Monday, June 4, 2012
Heidi Yergler Herrmann, a stay-at-home mom, found out her fourth-grader was being bullied at school and now she wants it to stop. Not only for her daughter, but for all the children in the district.
District 159 mom Heidi Yergler Herrmann doesn't want to take any chances. Bullying at school isn't something to be taken lightly, and she worries that's exactly how the district handles it. Herrmann's daughter spoke of bullying in school this year—and in her voice, Herrmann heard a call to action. Herrmann recently started a Facebook group to unite parents looking to make a change in the way the school district handles bullying. Although her efforts stem from her daughter's troubles this year, Herrmann said it isn't just about her child—it's about all of them. She added that although she is a stay-at-home mother with no background in anti-bullying, she is willing to learn. “I'm willing to investigate programs, to do the research,” she …
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
D159 music teacherJessica Maffia tendered her resignation May 16, effective at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Maffia told Patch she is leaving the district after budget cuts increased her workload to the point of compromising her teaching style.
Citing an overload in work and increased administrative duties brought on by budget cuts, Mokena School District 159 music program teacher Jessica Maffia tendered her resignation May 16. Maffia, who has worked in the district for nine years, sent an email to district parents, explaining her decision. “It is no secret that this has been an especially challenging year for the music department..." the email read. "In the past few years I have seen my responsibilities rapidly increase while my time teaching kids about making music has diminished. This increased responsibility has forced me to make compromises in my teaching, compromises that make me very uncomfortable.” Maffia explained that due to budget cuts within the district, the music …
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Board President John Troy is reelected, while Patrick Markham and Mike Ford both secure new positions within the board.
The Mokena School District 159 Board of Education has a new leadership structure following a series of votes by board members at the April 18 meeting. Board members voted on the positions of president, vice president and secretary, with some members nominating their peers and one board member turning down a nomination. Before the vote, Superintendent Steve Stein assumed the role of president pro-temp to oversee the election of board president. Stein read over the rules for the election before opening the floor to nominations. For board president, Kathy Moore nominated Joe Spalla, while Mike Ford nominated John Troy, who was the board president for the past year. When put to a vote, Troy earned the nomination with a 4-3 vote, garnering …
Friday, December 9, 2011
Mokena school board members vote to make superintendent position permanent for Steve Stein.
- Bob Bong
Friday, December 9, 2011
Steve Stein had the interim part of his title erased Thursday night when Mokena School District 159 board members voted unanimously to make him the permanent school superintendent. Stein was appointed interim superintendent in August, just days before the school year started, after former Supt. Karen Perry was reassigned by the board. Perry had submitted a letter to the board in July saying she would not be returning to the district for the 2012-2013 school year. Her contract with the district runs through June 30, 2012. Stein moved up from his post as principal at Mokena Elementary School, where he started in 2001. He was replaced by Chris Clavenna, who moved over from the assistant principal’s job at Mokena Junior High School. In August…
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In a video interview with Patch, Mokena 159 interim Superintendent Steve Stein talks about what it would take to bring back extracurricular activities.
Mokena School District 159 interim Superintendent Steve Stein sat down with Patch on Tuesday, Sept. 20 to talk about any possible returns of extracurriculars for the district. Sports, clubs and other activities were cut earlier this year due to budget concerns. We asked Stein the following questions: Read more about Stein's hopes for the district Read about alternative ways the district has considered to bring back sports Read more about Mokena 159 in our Patch Places directory
Monday, August 22, 2011
Steve Stein is facing an impressive deficit, the revival of extracurricular programs and a possible school closure in Mokena District 159.
With only four days before the start of school but 10 years of experience at Mokena District 159 behind him, Steve Stein sounded more relaxed Thursday than perhaps he should. He took the job of interim superintendent only one week prior and faces an impressive deficit, the task of reviving extracurricular programs and a possible school closure. Classes start today. How’s that for trial by fire? “I know the teaching staff and many of the constituents in the community, from people who have children in school to those who don’t, so … my comfort level in terms of getting myself settling in is pretty good,” Stein said. “I feel I’m getting my feet underneath me and ready to venture forth professionally with this challenge.” Stein, the former …
Friday, August 19, 2011
'I'm not afraid of hard work,' says the woman who was hired less than two weeks before the start of the school year.
For new Mokena Elementary School Principal Chris Clavenna, hands-on experience is going to come quickly. Clavenna was hired just 11 days before the start of the 2011 school year, after former MES principal Steve Stein was named interim District 159 superintendent following the reassignment of former superintendent Karen Perry on Aug. 11. For Clavenna, the new job means a new role in the district she has worked in for the past 11 years, and it’s an opportunity to return to the first school building she was employed at in the district. Patch had a chance to spend a few minutes with Clavenna just days before the school year kicks off. Patch: Before we get into your new position, can you tell us a little bit about your background, both …
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Mokena Elementary School Principal Steve Stein was named interim superintendent of District 159 in a unanimous board vote Thursday night.
Mokena School District 159 Superintendent Karen Perry will spend the last 10 months of her three-year contract as an assistant to the new superintendent. In a unanimous decision Thursday night, the school board reassigned Perry as an assistant to the superintendent until June 30, 2012, when her contract expires. Perry did not attend Thursday's board meeting. The board named Mokena Elementary School Principal Steve Stein the new interim superintendent. "Interim is just that: interim," board President John Troy said. Troy said the board will consider a permanent replacement at some point in the future. Whether that will be Stein, Troy could not say. "This has all happened one step at a time so we have to go into closed session and discuss …
How will a new superintendent and a new principal get their bearings with 11 days until school starts?
You think the students are the only ones worried about being prepared for the school year? The recent shakeup at Mokena School District 159 moved an elementary school principal to the superintendent's job and made a junior high assistant principal the new principal. This happened the evening of Aug. 11. School starts Aug. 22. Former Mokena Junior High Assistant Principal Chris Clavenna said the biggest help in settling into her new job as Mokena Elementary School principal will be having the former principal, Steve Stein, just an office away. Stein was named interim superintendent Thursday night. The district offices are in the elementary school building. It's been a quick turnaround. Clavella said she has met with Assistant Principal Judy…