Archive for the ‘Board of Education’ Category


“What a special ribbon-cutting ceremony this week, as community members came together to celebrate the end of Build 220 construction at the Fields of Dreams, the varsity baseball field, and the new multi-purpose turf field at BHS!

These new and improved spaces will be used by BHS and youth athletic teams, as well as physical education classes. Thank you to the Barrington 220 community for supporting the March 2020 referendum, which made this work possible, as well as the many donors who enabled the district to install wonderful enhancements to the various spaces!”

More photos here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Consideration for the Board of Education to authorize the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services/CSBO to approve contracts for the procurement of natural gas and electricity and to elect and designate the price terms of such contracts. The price terms of such contracts shall not exceed the rate of forty-four cents ($0.4400) per therm for natural gas and 6.9 cents ($0.069) per kilowatt hour for electricity, and for periods not to exceed 36 months.
  • Consideration to Approve BHS Trip to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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Equity hands

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that blocks public colleges from using federal or state funding on diversity programs, addressing a concern of conservatives ahead of the Republican governor’s expected presidential candidacy.

The law, which DeSantis proposed earlier this year, comes as Republicans across the country target programs on diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education.

The signing builds on the governor’s larger push to shape Florida’s education system through regulating how schools deal with subjects such as race and gender, with DeSantis arguing that he is challenging inappropriate liberal ideology in the classroom.

DeSantis, who is expected to announce his presidential run in the coming weeks, has focused heavily on divisive cultural issues as he moves to win over the conservative voters who typically decide Republican primary elections.

Diversity, equity and inclusion offices in higher education often spearhead services tailored to students of various races, genders, sexual orientations, cultures and abilities. Some college administrators also consider so-called DEI factors when admitting students, providing scholarships or deciding which faculty to hire and promote.

The law blocks public universities from diverting state or federal funds toward programs or campus activities that advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion or promote political or social activism.

Read more here.

Related: District 220’s private equity campaign

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Newly seated Board of Education member Diana Clopton and Nate Rouse, 220 Director of Equity, Race & Cultural Diversity Initiatives

As seen in our May 4th post, New Board of Education sworn into office, a recent FOIA has brought to light a series of emails between Nate Rouse (D220 Director of Equity, Race, and Cultural Diversity Initiatives), Melissa Atteberry (D220 5th Grade teacher and President of the D220 teacher’s union, BEA), and Diana Clopton, newly elected Board of Education (“BOE”) member, which took place in the months leading up to the recent school board election.

On the recommendation of current BOE member, Erin Chan Ding, Rouse reached out via his Barrington220 issued email address to recruit Clopton to run for BOE: “As you are aware we’ve got some political craziness going on and we are anticipating some strong opposition to equity work moving forward in the district without the support of a sound board of education.”

In order to facilitate Clopton’s placement on the BOE, Rouse offered to put Clopton in contact with “people that are very interested in getting behind/supporting good candidates and putting them in contact with the right people.”

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It is no secret that Rouse works closely with Jessica Green, founder of Courageous Community, an organization listed as a Community Partner on Rouse’s Equity220 website. Green hosted a “Meet the Candidate” fundraiser, exclusive to candidates  Clopton, Altschuler, and Collister-Lazzari, 3 of the 7 running for BOE in the recent election. Green is also a member of the Equity Committee run by Rouse, but closed to the D220 community, as only “those who support the mission” are allowed to participate. So much for Rouse’s DEI initiative “We Belong to Each Other” ~ it clearly should come with a disclaimer: We Belong to Each Other… but only if you’re the ‘right people.’2 Pic


Rouse took his support of Clopton running for BOE even further by connecting her with Melissa Atteberry. Atteberry is the current President of the Barrington Education Association (BEA), the D220 teacher’s union. Atteberry was very eager to meet with Clopton, “I would love to meet with you and learn more about your motivations, as well as goals for the district.”

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Clopton will be called upon to vote on the BEA Union contract. What influence does Atteberry hold over her in that regard. We know that Chan Ding took political donations from, as well as the endorsement of, the BEA two years ago when she ran for BOE.  This subjected her to much criticism. It appears from this election cycle that the BEA has found other ways to influence the BOE elections other than by making public endorsements and donations.

Rouse also took time away from his DEI work to meet Clopton for an extended lunch in Deer Park, where they apparently discussed her ability to combat the “political craziness” going on and the “strong opposition” to the equity work no one other than those deemed privileged enough by Rouse to serve on his private DEI Equity Committee Team know anything about.

Equity Team

Each of the meetings Rouse scheduled with Clopton were conducted on D220 time, on D220 email, and many on D220’s Zoom platform. As seen above, Rouse further orchestrated and participated in meetings between Clopton and BOE incumbent candidate Collister-Lazzari.

