has always received very evaluation
marks from the administration. If he was so bad of a teacher, why would the adminstration grade him that way?
He has coached our children, and organized after school programs for years. At the last school board meeting, dozen of BI people attended to give personal statments of Mr. Sarli's positive influence in their lives. Bring on the torches and the pitch forks and insist on fair treatment for the Hispanic community!!
Carol

AOL

#5 Jan 26, 2010
AVoice wrote:
Before we go running up the hill with torches in our hands to Frankensteins Castle to get the Monster...ASK why teachers at Kerr School were whacked?
I did. The teachers that were let go didn't do their jobs. The Students were not learning a DAMN THING! The students at Kerr were underperforming. I've made a few discretionary inquiries to other teachers & union reps. They have replied that the teachers who were let go were incompetent. I laud Dr. Lauk.
he is doing what must be done for the good of the children of Blue Island. We don't need thumb-twiddling do nothings teaching our children. As for Mr. Sarli
ask union reps for the Teachers & Para-Pros why he also was given his hat.
No Child Left Behind
Between 75%- 76% of the students at Kerr are Hispanic.
Mr. Lauk reported; neither he nor the school principal speak Spanish.
Mr. Lauk reported; the assistant principal does speak Spanish.
Mr. Lauk reported; he does not know how many of the teachers at Kerr speak Spanish.
Therefore; it appears as though Mr. Lauk has made some choices with out having gathered the much needed facts to make sound decisions; including (Mr. Lauk's) decision to move Mr. Sarli; who does speak Spanish and has contributed much to the school, students, and the Blue Island community.
Learn English

United States

#6 Jan 28, 2010
Carol wrote:
<quoted text>
No Child Left Behind
Between 75%- 76% of the students at Kerr are Hispanic.
Mr. Lauk reported; neither he nor the school principal speak Spanish.
Mr. Lauk reported; the assistant principal does speak Spanish.
Mr. Lauk reported; he does not know how many of the teachers at Kerr speak Spanish.
Therefore; it appears as though Mr. Lauk has made some choices with out having gathered the much needed facts to make sound decisions; including (Mr. Lauk's) decision to move Mr. Sarli; who does speak Spanish and has contributed much to the school, students, and the Blue Island community.
Like every ethnic group before them LEARN english. This is America we speak ENGLISH.
AVoice

United States

#7 Jan 29, 2010
Learn English wrote:
<quoted text>Like every ethnic group before them LEARN english. This is America we speak ENGLISH.
A bit harsh and some what xenophobic but yes the children & their parents should learn English. BUT THEN they would have an advantage over your kids "Learn English". They would be Bi-Lingual. Which the rest of the world is rapidly becoming. To succeed in this new reality of the 21st Century, you need to have the ability to be multi-lingual. And the average WHITE American child will find themselves marginalized and shoved to the sidelines in this new marketing world. The Red Chinese are making themselves a powerhouse in the world as well as India and other rising capitalist markets. And all of their education systems are stressing multi-lingual abilities. Get with it and loose the xenophobia! Or learn too live as a citizen of a third world nation.
Disgusted Too

Niles, MI

#8 Jan 29, 2010
So what if the Superintendent was let go because of "personality conflicts" from his last job? Did anyone actually read the article or did you just see the headline and think "Now we've got him!". I quote from the article "it appears that personality conflicts lay at the bottom of the decision not to renew Laukís contract." So what. God, I hope the District where my kids attend school isn't so shallow that they hired someone based on personality or we're all screwed! Sounds to me like the man showed up and got down to business. We have one school that is already in restructuring and a couple of others that are headed there in the District. So what is he to do? Keep all of the staff at that school or look at the groups that are suffering most and focus on bringing new thoughts and methods of teaching in for the kids. From what I understand Mr. Sarli wasn't dismissed, he was reassigned. Weren't there other teachers reassigned also or is he the only one? Nobody seems to be talking about any of the others. What is this really about? I thought it was about the kids and providing them with the best education possible. If that's the case and Mr. Sarli is as good a teacher as I'm reading he is, then why would he care WHERE he is teaching? Why wouldn't he just TEACH. It just seems to me that people are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Shouldn't this be about the kids? In my opinion Dr. Lauk is doing what he has to do in the best interest of the students who attend the District and so far, he's made some tough decisions that I'm sure weren't easy for him to do, but that's his job. Thank goodness he isn't working here for a personality contest because our kids would suffer dearly. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but when I do, I will thank him for doing what is best for the kids. Give the man a chance. Did you read the article above or not. In his time at his last District "student achievement is higher than at any other time in the district, that finances are better than at any time since the Ď80s"...."the district had improved in a number of areas, specifically in attracting high-quality candidates for the posts of curriculum director, special education director, and principals at Lincoln School in Brookfield, Costello School in Lyons and George Washington Middle School". Sounds like he can bring nothing but good things to our District. So some teachers have to move to a different building to teach. It is just a building. If a teacher loves to teach, they really should love to teach in any building not just one. There are several buildings in our District with Spanish speaking populations, not just Kerr. My kids go to a different Middle School with a very high Spanish speaking population.

