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Bolingbrook Principal Says Decision to Resign Did Not Come Easy

Michael White said he couldn't have asked for a better group of educators to work with than what is at Bolingbrook High School.

Bolingbrook High School Principal Michael White announced on Friday his decision to retire at the end of the school year. Credit: Larry Randa/Valley View School District
Bolingbrook High School Principal Michael White announced on Friday his decision to retire at the end of the school year. Credit: Larry Randa/Valley View School District
Submitted by Valley View School District 365U:

Valley View School District 365U officials are singing the praises of Bolingbrook High School Principal Michael White who this week submitted his resignation effective the end of the current school year to pursue other opportunities.

“Valley View is extremely sorry to see Mr. White leave the district. While we would prefer to have him remain at the high school, we respect his decision to move on to other opportunities,” said VVSD Board of Education President Steve Quigley. “For me personally, I wish Mike and his family the absolute best. Mike and I have had many great discussions on education, family and community. I plan to have many more before he leaves. I have an enormous amount of respect for what he has done in his tenure at BHS and I assure staff, students and parents we will continue his efforts going forward.”

“Mr. White has admirably served the students and families of Bolingbrook High School for the past one and a half years,” added VVSD Superintendent Dr. James Mitchem. “We look forward to continuing this positive experience for the remainder of the school year and wish him nothing but the best when he leaves.”

In a statement issued Friday, White said:  “The decision to resign did not come easy and has been made with much thought and discussion with people who I believe are honest, and hold credibility and integrity in this district.  It does not come easy because the staff and students at Bolingbrook High School are second to none.  They should be commended for what they do each day.

“The faculty members at Bolingbrook High school are excellent professionals that care immensely about our students.  A great number of teachers come to school early and leave late just to support student learning.  A principal can’t ask for a better group of educators to work with than what is at Bolingbrook High. They made my job easy because of their continuous professional efforts.

“As for the student body, high expectations both behaviorally and academically were a norm and our students rose to meet them at every educational level over the past two years.

“That said, I feel I have reached the limits to what I can do to support Bolingbrook High School.  Therefore, it is time for me to move on.  I look forward to pursuing positions in curriculum and instruction at a district level or potentially in human resources.

“I wish the very best for the Valley View School District and the hard working people in it.”

White, who retired from an illustrious career as Principal at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan following the 2011-12 school year, came to Bolingbrook High School in July 2012 following a nationwide search. Prior to serving as Pioneer Principal, he was a middle school principal for five years, an assistant principal for seven years and a teacher for 13 years.