Collister-Lazarri and Superintendent Hunt made it very clear at the BOE meeting of September 20, 2022, that only people who “support the mission” would be welcome to participate on Rouses’s DEI Equity Team. The first Equity Committee meeting was reported on at this BOE meeting starting at 48:55, wherein Collister-Lazzari advised the meetings are “not open to the public” because, similar to the Safety & Security Committee, “there’s things that maybe the whole public shouldn’t be aware of.” When pushed as to how one might get involved, Chan Ding advised that administrators (i.e. Rouse) ask parents to be involved based on the ‘fit’ for that specific committee, to which Hunt reiterated, “you want people who support the mission of the work, obviously…” Those people are:


It is clear from these communications that we have a D220 Administrator actively seeking candidates for BOE that support his taxpayer paid position. A position that is closed off from public scrutiny and only available for his “District Equity Team” to be part of. He then puts said candidate in contact with the head of the BEA Teacher’s Union, on whose contract said candidate will soon be voting, as the BOE is currently involved in contract negotiations with the BEA. He then takes it one step further by offering to put said candidate in contact with community members that directly support his paid, closed to the public, District position.

Now, this may all be well and fine if Rouse and BEA President Atteberry offered to meet with all candidates running for BOE so they could share their goals for the District and what constitutes a “sound” BOE. However, Rouse was directly contacted by another candidate prior to the recent election, Leonard Munson, who requested a meeting with Rouse to learn more from him about the DEI programs and initiatives. Rouse refused to meet with Munson, stating his “admin team” has been advised to let D220 Superintendent Hunt know if any requests to meet are made from candidates and to refer requests to Hunt’s office as it was Hunt’s job to meet with candidates to discuss the District’s programs, “including our equity work.”


This should come as no surprise as Rouse has already decided that there are parents who are and who are not on the D220 “District Equity Team” and he has said so publicly, in BOE meetings and on his Twitter feed. Rouse clearly does not believe Munson “supports the mission” as he was denied any meeting with Rouse. Yet, the District emails indicate Rouse not only recruited Clopton, but met with her multiple times on the taxpayer’s dime. Is this Rouse’s idea of “equity”? The BOE candidates, parents and taxpayers of D220 deserve better.

Nate Tweet

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Barrington School District 220 hired longtime school administrator Nathaniel Rouse as the district’s first-ever director of equity, race and cultural diversity initiatives in August of 2020. Apparently, Rouse recruits Board of Education candidates HE (and presumably  his union) deems to be “sound” during school hours.

Posted Tuesday by CUSD 220:

“At the May 2 Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting, the new Board was sworn into office. New Board member Diana Clopton, along with re-elected Board members Barry Altshuler and Leah Collister-Lazzari, will all serve four-year terms on the Board.

Clopton and her husband moved to the Barrington area in 2011. They have two children who attend Prairie Campus and Station Campus. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign and a MBA from Northwestern University. Clopton currently works as an Associate Marketing Director at a bio-pharmaceutical company.”

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Items on their agenda include:

  • Approve Settlement (Abeyance) Agreement with Student A
  • Consideration to Approve Middle School SRO Contract
  • Consideration to Approve 5th Amendment to the BHS SRO Contract, and
  • Consideration to Approve Canvassing Completed by Cook County as a result of the April 4, 2023, School Board Election

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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AW Cropped

District 220 Board of Education member Angela Wilcox pictured receiving a high-five from a Special Olympics athlete on October 2, 2018.

“At the April 18 Board meeting, the Barrington 220 community said goodbye to outgoing Board member Angela Wilcox. Wilcox joined the Board in 2015 and has served on various Board committees for the past eight years.

During her time on the Board, Barrington 220 implemented new start times at all grade levels, received three out of 11 National Blue Ribbon Awards, passed a $147 million referendum to fund facility upgrades at all school buildings, embarked on the Framework 220 strategic planning process, maintained a balanced budget each year and maintained a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s.”

Click here to view the farewell.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve a Resolution Authorizing the Honorable Dismissal due to Reduction in Force of Part-Time or Full-Time Educational Support Staff
  • Consideration to Approve Sodexo Contract Renewal
  • Consideration to Approve Student Breakfast and Lunch Prices
  • Consideration to Approve Minibus Lease Extension, and
  • Appeal of Student Suspension (Student #505009)

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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Michelle Rahilly and daughter Anastasia

Michelle Rahilly and daughter Anastasia were among the supporters of the conservative slate of Leonard Munson, Katey Baldassano and Matt Sheriff that ultimately fell short in last week’s election for the Barrington Community Unit District 220 board. (Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer)

With few exceptions, candidate slates that pushed for “parental rights” and leaned into culture war issues failed to make waves Tuesday in politically charged races for suburban school boards.

