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Dismissed teacher takes addresses to U-46 board

By Seth Hancock
  The final annual resolutions for reductions in force were approved by the Board of Education in School District U-46, but one staff dismissal may have been made because a teacher spoke out.
  Freddie Lodiano, a teacher at Streamwood’s Tefft Middle School, addressed the board during public comments at both the March 11 and March 18 meetings and said he was being let go “because I have voiced concerns.”
  Lodiano was able to speak at the March 11 meeting because board member Jeanette Ward made a motion to allow him to speak during the public comments portion at the end of the agenda. Lodiano showed up to that meeting a few minutes late and missed turning in his request to speak card for the earlier public comments portion of the agenda.
  “I wanted to make sure he had the opportunity if he still wanted to” speak, said Ward and the board voted for the motion.
  “I am very concerned with the wellbeing of Tefft Middle School and their children,” Lodiano said. “I’ve been teaching at Tefft Middle School for about two years and the principal there… is a principal that is not capable of doing his job and his duties.”
  Other teachers at Tefft have raised concerns Lodiano said and they’ve been “subject to targeting, harassment because of me bringing up concerns.”
  “I just hope that something gets done and that an investigation is launched to find out more details about what is going on in that building,” Lodiano said. He also said he was concerned about his employment with the district which he elaborated at the March 18 meeting when he said he was notified two weeks prior that his contract wouldn’t be renewed.
  “I got this letter,” Lodiano said. “I still haven’t gotten a reason as to why.”
  According to Lodiano, the letter stated: “You are dismissed as a teacher in School District U-46 effective at the end of the 2018-2019 school term and therefore you will not be reemployed for the next school term”
  Prior to the March 18 public comments Donna Smith, the board’s president, warned speakers to “not name names and be respectful to our staff and others” after seeing Lodiano had submitted a request to speak card.
  Lodiano said he was “still in awe as to why” he was being dismissed based on his qualifications and performance. He said he has a master’s degree in teaching, criminal justice and Spanish degrees with a minor in psychology and a middle school math endorsement and he read math scores from his classes showing 71 percent to over 100 percent growth in each of his classes.
  Nobody from the district administration had contacted Lodiano after the March 11 comments he said, and he was “shocked” that he hadn’t heard back from the district. Lodiano said he asked Ann Chan, assistant superintendent for human resources, why he was dismissed and “she told me my principal had to notify me as to why.”
  Lodiano said he will take the next step to speak with mayors of municipalities within U-46. He added that other teachers have raised concerns “to this district and nothing, nothing seems to get done. I don’t know what else to do. I follow chain of command, I respect people and I let people know what’s going on but it’s like going on deaf ears.”
  U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said his “understanding is you have a meeting scheduled with my team” later that month.
  The board approved six resolutions over those two meetings concerning dismissals. By a 6-0 vote, board member John Devereux was absent, the board approved of the non-renewal of administrative contracts and honorable dismissal for three non-certified administrators as well as the non-renewal of administrative contracts and re-assignment for one tenured administrator.
  At the March 11 meeting the board voted 5-0, board members Phil Costello and Veronica Noland were absent, four resolutions including the non-renewal of 15 first, second and third year probationary teachers, the honorable dismissal of 27 teachers, the honorable dismissal of 10 non-union educational support personnel and the honorable dismissal of 186 funded stipend project personnel.
  Regarding the funded stipend project staff, board member Sue Kerr said: “Could you just explain that this doesn’t mean we’re letting go teachers that these may be extra stipends but the teachers are still with us.”
  Chan said this was dismissing “extra stipend roles at the end of the school day or before school day.”




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