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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A07, Proviso Insider attacks board member Theresa Kelly [D209]

Proviso Insider has a video (above) attacking Proviso Township High Schools board member Theresa Kelly for extravagant travel as a board member.

While I disagree with the impression left by the video, Proviso Insider deserves credit for using the Internet in an innovative way in a local school board election.

Forest Park Review (Josh Adams)
wrote a news story on the larger issue. The article which was based on documents as well as interviews found stuff that looked questionable, but nothing illegal.

To the extent that this kind of spending is a problem, the Forest Park Review article shows that the problem involves staff and various board members.

However, the article doesn't do a very good job of differentiating appropriate from inappropriate spending.

Here's my understanding of the situation:
  • "Best practices" calls for board members to attend at least one training per year.
  • District 209 board members, including Kelly, attend two or less trainings per year.
  • The board of education is supposed to oversee training, including travel expenses.
  • Chris Welch raised the issue of Kelly's travel expenses in past elections, but hasn't done anything about as president of the board of education.

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  • the voice on the video is brian cross,so when he no longer has gene to hide behind Please remember him.

    By Anonymous doc, at 11:10 AM, April 11, 2007  

  • Wow...this is unprecedented in a local school board election!

    If I was Theresa Kelly, I would feel smitten...Theresa Kelly has now been ordained as the biggest threat to Bitchy Chrissy and his majority school board regime.

    How scared and pathetic is Bitchy Chrissy? He's going all out to protect His and Eugene's interest.

    "Folk wisdom" is what "Folk wisdom" does...

    The Education Reformers have my vote:

    Theresa Kelly
    Ralph Harris
    Kevin McDermott

    By Anonymous Lil man stan's dad is scared!, at 11:20 AM, April 11, 2007  

  • Flowers calls for change

    As a member of the board of education for Proviso Township high schools, I have been part of the minority along with Theresa Kelly and Gary Marine. We have been the minority that has questioned the decisions and actions of the board majority, led by Christopher Welch that has failed our students, teachers, schools and residents.

    I endorse the slate that includes Ralph Harris, Kevin McDermott and Theresa Kelly. I appreciate that the Forest Park Review endorsed Harris and McDermott, two of the candidates needed to change the leadership of the school board. However, without electing the full slate, you will be subjecting students and taxpayers to more of the same from Christopher Welch and the board majority--an employment agency for their families and friends and continued failure of our students!

    Without changing the leadership of the board of education; I know from first hand experience that it would be foolish to expect that Christopher Welch would change how he has and continues to micromanage District 209!

    The Forest Park Review's criticism of Mrs. Kelly and the board minority is misleading and baseless! The newspaper seems to want Mrs. Kelly and the board minority to take responsibility for district problems that have been created by decisions driven by the board majority! Did it bother you that the current superintendent and the board majority refused to terminate the pay for play contract of $160,000 to Eugene Moore, recorder of deeds? He receives a monthly check of $15,800 as the insurance broker for the district at the expense of needed programs for under performing students and increased medical insurance premiums for employees of the District! Imagine, Mr. Moore is rewarded for services that are and have never been rendered to the district! Please forgive and excuse my outrage for wanting to use our tax dollars for students!

    Christopher Welch and the superintendent (or CEO when Welch placed the unqualified and rubber stamp of Robert Libka in charge that led to an additional $9 million in deficit spending and failure to seek approval from the full board of education $10,000 to attend a graduate program to obtain the superintendent's endorsement at Western Illinois University, during work hours!) sets the agenda for board meetings. How about committee reports that are chaired by the board majority that are and have never been reported on to the full board or public. Recently, until the legal department of the Illinois State Board of Education intervened to uphold district policy that ensures that all board members in District 209 shall enjoy placing items on the agenda, the practice by the superintendent (Stanley Fields) and board president Christopher Welch has been to shut out input from the board minority! This practice supports your assertion that "the last six or seven months we can count on one hand the number of times that the word 'student' was used by an incumbent board member." Shame on the superintendent and Chris Welch for producing a board agenda focused on contracts and employment for friends and family!