In Barrington Community Unit District 220, the New York-based 1776 Project Political Action Committee dumped money into mailers for a losing slate of three challengers who also were endorsed by the group Moms for Liberty.

As outside conservative groups put more emphasis on local elections, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s nearly entirely self-funded campaign committee made a $500,000 donation to the Democratic Party of Illinois in late February to combat what party officials called “really extreme” school and library board candidates across the state.

In Barrington, Katey Baldassano, Leonard Munson and Matt Sheriff unsuccessfully ran on a slate vowing to “respect the voice and rights of parents.” They objected to “sexually explicit” school library books and called on the board to put “age filters on content” during a conservative radio station interview last month.

“You couldn’t walk down the street and show that to a 15-year-old kid on the street without someone calling the cops,” Munson said at the time about “Flamer,” a graphic novel about a boy grappling with his sexual identity.

Baldassano told the Daily Herald the trio were unfairly characterized in campaign literature by Democrats. She also said Moms for Liberty used their names for an endorsement of which they were unaware.

“What was a single piece of a proposal or a program or an actionable item that we were proposing that was extreme? There was none,” Baldassano said. “But it was characterized that way or attempted to be by associating us with groups that maybe others perceive as extreme. There was nothing extreme about anything we said.”

Read more here.

Related: “220’s Altshuler & Collister-Lazarri blocked Facebook members and deleted their comments throughout campaign,” Choose wisely at the polls,” “Two term District 220 Board of Education member Angela Wilcox endorses Katey Baldassano, Leonard Munson, and Matt Sheriff for 220 Board,” “Endorsements: Munson, Baldassano and Sheriff for CUSD 220 Board of Education,” “District 220 Board of Education candidates Katey Baldassono, Leonard Munson and Matt Sheriff share their vision,” “Parents at top-rated school expose pornographic books in IL school library (DISCRETION ADVISED),” “The District 220 Policy Committee has a lot on their plate tomorrow,” “Who’s minding Leah and Barry’s campaign finances,” “What 220 voters need to know continued, including our recommendations,” “What 220 voters need to know,” “220 Parents call BS!

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Contact: press@ildems.com

Chicago, IL – After a resounding number of local election wins, the Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) is celebrating its success in preventing extremists from being elected to numerous school and library board seats across the state.

While results are yet to be certified, 73 of the 101 extremists that DPI identified and opposed lost their races, and of the 117 candidates recommended by DPI, 84 were elected.

In several districts including Oswego CUSD 308, Lyons Township High School District 204, Hononegah High School District 207, and McLean County School District 5 each of the extreme candidates that DPI exposed were unsuccessful.

Additionally, DPI targeted 42 Awake IL endorsed candidates, and 37 of them lost, a clear indication that Illinoisans disavowed their hateful rhetoric and dangerous platform.

“Last night, Illinoisans rejected the regressive vision of extremist candidates across the state, and once again showed that they believe in continuing to move our state forward. With so much on the line, DPI was proud to step in to push back against political agendas that posed a threat to our fundamental values,” DPI Chair Lisa Hernandez said. “I look forward to the ways in which these newly elected board members will work to make Illinois a safe and just place for all our children to grow up.”

“Illinoisans continue to reaffirm their commitment to a forward-looking state, and DPI is  proud to have played a part in making that vision a reality. While we’re pleased by the outcomes of yesterday’s elections, our work isn’t done. This is just the beginning for DPI as we build a state party that functions as a resource and a support system for Democrats every year, in every corner of Illinois,” said DPI Executive Director Ben Hardin. “We knew this work wouldn’t be easy, especially given the organized movement from the far-right to disguise their true agenda, but we’re grateful that voters saw through the falsehoods and turned out to support credible community advocates. Our values were on the line in these races, and I’m proud that Illinoisans once again voted for fairness, equity, and inclusion in our state.”

The Democratic Party of Illinois launched an innovative program to prevent extremists from taking over school and library boards in response to dark money and candidate support from far-right organizations. DPI opposed candidates backed by known far-right organizations as well as those who have embraced values and policies that contradict those of the Party including censoring or banning books, blocking full spectrum sex education, teaching revisionist history and ignoring public health. Throughout this unprecedented program, DPI reached hundreds of thousands of individuals and households in Illinois via digital and mail communications as well as on the ground organizing support, keeping over 70 extremists out of school and library board seats. The positive impacts of this support were made clear by the results of yesterday’s elections.

This initiative was brought forth as part of the new party building directive under the leadership of Chair Hernandez to provide year round support to Democrats through grassroots organizing and continuous voter engagement.


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