Manhattan School District 114 Board Member Candidacy

Posted in the Manhattan Forum

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Daniel J Lenz

Addison, IL

#1 Jan 28, 2009
Manhattan will enjoy a great opportunity this year in the April 7th election for District 114 School Board Members. There are six candidates on the ballot for four positions. This year, Manhattan truly has a choice for the future of their children.

In 1997, I moved to Manhattan from Mokena looking for a community to start a family. My wife Colleen (A lifelong Manhattan resident) and I were married in 1998.

We made our first 'Home' together in an apartment in Manhattan and began saving for our future. In the spring of 2000, our son was born and we knew that the time was right for a larger place to call home.

At the time, homes were selling very quickly in town, especially ones in our price range. We made an offer on a house, even before the 'For Sale' sign went in the yard, and were fortunate to have our offer accepted. Soon after, in 2001, our family of three was blessed with the birth of our daughter. We enjoyed our home on Jan Street very much, and our neighbors even more, but as the kids grew, and opportunity arose, we decided it was again time to move.

We looked and looked, but never anywhere outside of Manhattan. The people of this town have such spirit and sense of what community is supposed to be, there would be no other place for our family. We looked at homes throughout our Village, and in 2006 began construction on our new home.

Our family's involvement in the community, with school activities, Park District programs, sports programs and church programs has been more than rewarding. Through these programs the sense of community in Manhattan is obvious and validates our reason for choosing this as our home.

Now that our children are in first and third grades in the Manhattan School District, our family has decided to open another door to our community. We see a great possibility for the future in all of Manhattan's children, and desire to help them achieve that greatness. As such, I am seeking a position, in our upcoming April 7, 2009 election, as a Member of the Board of Education for Manhattan School District 114.

It is my hope that with my commitment and my familyís support, I can help to ensure that Manhattan will continue as a community to build an even stronger school system. One that is fiscally responsible while building upon its obligation to provide the absolute best schooling possible to prepare our children for their future.

Please feel free to email me any questions that you may have regarding my interests in becoming a member of the Manhattan School District 114 Board of Education at danieljlenz@gmail.com .

Mark your calendars for the April 7, 2009 election and please come out and vote.
Please People

Mount Prospect, IL

#2 Jan 28, 2009
Finally, someone who is running for the right reasons! You have my vote Mr. Lenz!
Come On

United States

#3 Jan 28, 2009
I don't really see his qualifications for the job other. What does he do? What makes him right for the board. So he's lived in Manhattan big deal. What is he going to do? Isn't this the same person who waged a war on the Post Office and the empolyees demanding the post master resign? That's looking out for Manhattan and it's people? Posting on some website about his problems with the post office. Give me a break. You are going to need more than that to get my vote.
Question Motives

La Grange, IL

#4 Jan 28, 2009
I remember that. This guy was gunning for the post office office to the point to the point of obsession. It made me wonder if he had a life at all.
Will he behave the same way if he doesn't get his way on the school board? Like a spoiled little child? Is he mad about something with the schools so he is trying to get elected?
Honestly, the present board seems to be doing a decent job.
John Kieken

Elk Grove Village, IL

#5 Jan 28, 2009
I'm a big supporter of the local Postmaster and publicly battled against Mr. Lenz in our local papers and various online petitions. However, Dan later contacted me regarding the Library District's plans for a new building. Dan & I worked together to fight the obscene referendum put forth for an over-sized new library. As a result we came to respect each other and formed a friendship. We still disagree about the Postmaster, but Mr. Lenz deserves serious consideration as he's genuinely interested in working hard for his local school district and the community.
Come On

United States

#6 Jan 28, 2009
Question Motives wrote:
I remember that. This guy was gunning for the post office office to the point to the point of obsession. It made me wonder if he had a life at all.
Will he behave the same way if he doesn't get his way on the school board? Like a spoiled little child? Is he mad about something with the schools so he is trying to get elected?
Honestly, the present board seems to be doing a decent job.
That is exactly what my husband said. After the entire post office thing we were wondering who he was mad at to be running for school board??? And again we know nothing about him other than the saga of his home sales/building and he has two kids. He states that he and his family are "active" in school, parks and church?? My family is involved in a lot between the schools and sports and I don't really recall seeing him around (or his wife). I just don't think his little opening statement gave us anything to go on as to why he should be on the board.
Question Motives

