Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Monday, January 8th, 2007

The school board meeting will be...

Monday, January 8th, 2007 - 7:30
Conference Room - Administration Center
55th and Grant Streets
Hinsdale, IL 60521

Depending on turnout and how things go, we may plan to go to the next one which is

January 22, 2007 - 7:30 PM
Black and Gold Room - Hinsdale South High School
7401 S. Clarendon Hills Road
Darien, IL 60561

According to the October 16th Meeting Minutes

Audience Communications. Anna Sanders, parent of a Hinsdale Central student, reported her concerns regarding the Music Program at Central. She affirmed the changes in the Program of Studies, but was concerned about the overall negative environment within the Music Program and the effect that has on program participants and recruitment from Middle Schools. Next, Kyle Niemer, a senior at Hinsdale Central and drum major of two years, stated his support and concern for the Music Program. He stated that he felt that student participation in the Band Program is low compared to other schools and attributed that, in part, to the negative environment within the Music Program.

Noone was ever able to speak on the behalf of My dad or the program. We need everyone who can attend to speak out to do so, or if you cant attend, please write a letter and I will make sure that it will be read at the meeting as well as sent to local newspapers if you would like.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Last Friday my dad was informed he would be "reassigned" next year. He will continue to teach the jazz ensembles, and two more classes that haven't been identified - and a new person will be hired, full-time, to take over concert band and marching band and to be department chair. He was told that the district administration and board of education would like "a new direction for those groups" and felt a new person was needed.

There was a group of middle school parents who spoke for two hours at the June board meeting that were also involved in the "band advisory committee" when it was formed by the superintendent in July. Some representatives from the music parents' association were also invited to serve on that committee, along with the middle school band directors and the elementary band director from District 181. Two meetings with a facilitator hired by the superintendent were held in August. No clear consensus was reached, but a list of concerns and suggestions was compiled by Kevin Pobst, the assistant superintendent. My dad was present at both meetings but wasnt able to contribute much due to the nature of the meetings. He felt the meeting was set to air their concerns and it seemed to him that his views were well-known. It seems this may have been incorrect.

In September, at the direction of the superintendent, my dad met with the principal and formulated a revision to the band curriculum for next year in an attempt to satisfy the concerns of the group of middle school parents. From what I was told, it required all incoming band freshmen to be in concert band, and then moved jazz ensemble I to the early bird time slot so students in concert band would be able to take that class as well. They felt it kept it in the curriculum while making it possible to satisfy the requirement of making all band members be in concert band. They also intended to wait until they saw how that worked out in 2007-2008 before they planned any changes in jazz II or III. That is why only the students in the jazz bands in 06-07 will be eligible to participate in jazz II and III in 07-08.

Again, my dad met with the principal and Dr. Wahl in October once more before the revisions went to the board. They were described to the board by Kevin Pobst, for informational purposes - since no new classes were proposed - no board approval was needed.

On October 16 Anna Sanders and her son, Kyle Niemer, drum major of the marching band, spoke at length at the board meeting. From what has been communicated to me , they felt he was not enthusiastic about what they believed would be positive changes in the marching band program. According to several people in attendance at the meeting, this was not a discussion of the program or how it could be improved, but mostly a personal attack on my dad, and on my sister (who has been teaching color guard) and my brother-in-law, who assisted at some marching band rehearsals and football games. Apparently the board was quite attentive.

In early December my dad sent a letter to the members of the band advisory committee, the music parents board, the administration, and the board members. It spelled out that he was behind the changes in the program and felt they would be positive changes for kids. He also outlined things he hoped would be accomplished in support of the changes, such as improved communication and participation in recruiting by the middle school directors.

From what my dad has told me, at no time has the board requested his attendance at any meetings nor asked him any questions. He said it was made clear to him that he was to work through the principal, to the superintendent, and not attempt to break this chain of communication. He have not spoken to Dr. Wahl since October, and Dr. Ferguson never indicated a problem before last Friday.

He thinks the problem might have started with Mrs. Sanders - at the September music parents board meeting he expressed some misgivings about how the process took place. Other than that, he did what was asked of him by the principal and superintendent. He was told specifically not to do anything that might get the band parents upset - that it could be dangerous to do so. Apparently not getting them upset had the same effect. In fact, at the October music parents meeting he delivered his report, and then left the meeting.

At the moment, the jazz program is still a going concern, and he will still be teaching those classes. he does not know if the new concert band director/department chair will be charged with eliminating the jazz program or not. He is a tenured teacher with five more years to go before he can retire - and it doesn't make sense to eliminate the program, but the events of last Friday don't make sense either.

Here is what hits me the hardest. It is true that the parents with students in the program, especially in the jazz program, had limited representation at the August meetings. My dad presented a list of names to the superintendent. He was never told who was invited from that list to attend. Beyond that, I have no doubt some community members have spoken repeatedly to certain board members, but have no evidence.

PLEASE...if you are able to help, send me a message( or call me at 630-768-0444. Board meetings are January 8th and 22nd. We need to get as many people to go to those meetings and speak for him and how he has touched our lives instead of letting the board demote one of the schools most devoted teachers for over 20 years.

The worst thing about this is that he is a 5 years from retirement and with this demotion comes a pretty big pay cut. His retirement package is based on his last 4 years of employment, not his overall average. So with this has not only come a pay cut now, but essentially a huge part of his retirement as well.

Now is the time we need to step up and help him. He helped us all to develop into who we are as people.

The school board members are listed here.

The address for letters is

55th and Grant Streets
Hinsdale, IL 60521
Phone: (630) 655-6100
Fax: (630) 325-9153

Please. He need everyone's help.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Havent posted in a while

Havent posted in a while due to overwhelming anger at the Hinsdale District 86 School board.

Wont go into it here, but good god im pissed off. If any Hinsdale Central alumni or current students read this...shoot me an email. Its EXTREMELY important.

Gotta love shit news @ christmas time. Time to rally the troops to help a good father. - please, im not kidding around.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I hate myself already.

Oh god.

Yeah, i did it. I now have a myspace page.

What has the world come to?

Monday, December 11, 2006



Ohio Rep. Kucinich to run for president - Yahoo! News



Friday, December 08, 2006


Could be the most disturbing story ive ready in a LONG time.

ABC News: 'Lone Wolf' Charged with Plotting Attack During Christmas Rush

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In Honor of Star Trek Legacy

Probably the most exciting Star Trek space battle of all time.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Could be the best trek game ever done.

Friday, December 01, 2006