By the way, I heard through the grapevine that Dr. Lauk was taking Spanish classes to better communicate with the members of the District 130 Community and I believe he is already bilingual. Just not Spanish. Do your homework. I did.
Disgusted

Chicago, IL

#9 Jan 29, 2010
Mr. Sarli has been an excellent teacher,mentor and role model for the Hispanic children at Kerr Middle School. He was not given a reassignment notice. He was given a dismissial notice impling that he in some fashion was apart of the problem. In fact Dr. Lauk demanded resignations of all of the teachers at Kerr Middle and then was told that was illegal so he started in on the more experienced teachers.

When faced with over crowding in 130, the school board came up with the great idea of sending all the Spanishing speaking students over to Crestwood in busses with drivers who couldn't understand a single word of Spanish. How repectful was that? Let me tell you, the Crestwood parents didn't want their kids to be bussed but the BI parents had no choice. Why did this happen? because the 130 Board of Education has NO RESPECT for the Hispanic community. Our children have a different color and heritage and they just don't count to the WHITE RACIST school board.
Carol

AOL

#10 Jan 29, 2010
Disgusted Too wrote:
So what if the Superintendent was let go because of "personality conflicts" from his last job? Did anyone actually read the article or did you just see the headline and think "Now we've got him!". I quote from the article "it appears that personality conflicts lay at the bottom of the decision not to renew Laukís contract." So what. God, I hope the District where my kids attend school isn't so shallow that they hired someone based on personality or we're all screwed! Sounds to me like the man showed up and got down to business. We have one school that is already in restructuring and a couple of others that are headed there in the District. So what is he to do? Keep all of the staff at that school or look at the groups that are suffering most and focus on bringing new thoughts and methods of teaching in for the kids. From what I understand Mr. Sarli wasn't dismissed, he was reassigned. Weren't there other teachers reassigned also or is he the only one? Nobody seems to be talking about any of the others. What is this really about? I thought it was about the kids and providing them with the best education possible. If that's the case and Mr. Sarli is as good a teacher as I'm reading he is, then why would he care WHERE he is teaching? Why wouldn't he just TEACH. It just seems to me that people are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Shouldn't this be about the kids? In my opinion Dr. Lauk is doing what he has to do in the best interest of the students who attend the District and so far, he's made some tough decisions that I'm sure weren't easy for him to do, but that's his job. Thank goodness he isn't working here for a personality contest because our kids would suffer dearly. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but when I do, I will thank him for doing what is best for the kids. Give the man a chance. Did you read the article above or not. In his time at his last District "student achievement is higher than at any other time in the district, that finances are better than at any time since the Ď80s"...."the district had improved in a number of areas, specifically in attracting high-quality candidates for the posts of curriculum director, special education director, and principals at Lincoln School in Brookfield, Costello School in Lyons and George Washington Middle School". Sounds like he can bring nothing but good things to our District. So some teachers have to move to a different building to teach. It is just a building. If a teacher loves to teach, they really should love to teach in any building not just one. There are several buildings in our District with Spanish speaking populations, not just Kerr. My kids go to a different Middle School with a very high Spanish speaking population.
By the way, I heard through the grapevine that Dr. Lauk was taking Spanish classes to better communicate with the members of the District 130 Community and I believe he is already bilingual. Just not Spanish. Do your homework. I did.
**AT THE JANUARY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING**
Mr. Lauk REPORTED; HE DOES NOT SPEAK SPANISH.
Mr. Lauk REPORTED; THE PRINCIPAL AT KERR DOES NOT SPEAK SPANISH.
Mr. Lauk REPORTED; the assistant principal DOES SPEAK SPANISH.
Mr. Lauk REPORTED; HE DOES NOT KNOW- how many of the teachers at KERR speak Spanish.