La Grange, IL

#7 Jan 30, 2009
I heard today a lady named Dawn Murphy was running as well. She is a teacher at Lincoln Way High School. Now to have a woman who is a teacher in the district our children feed to, I think would be a real asset.
Come On

United States

#8 Jan 30, 2009
Question Motives wrote:
I heard today a lady named Dawn Murphy was running as well. She is a teacher at Lincoln Way High School. Now to have a woman who is a teacher in the district our children feed to, I think would be a real asset.
See at least she is a teacher and is qualified to be on a School Board. Doesn't Mr. Lenz sell pools?? And if he has some qualifications he is not letting us know what they are.
Seriously

United States

#9 Jan 30, 2009
Teachers on the school board? Like letting the fox watch the henhouse!
Question Motives

La Grange, IL

#10 Jan 30, 2009
We presently have a high school assistant principal on the board who brings a lot of knowledge regarding preparing our students for Lincoln Way. I don't think a grade school teacher from our district would be a good idea, but a high school teacher could be helpful. Dawn Murphy has my vote. Besides, although I think the existing board is doing a pretty good job, it would'nt hurt to have a woman finally on the board.
Seriously

United States

#11 Jan 30, 2009
What knowledge does the assistant principal bring?
Question Motives

La Grange, IL

#12 Jan 31, 2009
Are you kidding? An assistant principal at Lincoln Way who is in the field of education, how could he not be an asset to a local school board? I can imagine he knows the workings and curriculum needs for our local junior high students to succeed at Lincoln Way Central to start with. I imagine he knows a lot about school budgets and legalities that the average person may not. Thats enough for me.
Seriously

United States

#13 Jan 31, 2009
I'm sure he is a valuable asset. I just thought you might have some examples of things he's done.

Does anyone know why Manhattan's state report card is not as good as the other schools that feed Lincoln Way? I'm thinking that the current board is not doing enough. The other feeder school's scores are higher and ours is actually falling slightly.
Question Motives

La Grange, IL

#14 Jan 31, 2009
I looked at New Lenox District report card overall and ours is as good.
The responsability of the board is not to sit in the classroom and watch teachers teach. Its to make sure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and make sure we have top notch staff.
I recall reading somewhere that this Gearman (sp) curriculum guy explained, like other schools, children who were receiving special help for learning dissabilities were now forced to take the same test and have their scores averaged in with everyone else. Hense the slight drop. Overall our scores are comparable to the area.
If there is a problem though, I don't think a guy who sells pools and attacks postmasters on the internet is the answer.
Seriously

United States

#15 Jan 31, 2009
I would at this point have to question the motives of 'Question Motives'(By the way, isn't anonymity a great thing).

Fact:(Source: http://iirc.niu.edu/ check it out for yourself) Manhattan's Wilson Creek and Anna McDonald schools both have not met the state's AYP. Every one of New Lenox schools has. Manhattan has smaller class size than New Lenox. Manhattan has better teacher/student and administrator/student ratio than New Lenox.'Ours is as good'. I think not.

Fact:(Source: http://iirc.niu.edu/ check it out for yourself) As a district, Manhattan scores have dropped from 2006 to 2008 under the current school board. No other feeder schools district scores dropped, and all but one increased during the same time period. The one that didn't drop remained the same.

Fact:(Source: http://iirc.niu.edu/ check it out for yourself) Beginning with 3rd grade student in 2003, Manhattan's math scores were 4.75% ABOVE the average of the other feeder schools. By the time these students reached 6th grade in 2006, they had fallen to 3.75% BELOW the average of the other feeder schools and by the time this class graduated 8th grade in 2008, they were 8.25% BEHIND the average of the other feeder schools.

Fact:(Source: http://iirc.niu.edu/ check it out for yourself) As a district, the number of students testing BELOW STANDARD in Manhattan exceeds the number of EVERY other Lincoln Way feeder school in reading and math.

Fact:(Source: http://iirc.niu.edu/ check it out for yourself) Writing scores are atrociously lower, with over 1/3rd of 8th grade students testing below state standards.

Fact:(Source: http://iirc.niu.edu/ check it out for yourself) 8th grade math scores show Manhattan scoring with twice as many students testing below state standards than the average of the other feeder schools.

Fact:(Source: http://iirc.niu.edu/ check it out for yourself) 8th grade reading scores show Manhattan scoring with 50% more students testing below state standards than the average of the other feeder schools.

Fact: Overall scores ARE NOT COMPARABLE to the area.

