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Administrators depart district leaving four vacancies and much work to do

Patrick Foley

Patrick Foley

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At this year’s inaugural pep assembly, students noticed something different. In lieu of Mr. McGrory’s tall frame stood two, not one new principals: Dr. Tom Paulsen and Mr. Frank Kesman. These two men are Central’s new interim principals.

However, Paulsen and Kesman aren’t the only new administrative faces. Over the summer, a number of administrators left District 86. Mr. Jeff Eagan, the business manager, and Mr. Troy Courtney, the director of human resources, both left the district in June. Additionally, Dr. Nicholas Wahl, the superintendent of schools, left in August asking to be released early from his contract. He is now a superintendent in Indiana.

According to Dr. Bruce Law, acting superintendent of schools, Eagan’s leave was not surprising.

“We knew that Jeff was going to leave a few months ago,” Law said. “His decision was based on an opportunity that is much closer to where he lives.”

At the moment, the school has employed an interim business manager. Like the interim principals, the interim business manager will temporarily fill the position until the school board fills the position.

On the other hand, Courtney and Wahl’s leaves were more surprising, causing not only speculation about their reasons for leaving, but also vacancies in their positions. Currently, Law has taken over their responsibilities, which has caused some delays.

“When you have much to do, if not maybe even more to do, and fewer people doing it, obviously things aren’t being done as quickly. Speaking for myself, I’m working a lot. But people in this building are working a lot,” Law said.

“Things that might have taken a week before might take two weeks,” said Mr. John Bowman, math teacher and HHSTA president. HHSTA is the teachers’ union.

Some teachers at Central have noticed these delays. For example, science teacher Mr. Randy Gawlik received an order of termites for his AP Biology class a day late.

“It might be related to the administrative changes because I believe from each building there are purchase orders that need to be approved. When they’re sent for approval, they need to be signed and sent. It’s unfortunate at times because there are different people who are doing additional duties, and they are doing the best that they can, but their plate is only so big, and more has been directed their way,” Gawlik said.

Fortunately, these delays have been minimal and the majority of deadlines have still been met.

“Since Aug. 6 we have not missed a deadline. There were some things, like some reports to the state and some transitional things that had to be done with no consequence to the district. But the big things, we’ve hit all those deadlines,” Law said.

The current concern in administration then is finding permanent replacements for the administrators who have left as the vacant positions need to be filled and Illinois state law only allow interim positions to be filled for 100 days.

“The goal is that by the end of the year or very early next year, all of these people will be in place. That’s the best time to find best people,” Law said.

For students and staff, the permanent replacement for McGrory will be particularly important as the principal is most active in the day-to-day workings of the school.

“Where the big concern comes for teachers will be who will be hired for the long term,” Bowman said.

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The news site of Hinsdale Central High School
Administrators depart district leaving four vacancies and much work to do