Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peoria District 150 Open house this weekend! - updated again with juicy gossip.

Updated Again!...

Based upon the comment below I feel I can share this story. While at the District Open house we had the opportunity to visit with General Parker, the husband of Board of Education member Rachael Parker. You may recall from earlier posts that General was very supportive of our efforts to influence the District to reverse its course against the early dismissal of most Primary School students.

Apparently, this has caused a little friction in his relationships with some of the other board members.

That day, Mr. Parker was wearing a black polo shirt with the District 150 logo on the breast, and looked quite dashing I may add. (I will only stop noticing after I am dead). It looked like very appropriate attire under the circumstances.

Now according to Mr. Parker, shortly after our arrival, board member Jim Stowell approached him and told him to take off the shirt. Puzzled, General asked him why. "Because you are not representing our schools". Whu???? I'm no brain surgeon, but I would imagine Mr. Parker has to sacrifice plenty as the husband of a D150 board member. At this point General got angry. "Why don't you just try to take it off of me"? he challenged. They sparred back and forth. As I recall this was the final exchange...Stowell: "Then why don't you act like you support us instead of complaining about us all the time?" Parker: "Why don't you quit giving us stuff to complain about"?

My take: I can understand a few frayed nerves after the rough year we've all had but c'mon. Did Stowell really have to square off at a District Open house? Couldn't he have thought of a more appropriate time and place to vent his disapproval? Secondly, Jim, I thought you agreed with us? Surely you didn't vote out of political conveniance? I sure hope not. That would kind of bust my bubble a little bit.

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After we parked downtown to attend the District Open house, we happened upon this motorcycle convoy heading for a Bikers event down at the Riverfront. There were hundreds of bikes of all shapes and sizes. It was very cool to watch.

The District open house had a rousing turnout. We enjoyed meeting old and new faces. It was old homes week for John, a Peoria High graduate, who saw a few of his former football buddies from his glory days. Here he is with class of '75 linebacker Sammy Hardinon. Yes I had to tolerate and nod lovingly as they demonstrated some of their old "moves".

One highlight was meeting the new Principal of Richwoods High School, Steve Ptacek, a handsome devil. (Remember I will only stop noticing when I'm dead.) He recently moved from the same East Central Part of the state I relocated from. Enthusiastic, energetic, and personable, he claims he has many great ideas for the future of Richwoods. I suspect he will be someone to watch as he transitions into our community and Richwoods High. Welcome Mr. Ptacek and family!

John also enjoyed seeing old buddy Randy Simmons, Principal of Peoria High. John is on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for Peoria High, so they share some common interests. A primary one of course, is preserving its future. The fear is that Peoria Central may be on the chopping block. I suspect there will be one heckuva backlash from the numerous and notable Peoria High graduates if that happens. In the meantime, the alumni board of directors and the staff at Peoria High are working hard to preserve this diverse and historically significant institution as well as enhance its academic standards.

It was interesting observing the nuances of each School's booth. The Kids ran around and collected LOTS of candy and pencils. Jenniffer definitely understood that this year, as a K-gartner, it was finally about her! She was ready for school by the age of 2. This has been a long wait.

We also had a pleasant chat with Superintendent Ken Hinton. John wanted to meet him. I think he was a little hesitant at first but Ken couldn't have been more pleasant. Can't remember what we talked about it but I'm pretty sure it wasn't early dismissal. ha ha.

We were so busy gabbing that we never did make it to the Parent Academy, although I did sign John up for the 1000 amazing men. I told him about it after the fact on the way home. Heh heh.

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The annual Peoria District 150 community Open house will be this Saturday from 8:30 -12:30 at the Peoria Civic Center.

Several physicists will be on hand to explain the new color coded school calendar. Ha ha... just kiddin - about the physicists, but not the rest.

New this year are Parent Academies, an initiative launched by the District to encourage parents to be more active partners in their children's education. Great idea.

A big round of applause for our big yellow God CATERPILLAR, as well as a few other local businesses who donated back packs and school supplies for up to 1000 kids! Now THAT's the community spirit. If you get a chance, thank a Cat employee.

Here is a link to the details.


PeoriaIllinoisan said...

Ken ran, but he couldn't hide, eh?

Diane Vespa said...

No he didn't run at all. I don't think he's the timid type. I'm kicking myself that I didn't ask for a photo op.... wouldn't have that been hilarious if we had each given each other the devil sign!!

Anonymous said...

Diane, I thought for sure you would have mentioned that episode between Jim Stowell and myself.

Lola Takes Pictures said...

seems to me on the night of the open house stowell was in a position to set a good example for the kiddies but didn't. how very sad.

anyhow, i LOVE your new banner! great job!

Diane Vespa said...

I'll speak for Jim Stowell and post here that he told me via voice mail that he was "ribbing" Mr. Parker. He also chastised me a little for not reflecting more on the positive things going on in D150. Point well taken. The next Bud's for you, Jim ;)