GLEN ELLYN – Teachers and parents continue to voice their support for Glen Ellyn School District 41 Superintendent Paul Gordon as the Board of Education evaluates his job performance as part of an annual review.
"Paul, you have the admiration and respect of the District 41 staff," said Kathleen Everett, a fifth-grade STEAM teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, in addressing board members at their May 21 meeting. "You have worked tirelessly to take chances on new ideas, find improved curricular programs and provide teacher training for initiatives."
At the same time, Everett took issue with the board's actions.
"The relationship with this current board has caused immense stress for our teachers that can be felt when you walk through our hallways or talk to any one of us," she said. "This anxiety has had a direct impact on the effectiveness of our teachers and in turn, the learning of our students. The actions of the board demonstrate a significant difference between their values and those of the professionals in education."
In May 2017, the teachers union for District 41 criticized the actions of the board after the majority of its members voted to discontinue second-grade teacher specialization. Teacher specialization is when a teacher focuses on a particular subject.
Parent Megan Lowrie also voiced her support for Gordon.
"One of the things that makes a school system successful is having leadership that knows where you've been and have a clear view of where you want to go," Lowrie said. "I think Dr. Gordon has both of those characteristics."
District 41 staff members and parents also have voiced support for Gordon at recent board meetings. His contract with the district runs through June 2019.
In response, Gordon said he appreciated the comments.
"I think I've sweated more here than during my workouts," he said.
In 2017, it was revealed Gordon had interviewed for superintendent jobs with two different districts. He was one of three finalists for the position of superintendent of Mercer Island School District in Washington and also interviewed for the position of superintendent of a Colorado school district.
Before coming to District 41 in 2013, Gordon was chief academic officer for the Adams 12 Five Star school district in Colorado from 2010 to 2013. He had served as executive director of schools for that district from 2009 to 2010 and principal of Westlake Middle School in the district from 2004 to 2009.