    It is indeed unfortunate that the actions of the board majority taints the full board. What's even more criminal to our students and taxpayers is that the Students First Party (Robin Foreman, Carla Johnson, and Bob Cox) are purporting that they intend to stop the patronage hiring and play for pay politics! These candidates are supported by the current board majority (Christopher Welch, Sue Henry, Dan Adams, and Shirley Madlock) that supports these practices! Yet you warn Bob Cox not to get to close to any of the incumbent board members! Mr. Cox has already associated and joined himself with the primary board member (Christopher Welch) that has led our students to the lowest PSAE test scores in the almost 100 year history of District 209! We can not afford to continue to have individuals make recommendations and decisions in the best interest of our students based on blind faith and personal interests! The reality is that Bob Cox is running with a slate that has a candidate (Robin Foreman) who is the aunt of Nikita Johnson-business manager for District 209 and Carla Johnson, the mother of Eugene Moore's grandson - get the picture! To add insult to injury, this group in their second glossy brochure mailer to Proviso Township residents is advocating "the board must initiate a district wide reading program in our grammar schools." Excuse me, but wouldn't that be an initiative that the feeder school boards of education in cooperation with the superintendent initiate? Have they forgotten that they are candidates for District 209?

    Having an individual at the table from a specific community in no way guarantees that they will represent what is best for students. What's important is that who ever sits at the table regardless of the community that they represent, understands that all decisions that are made for students representing the 10 communities of District 209 are driven by the following question: How does it impact student achievement and learning?

    The most essential step is to get the board to function properly by selecting a new president and board members that truly put students first!

    The only way to get a new president of the board of education is to elect Ralph Harris, Kevin McDermott and Theresa Kelly. All the other candidates in the race have committed to voting for Christopher Welch to remain as the leader of the board of education ... this includes Bob Cox!

    The question that rest with all the stakeholders involved in District 209 is can and do the students and taxpayers deserve two more years of Christopher Welch leadership? The answer is absolutely, NO!

    That being said, voters would do well to show Bob Cox the door!

    Charles A. Flowers, Ed.D
    District 209 Board of Education member,
    Suburban Cook County Regional Superintendent of Schools - Elect

    By Anonymous lil man stan, at 2:09 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • Power play

    As everyone knows, our Proviso high school district is run by Chris Welch and his political friends--Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico and Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore. Prior to Welch and his friends taking over the school district, Proviso had never been placed on the state academic watch list. The proviso test scores have now hit rock bottom because money is going for political favors instead of education. The Proviso First Party, which includes Robert Cox, is controlled and funded by Welch and his friends. If even one of these candidates is elected, then Chris Welch will remain in control.

    Chris Welch does have a backup plan, his name is Jim Boyd. Boyd is an ally of Welch and Eugene Moore. Jim Boyd was put in the race by Chris Welch and his friends for two reasons: to split up the vote in Westchester and perhaps to win, which would give Welch his fourth vote to remain in control of the school board.

    In closing, if you want to see Chris Welch remain in control of our high schools then you should vote for Robert Cox and/or Jim Boyd. Personally, I would recommend voting for Welch's opposition--Harris, McDermott and Kelly.

    Michael Brooks

    By Anonymous Michael Brooks, at 2:15 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • The voice is obviously Brian Cross. Cross is a coward and is ignorant and dumb to continue to do Welch's dirty work for him.

    Carl, you stated on another blog why are people attacking Cross and his wife. If you only knew the True Hollywood Story on Brian Cross and his family pet.

    By Blogger 209sucks, at 3:25 PM, April 11, 2007  


    I had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Murphy on yesterday. she openly told me that she has seperated from the liar Chris Welch. Welch is guilty of fooling Mayor Frank again with his choice of a Bellwood candidate for SD209. Well I thought it was a bunch of BS myself until Dr. Murphy told me that she would not be mentioning her employment with SD209 on her Bellwood First Mail piece but instead she will be highlighting her past employment with SD88. I told her that it did not make sence to me but the Bellwood First Team and Dr. murphy herself no longer wants to be a part of anything that is attached to Welch because it is pure poison. She felt that if she mentions SD209 even though she is unopposed it would further dammage her reputation as a educator. Does not make much sence to me but if it was meant to be a slap in the face for Welch then I am glad for you Dr. Murphy. Cant wait to see the mail piece to see if you are truly telling the "TRUTH'"

    By Anonymous IS MURPHY CUTTING TIES?, at 5:59 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • Murphy probably doesn't want to mention 209 because she's never there. She's almost as good a ghost payroller as Kyle $ jobs Hastings. No one in human resources knows what they're doing including Murphy. She's probably mad at Welch because she's on the way out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • Murphy is mad at Welch and Lil Man Stan because they don't support her incompetence and ghost payrolling. She is a fat ass liar. She deserves to be fired just like Libka.

    By Anonymous Murphy is Two Faced, at 10:29 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • Take your Bill Ayers-Style agenda & SHOVE IT!!!!!.