“We asked Mr. White to join our administrative team because he has always been successful both as a teacher and an administrator,” Dr. Mitchem said.  “From the first day he started his duties at Bolingbrook High School, he has proven time and again that his work ethic and desire to succeed are second to none.”
Spouse of a teacher January 22, 2014 at 05:43 PM
Pete Simon - I understood what you were saying and I am in total agreement with all them being in line to sign the petition. I just wanted to make sure you got credit for the quote. Fed up Teacher: I understand and I can only imagine the back room politics that take place within the AdCenter. I find it laughable people who only have 0-4 years experience in the classroom being promoted to positions which require them to evaluate teachers. Where is their experience? How can a coordinator or department chair look a tenured teacher in the eye and give feedback on classroom instruction and classroom management? It's shameful! Education is a partnership with all parties involved and requires teamwork and a passion for students and education. Educators aren't in it for the money, they are in for the end results of students being prepared for the next level of life. If it's true that people are being promoted for who they know and not what they know is deplorable and they should hit the pavement as much as Mitchem needs to.
Pete Simon January 22, 2014 at 06:32 PM
Just checking Spouse of Teacher, I don't want the community after me!! I'd vote for Mr. White as superintendent, I think he deserves the $$$ that we pay Mitchem. Could you imagine what he could do?
Fed up teacher January 22, 2014 at 07:22 PM
Mr. White for superintendent.
Unbelieveable January 22, 2014 at 08:02 PM
Is it brighter outside or is that all the paparazzi interviewing BHS students?!!!!!!!!!
Donna KPG January 22, 2014 at 08:58 PM
Can you imagine the advances in our community were Mr. White to do with our district what he has done with BHS? We'd be turning people away!
Beth G January 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM
bhsraider1, the reporter posted on the Support Mr. White page he did state that he would keep it anonymous. It breaks my heart that teachers feel they will loose their job by speaking out.
Ron Kremer (Editor) January 23, 2014 at 02:25 PM
All: I have deleted comments by bhsraider1 because a secruity officer in the school uses that as his handle and the comments were not made by him. The officer is known as "bhsraider1" ... and he wants to stay out of this conversation.
Jim George January 23, 2014 at 09:03 PM
As a former instructor in VVSD 365U, all one has to do is look at, talk to and or go and sit for an hour at Romeoville High School to see what "change" the present administration has wrought. Your children's education is the hands of people who place absolutely no accountability for your child's behavior or academic achievement but place it solely on that of the teacher. Their attitude is it's only the teacher who can impact education. Really? Is not the education of a child rather like a fire triangle. It is hard to have the fire of education with one component missing in the triangle of teacher, parent, student. And while all children can learn, how and at the rate they learn is a totally different question. It is not enough to say we need to raise the rigor by throwing kids into classes totally unprepared and then as if by miracle expect them to pass and then blame a teacher if they don't. That is not leadership. That's a shellgame. Teachers are bullied, harassed by 5 "black badges" walking into a room, feel unsafe themselves and not empowered to do anything but be afraid of their own shadows because they are being micromanaged by "administrators" who only taught one class in middle school. These administrators sit on the high and make pronouncements on the careers of people twice their age and experience. It appears to me that their only qualification is and still is loyalty to the regime above all. Teachers are being watched on camera, their facebook posts tracked (the Union told me that one), their emails read. How is this supposed to foster feedback not only to you as parents but between teachers themselves? What good is it doing beating the hell out teachers? How does that not only raise test scores but what kind of message morally does it send to your kids...They are not blind to what goes on around them. Veteran teachers are being walked out the door due to "poor performance" when they have NEVER had such performance before. Ask yourself this question, how does a veteran teacher with a Master's in Education or more with 10+ plus years of education suddenly turn into someone who is not fit to teach a dog? And what do these teachers have all in common? Is it more to do with these factors, experience, advanced degrees, and insurance bills plus the fact that they may have the audacity just to say why? or what?...look it up for yourselves...please do not just take my word for it. If you want to know what teacher's think, ask for the Union's recent survey of the culture at RHS and look at it's anecdotal comments. Also, ask the Board how much it's been paying out in legal fees in recent years. Look at who's been fired, hired, resigned, or promoted. Look at who's received a bonus