As the unreliably informed and anonymous 'Question Motives' accurately states,'The responsability of the board is not to sit in the classroom and watch teachers teach. Its to make sure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and make sure we have top notch staff'(By the way, the quote was copied, so the incorrectly spelled words in the quote are not of my doing). Manhattan's scores clearly illustrate that we do not have a school board that is completely functioning in this manner and the current budget (Source http://www.manhattan114.org/district/budget.h... ) shows a DEFICIT of OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Fact: Although likely a viable candidate, I know nothing good or bad of the person, Dawn Murphy IS NOT a school teacher at Lincoln Way. She is a volleyball coach. Again, anonymous misinformation (Best wishes to Dawn Murphy, who is very likely as capable a candidate as any, but was probably drawn into the conversation without her consent).

Get your facts straight, stop publishing anonymously so that you can be held accountable for your misinformation, or just stop spreading your hateful incorrect, baseless information. I'm sure none of the above will occur.

Isn't the internet grand?
Question Motives

La Grange, IL

#16 Feb 1, 2009
Just because a school meets their Adequate Yearly Progress does not mean their scores are higher then another communities scores. Itís easy to have adequate yearly progress when your scores are lower to begin with. You are comparing apples to oranges.
I went to New Lenox District report card on their district website and saw areas where they too had dropped scores and areas they had gained just like Manhattan. That I believe is comparing apples to apples.
You yourself "Seriously" are not exactly posting your real name either.
Isn't it grand?
The district is in debt for the same reason Lincoln Way is in debt. THEY RECENTLY BUILT SCHOOLS!!! They have bonds out. That is normal. I could not trust someone who tries to make an issue out of a non-issue.
Question Motives

La Grange, IL

#17 Feb 1, 2009
You are correct in the statement regarding Murphy. I had heard she was a teacher, I was mis-informed she is indeed a varsity volleyball coach at East as I checked the LW Website.
For this I will open up my scope again and look at other candidates as well. I still may vote for her but I hear there are others. I like who is there now but with one seat open I will look at other candidates but not Lenz.
A man who tries to destroy a woman's career for payback for a relative who worked at the post office is not the type of guy who does anything for the good of others. That is the type of man that has his own personal agenda. And THAT I will not vote for.
Seriously

United States

#18 Feb 1, 2009
Question Motives wrote:
Just because a school meets their Adequate Yearly Progress does not mean their scores are higher then another communities scores. Itís easy to have adequate yearly progress when your scores are lower to begin with. You are comparing apples to oranges.
I went to New Lenox District report card on their district website and saw areas where they too had dropped scores and areas they had gained just like Manhattan. That I believe is comparing apples to apples.
You yourself "Seriously" are not exactly posting your real name either.
Isn't it grand?
The district is in debt for the same reason Lincoln Way is in debt. THEY RECENTLY BUILT SCHOOLS!!! They have bonds out. That is normal. I could not trust someone who tries to make an issue out of a non-issue.
New Lenox scores are HIGHER to start with. Try again.
Seriously

United States

#19 Feb 1, 2009
Question Motives wrote:
You are correct in the statement regarding Murphy. I had heard she was a teacher, I was mis-informed she is indeed a varsity volleyball coach at East as I checked the LW Website.
For this I will open up my scope again and look at other candidates as well. I still may vote for her but I hear there are others. I like who is there now but with one seat open I will look at other candidates but not Lenz.
A man who tries to destroy a woman's career for payback for a relative who worked at the post office is not the type of guy who does anything for the good of others. That is the type of man that has his own personal agenda. And THAT I will not vote for.
I need to research your claims on Lenz. As you've already admitted your failure in accurate information, I think it likely that your constant berating on this post office thing is also invalid.

I heard that an actual teacher form Lincoln-Way is also on the ballot. As I haven't confirmed this, I won;t mention names until I have accurate information, but possibly someone of interest if you really feal being a teacaher is a high criteria.
Seriously

United States

#20 Feb 1, 2009
I just read Lenz's original post again and realized he posted his email address. I think I will go straight to the source.

I'm also going to look up Kieken. He seems to have some actual insight into whatever may have happened. Interesting that Kieken and Lenz joined together to fight the library's last referendum (And apparently were successful). I too opposed that referendum (And the current one looming ahead). If Lenz did have a hand in that, he may be of interest for the school. Seems he may have an interest in what's best for the community. Gotta go fact check.....

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