    By Anonymous Nyberg Is A Communist Jerk, at 11:24 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • It is refreshing to know that the readers of this blog are aware of the deception and diversion being played out by Chris Welch.

    This should show us that we have to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to working for the best interest of our children and our community.

    This is a wake up call!

    In the past, we paid little attention to the school board and politics that affect our community and the everyday lives of our children. We have learned that this is not the proper way to go through life.

    When we turn a blind eye to politicians whose interests are self-serving we end up with 40 million dollar back door deals, out of control construction costs, under qualified relatives and friends controlling positions of power and systematic presidential impropriety.

    The question is, now that we know the above to be fact, how do we go about creating change and reclaiming our communities?

    We have to galvanize our base and take grass roots, commonsense approach. We have to literally touch every citizen in the community and appeal to their sensibilities and their thirst for progress.

    We cannot afford to let this opportunity pass us by. Our work has only just begun, but unified and determined, we will make a difference in Proviso Township!

    Theresa Kelly
    Kevin Mcdermott
    Ralph Harris

    By Anonymous A vote for education reformers, at 10:31 AM, April 12, 2007  

  • Due to Theresa Kelly's attendance at National School Board Conferences, Caucasus and seminars, Theresa Kelly has brought back over 6.5 million dollars in funds and programs to District 209 students, staff and the Proviso Township community.

    Theresa Kelly started numerous programs and initiatives such as the Dad's Program, Project Read Proviso and The National Algebra Project just to name a few.

    As you can see, Theresa Kelly is no Sue Henry (Sue Henry and Gene Moore created a scandal when they took a taxpayer-funded trip to Hawaii and brought back nothing in return. This duo spent the most taxpayer dollars than all the others in attendance combined!).

    The community can distinguish the works of a board member who genuinely cares and has their best interest at heart compared to those whose interest are self-serving.

    The Illinois State Board of Education recognizes those who excel, again, that’s why they awarded Theresa Kelly The award of excellence for her work as a school board member and president.

    Matter of fact the Pioneer Press recognizes too, when Chris Welch’s next door neighbor wrote an article unfairly criticizing Theresa Kelly (key words: Chris Welch’s next door neighbor), they responded by backing Theresa Kelly and telling her to keep on doing what she’s doing and to stick to her guns.

    I think I'm going to side with the Illinois State Board of Education (the governing body) and the Pioneer press on this one. The great thing about public record is that it's all documented and anyone can check it out...

    By Anonymous Lil man stan, at 10:43 AM, April 12, 2007  

  • This editorial was published in the Pioneer Press (Maywood Herald) on February 25, 2004.


    What about education?

    Proviso Township High School District 209 officials are once again putting politics ahead of students.

    Theresa Kelly, vice president of the District 209 Board, has come under fire for her travel expenses over the last five years.

    Kelly, who has spoken out against the way the $40 million magnet-school deal was orchestrated, apparently has become the subject of a letter-writing campaign that is targeting her for "taking trips at taxpayers' expense."

    Such insinuations are trying to paint Kelly as sitting by a hotel pool while the respective conferences are going on inside. Such insinuations are unfounded. Kelly did attend conferences - an average of three per year - but no one has produced any evidence that she played hooky and turned the conferences into personal vacations.

    In fact, Kelly, who is retired and has the time to attend educational conferences, makes the argument that her trips helped secure $7.5 million for the district in grants and such national programs as the Algebra Project.

    District 209 officials admit that no district regulations were broken and that Kelly went on the trips with the blessing of the board and administration.

    We have never been in favor of such trips. When school districts are cutting budgets, we feel that is one area they should always consider first. If District 209 officials want to, they should limit board members to one or two trips per year.

    But the complaints against Kelly have gone too far already. She is being put under a microscope that we feel has far more to do with her political stances than with students being deprived of any educational opportunities.

    Kelly should stand her ground. And board members in District 209 should focus on education - which is what they were elected to do.

    By Anonymous required reading for Josh Adams, at 11:04 AM, April 12, 2007  

  • required reading, Theresa Kelly could have probably helped herself by getting this out earlier.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:35 PM, April 12, 2007  

  • Theresa Kelly's day are numbered. She has five left to be exact. I am a resident of maywood and read the west suburan journal. i get the feeling from Nicole Trottie that she doesn't think the current board "has exactly been a force of change" but compared to State rep Yarbrogh and Dr. Charles Flowers they are the lesser evil. I will vote for Robert Cox and Robin Foreman

    By Anonymous rock of ages member, at 3:29 PM, April 12, 2007  

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