while the District cried poor last contract..See what the last names are and who they are related too...We have siblings over each other in the same chain of command. Are you really going to give your brother a negative eval? No...you promote them over often times better qualified candidates. I believe in taking care of one's family but not at the expense of another family and not at the expense of the education of children. We have had and continue to have people who receive excellent evaluations but lack the full credentials to teach other than coaching. Mr. White is a textbook case in what happens when you defy the Mitchem's and Kinder's...The District can spin it however it wants. What's been afoot is there for all to see and all you need to do as a taxpayer is ask for the information. I fully admit I have bone to pick and an axe to grind. But this is more than about me...it's about your kid's education. Do the research yourself just don't take my word for it. But be forewarned, the culture in this district is to hammer resistance. There are "buffers" to push "buttons" as in the Godfather II. But this ain't Hollywood. This is the future of our children. And this is the "change" that is sought in Bolingbrook. God Bless, Jim
SadBHSTeacher January 23, 2014 at 09:44 PM
I just read a quote in another local newspaper from Dr. Mitchem where he states he was ""surprised by the resignation" and Mr. White's "conditions for remaining at BHS". That is simply not true. If that were the case, why was Mr. Quigley at BHS a couple of weeks ago hearing from over one hundred teachers? If we as a staff knew there were issues that Mr. White had about moving forward in making BHS a great school, how can Dr. Mitchem claim he knew nothing about it? I'm disappointed in Dr. Mitchem's apparent dishonesty and lack of leadership in this situation.
Tristan January 23, 2014 at 10:04 PM
Wow, if Michem really had no idea about the resignation then he clearly has no idea what's going on in his schools. If he did know, then he's a liar. Either way, it doesn't bode well for our superintendent.
Pete Simon January 23, 2014 at 10:43 PM
I want to live in his world...I bet it has beautiful unicorns that burp skittles and fart rainbows!!! (stole that one from my daughter)
Pete Simon January 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM
Everyone. Please remember that tomorrow night is not a protest or a rally. We are there to sign a petition.
Beth January 23, 2014 at 11:19 PM
http://m.buglenewspapers.com/mobile/bolingbrook/article_ef392e2e-8475-11e3-9a41-001a4bcf6878.html Regarding the article in the Bugle today..... Oh my god, I want to puke!!!! Quote from Mitchem..... “I am who I am, and I will not change. I have said from the moment I became an administrator that I did not believe in the system—that I would move the system from being adult-centered to children-centered,” said Mitchem. ....So cutting 120 aides last year who our children desperately needed and putting an additional $103,000 in YOUR pocket Mitchem....is moving from adult-centered to children-centered??? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound??? What a hypocrite you are....you are pathetic!
Marcos January 24, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Beware of spies writing down names at tonight's petition drive.
Colleen January 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM
***PLEASE READ*** Petition Signing Event Fire Station #5 1900 RODEO DR BOLINGBROOK SUPPORTERS PLEASE READ Thank you for your interest in our petition signing event to keep Mr. White at BHS. We would like to clarify that our event Friday is only for petition signing. THIS IS NOT A RALLY OR PUBLIC FORUM. We are asking that interested members of the community come to the location and sign the petition. To ensure a smooth event we ask that there are no signs or other demonstration. The fire department is open and operating and we have to ensure we respect those working. Chief McCarthy of the Bolingbrook Police Department has asked for the safety of residents that there is no parking along Rodeo drive. If this happens we will be asked to leave the community room. Hours for the petition signing are as follows 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. To avoid lines and benefit easier parking we ask that you try and arrive according to the schedule below: If your last name begins with A-D-N 5:00-5:30 B-E -V 5:30-6:00 C-I-O-Y 6:00-6:30 G-F-W-X 6:30-7:00 K-J-T-U 7:00-7:30 M-H 7:30-8:00 P-L-Q-R 8:00-8:30 S-Z 8:30-8:45 Thank you and let’s remember our goal is to let the School Board and Dr. Mitchem know that we want Principal White to stay at BHS!
Beth January 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM
If you couldn't make it out last night....please sign our online petition to keep Mr. White! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/do-whats-rightsupport-principal-white
Robert Gage January 27, 2014 at 01:42 AM
This is so very sad. Mr. White is being gracious. It is clear he would like to stay but is handcuffed by the typical administrative subterfuge and systemic malaise. This is a Man who has had long tenures MAKING A DIFFERENCE. Just 1.5 years is nothing. Admin. is putting their best phony pretty face on it. They want Mr. White gone. The intractable pencil pushers in any large institution are always threatened by the new, the fresh, the challenging. Look how many brave caring people came out to show support. Heartwrenching. God Bless you Mr. White. God help the school should you go. - Robert