STATISTICS REVEAL between 75%- 76% of the students at Kerr are Hispanic.
Therefore; it appears as though Mr. Lauk has made some choices with out having gathered the much needed facts to make sound decisions; including (HIS/Mr. Lauk's) decision to move Mr. Sarli; who DOES speak Spanish and has contributed much to the school, students, and the Blue Island community.
*No Child Left Behind*
Huh

Niles, MI

#11 Jan 30, 2010
Disgusted wrote:
Mr. Sarli has been an excellent teacher,mentor and role model for the Hispanic children at Kerr Middle School. He was not given a reassignment notice. He was given a dismissial notice impling that he in some fashion was apart of the problem. In fact Dr. Lauk demanded resignations of all of the teachers at Kerr Middle and then was told that was illegal so he started in on the more experienced teachers.
When faced with over crowding in 130, the school board came up with the great idea of sending all the Spanishing speaking students over to Crestwood in busses with drivers who couldn't understand a single word of Spanish. How repectful was that? Let me tell you, the Crestwood parents didn't want their kids to be bussed but the BI parents had no choice. Why did this happen? because the 130 Board of Education has NO RESPECT for the Hispanic community. Our children have a different color and heritage and they just don't count to the WHITE RACIST school board.
My friend who lives in Blue Island just suggested that I take a look at this message board. I am a Crestwood parent and I attended the overcrowding meetings in Crestwood at Nathan Hale and in Alsip at George Washington School. Never once during those meetings did a Crestwood parent stand up and say they didn't want their kids bussed. In fact, since the overcrowding was in Blue Island and not Crestwood, how would bussing kids from Crestwood to Blue Island solve the problem exactly? It would have created more overcrowding. With every decision there is always somebody who isn't happy, but to start making accusations that decisions were made because people are racist is wrong. Nobody likes change, but change does sometimes have to happen. And isn't Dr. Lauk new this year?
Insider in BI

United States

#12 Jan 31, 2010
Dr. Lauk is NOT trying to help the Blue Island School District. He is trying to make a name for himself and once he does he will leave the BI School District. He is a GREEDY MAN that only cares about the PERFORMING ARTS-Second City, Jeoffrey Ballet, Chicago Film Festival, etc. If he were to spend as much time as he does in his little performing arts he might have a clue of what is going on in Blue Island/Crestwood School District. There are teachers at Kerr that want the best for these kids but they are not the only to blame the parents are as well. Teachers have these students for about 6 hours a day. What are the parents doing the rest of the time....and please do not use-work b/c I work and I take care and make time for my kids. As far as just focusing on one teacher, Mr. Sarli. He continues for the last 33 years to focus on his students, the community, and family. And the only reason he is being reassign is b/c Dr. Lauk does not like him because he speaks up for the kids, teachers, and the community. Dr. Lauk also states he needs bilingual teachers, well let me tell you that he does not treat them right nor does he know anything about the bilingual department and he is not bilingual. I HAVE DONE MY HOMEWORK!!!! BLUE ISLAND needs someone who can relate and since July Dr. Lauk has not been able to relate he knows nothing of the community and I gurantee after his contract he will be GONE b/c he does not care!!!!!!!!!
some thoughts

Chicago, IL

#13 Feb 1, 2010
The 130 school board is not completely White. Ms. Sharp is Black and Mr. Chervesia is Hispanic.

The 130 school district does have a history of racial arrogance with the Hispanic community. When the new Lincoln School was built in the early 90's A group of Hispanic leaders lobbied for the new school be named after a Hispanic leader. The board refused saying the school should be named after an "American" leader. The Hispanic community has not forgotten that treatment and the anger is still there.

With the over crowding at Lincoln School, parents told the school board they was wanted their children to stay in Blue Island rather than being bussed to Crestwood. The board made no effort to keep the children in BI (renting space from 1st Lutheran or St. Donatus) but simply bussed the children to Crestwood because it was the easy thing to do.

If those parents had been white and middle class would the board have listened to them
and responded? After all, the board members need their votes; right? The long time feeling has been that the needs of the low income children in Blue Island have taken the back seat to the wants of the white parents in Crestwood who control the school board.

Certainly, the bus drivers should know some basic Spanish if they are going to transport busloads of young Spanish-speaking children across town. If there were an emergency on any bus; someone should be able to talk to those children.

Dr. Lauk is required by the union contract to give a reason anytime he dismisses a teacher from a school. In regards to the 10 teachers who were dismissed; they have never been given a reason for the dismissal. Dr. Lauk and the school board are in violation of the union contract and cannot be trusted to keep their word.

To suggest that the 10 most experienced teachers in a school should be responsible for the problems of an entire district is inaccurate and unfair. Blue Island is and always has been an immigrant community and has hit hard by this current recession. Dr. Lauk has publically stated that these problems that students have should not be barrier to academic sucess. But the teachers and the staff have to deal with those problems every day. As a matter of fact, Dr. Lauk has no teaching experience on his resume at all. That being the case; maybe he should be listening and talking to his teachers and staff a lot more.

School districts operate best when lead by people who respect their parents and teachers, understand the needs of the community and have been educators themselves. School District #130 does have problems and needs improvement but it won't come through arrogance and the bullying our teachers and parents.
Alice

Midlothian, IL

#14 Feb 5, 2010
Why didn't School District 130 Board Members do their home work before hiring Dr. Lauk. He was fired from his last two superintendents jobs, why does Blue Island get their leftovers?