Cygnus-X1 January 27, 2014 at 01:56 AM
Stay supportive Robert Gage, I have a feeling Mr. White knows what he is doing and knows that he could get this type of reaction and that he would be granted the tools it takes to make his triumphant return to BHS next year AND make the school even better than he's made it now.
my opinion January 27, 2014 at 09:17 AM
Not exactly true. Mr Mitchem was hired at $ 199,000 and according to reports in the papers said that he won't take a raise until test scores improved. The tuition reimbursement was in the area of $ 66,000, Mr. Falese needs to go back and google the story. This BOE looks like the obama administration, no transparency.
my opinion January 27, 2014 at 09:17 AM
From the BOE site on VVSD, Consolidated Action Report for Monday January 27th. Need to encourage the Board of Education members to vote NO!!!!!!!! .................................................................................................................................................................WE RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF RESIGNATION FOR THE FOLLOWING ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFIED PERSONNEL: White, Michael Principal Bolingbrook High School Reason: Personal; Effective 06/30/2014
Marcos January 27, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Look for a grandstand by the BOE. They could vote not to accept his resignation thus throwing the ball to Mr. White's court to reconsider his resignation. If Mr. White isn't going to be given the support he needs why should he stay? Thus they, the BOE looks good while Mr. White may not. Just one scenario.
my opinion January 27, 2014 at 01:42 PM
Mr White could always call their bluff and resind the resignation. Puts the BOE in a pickle - who do they support, the superintendent or the High School Principal????
Betty Fractal January 27, 2014 at 02:37 PM
Are you sure that the resignation can be rescinded? What would be the protocol for that?
my opinion January 27, 2014 at 06:58 PM
Yes, they can vote it down. Then it is up to Mr. White to tell them no matter how much community support he has he is still leaving.
Melanie Shag February 01, 2014 at 09:27 AM
I'm guessing that the Mitchem gang is angry that Mr. White turned out all the thugs on their heads.
tom February 02, 2014 at 01:46 PM
A lot of people have addressed the issue of salary on a few different news stories here on the Patch. As I said in a few other posts, I contacted all of the school board members last week. The response from Falese was " I can also say that he did not receive $66,000, it was far less than that." I asked him how much it was and he has not replied. The reply from Vengas about the increase in Mitchem's salary was "I don't believe this information is accurate. I will look into this and send you a respond." but I have not received a response yet. At first Gougis said that the 199K was when Mitchem was principal but when it was pointed out that Fabby was on the report, he requested more info. from Grizaffi. The reply from Grizaffi was that it was for Mitchem's salary as super, not principal as Gougis had thought. He said that in error that report started 7/2/11 instead of 7/1/11 so one pay period was missing. He said Base $199,000, TRS $20,646, Vacation pay $4,816, TOTAL $224,462 for 2011. I sent another email to Gougis because there is still approx $98.000 increase between 2011 and 2012. The second report shows his base salary of $294,513.80 + $17,683.50(the benefits on the far right side) =$312,197.30 I asked him how much, if any, of the $98,000 difference is for the tuition and what the remaining amount is for. On Jan 29th, he said that he would find out and get back to me. I have not received a reply yet. Mr Gougis did say that he was not playing on his phone during the meeting. He said that some members use a laptop but that he uses his personal iPad to read notes and follow along with the meeting. Mr Quigley, Ms Campbell and Ms Hansen never took the time to respond to the questions that I emailed them. To me, that says a lot!
Pete Pellet February 05, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Being from Ann Arbor, I'd like to comment that his career was not that illustrious. Very poor people person, and more interested in being able to discipline students than resolve issues and fix problems.
Pete Simon February 05, 2014 at 02:40 PM
Pete, all I can say is that he did a Hell of a job here. He did concentrate on discipline, that is for sure, but then the teachers could concentrate on teaching again. School was getting out of control, kids just hanging around the halls and stairways and not getting to class. He changed that within the first semester.
Melanie Shag February 05, 2014 at 11:44 PM
Agree with Pete. He threw out all the dam thugs...."The homework sweeps" he initiated worked!! Do the work or get the hell out!!! Good Job Mr. White!!!
Dan February 17, 2014 at 09:44 AM
michael is off to find another state pension to steal from the tax payers.

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