Point of clairication: Ten teachers were not fired from District 130 they were reassigned. The problem is Dr. Lauk reassigned teachers who have 20 plus years experience. Problem: Why are experienced teachers being replaced by teachers who have never taught the subject area they are being assigned? Kerr Middle School will be restructured next year by Dr. Lauk, Kerr will be his CROWN JEWEL, staffed by non tenured teachers and inexperienced.

Call Dr. Lauk and ask why the building is being staffed by new, inexperienced , and non tenured teachers. The experienced teachers are the core group that held test scores and the inexperienced teachers have dropped year after year.

FYI: DR. LAUK HAS BEEN SERVED WITH AN AGE DISCRIMINATION LAW SUIT FOR TRANSFERING THE 10 TEACHRS ALL 50 YEARS AND OLDER. DOES THAT SOUND FAIR?
Alice

Midlothian, IL

#15 Feb 5, 2010
FKI:

Dr. Lauk is working on making his website well known. He boast that he is Superintendet of the soon to be the CROWN JEWEL OF SCHOOLS.

JUST GOOGLE RAY LAUK AND CHECK OUT HIS WEBSITE. HE IS ALL OVER THE WEB. He states on his web site that he is a keynote speaker and will speak at any type of educational or business conference.

SO, I guess he will speaking at conferences next year how he saved Blue Island.

WAIT AND SEE
CARLOS FROM BLUE ISLAND

Orland Park, IL

#16 Feb 6, 2010
I have several frieds who work in District 130 as teahcers and are running scared that Dr. Lauk is going to make them transfer to Kerr Middle School for the next school year. He is making the young teachers move to Kerr because they are the least likely to speak out against him.

I have googled Ray Lauk and Alice is correct he is out there making a name for his web sight and his business F.U.E.L.

This superintendent is an outsider he does not understand our community. We need someone in that position who has the best interest of our students and the community.

LET THE BOARD MEMBERRS KNOW THAT. ATTEND THE NEXT DISTRICT 130 BOARD MEETING AT VETERANS SCHOOL ON FEB 18 AT 6:30 P.M. WE NEED TO TAKE OUR SCHOOLS BACK. BLUE ISLAND NEIGHBORS CALL OUR MAYOR, CLERK, ALDERMAN, AND ANYONE ELSE TO ATTEND THIS MEETING. WEE NEED OUR SCHOOLS BACK!
No Child Left Behind

Redford, MI

#17 Feb 6, 2010
Hey Carlos, where were you twenty years ago when it started getting bad ? Many people who care moved out of District 130. You see this is part of the frasor-peloquin team twenty five years of corruption, do you see ? Do you finally see Carlos ?
CARLOS

Midlothian, IL

#18 Feb 8, 2010
TO: No Child Left Behind:

No, the people who moved out 20 years ago did not care. They ran from the problem and did not confront it. It is time to stand up for what is right. School Dist. 130 is not right, and needs the community's help. Lauk does not understand the community or cares about it.

We live here what else can we do? FORGET ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT? No, I don't think so.
ABlueIslandResid ent

United States

#19 Feb 8, 2010
Well Carlos your concerns are noted and positive in what they express. But you forget one thing. WHO PUT THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF HIRING Dr.LAUK into office?? Oh my! IT WAS US! THE residents of Blue Island & District 130! OMG!!! We did not hold these people's feet to the fire when they were elected!! We did not demand of them of what we expected & deserved!!
Nope we left that to our neighbors and the guy down the street...where was our responsibility to our children!? We screwed ourselves! How does it feel Carlos to anally screw yourself? Before we point the finger at Dr.Lauk...let's stare at the knuckleheads who allowed this debacle to happen...US!!!! Let's place the blame where it should go...at our feet.
Lilly

Gilman, IL

#20 Feb 8, 2010
Oh, stop it. The BI schools are a mess and sometimes you have to make a mess to clean up a mess. Look at what is happening in Calumet Park SD 132 where the state had to step in since the elected board was subpar and special ed and ESL were totally botched. The superintendent in Calumet Park, Dr. Elizabeth Reynolds, is an outsider too, makes much more money than the BI superintendent, and has enough skeletons in her professional closet to give Burr Oak Cemetery a run for the money. In addition, her husband, Harry Reynolds, resigned from the regional office run by the recently arrested Charles Flowers and the jury is still out if Harry is, or is not guilty of malfeasance.
Give Lauk a chance to clean up the mess, and if it's a botch, than complain. Oh, and did anybody read what about few problems Lauk is having with SD 132? http://www.southtownstar.com/news/2032324,020...

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