President Jimmy Carter once said that his most challenging political endeavor was not orchestrating the Camp David accords, but rather serving on the Plains County Georgia School Board. Yes, being a good school board member is a hard job.
However, we all know that being a bad school board member is as easy as one, two, three:
1. Place your personal agenda and biases first and totally disregard the needs of the district.
2. Use board meetings as a pulpit to publicly express your misinformed and biased views.
3. Sit back and revel in all the negative media attention you get as a result.
The “American School Board Journal” recently published an article addressing the issue. The authors noted, “We are encountering with increasing and alarming frequency the rebel board member who chooses not to act for the public good, electing instead to promote private agendas and seek to advance the demands of special interests.”
This is David Stachura in a nut shell, and this trend offers a compelling case for the state to enact legislation that would hold board members accountable for their actions. A bill should be introduced that would simply make the current Code of Conduct legally binding and require all board members to sign it agreeing to comply with its tenants. Violations of the code would be cause for removal from the board.
If legislators consider the fact that a dysfunctional board impacts student achievement, they will see the urgency of this issue. I do not consider the Schiller Park school board as a dysfunctional board, but I would say it has a dysfunctional member or two. David Stachura fits all the examples I have ever found for a bad school board member. Common sense dictates that the negative climate created by his chaotic and turbulent board meeting actions is not confined to the District’s board room, but leaks into the entire district including the classrooms.
The Center for Social and Emotional Education, an organization endorsed by the National School Board Association, cites research over the past three decades that attests to the profound impact of school climate on student self-esteem and achievement. The findings are consistent that a negative learning climate is a destructive force working against student achievement. Thankfully School District 81 has a fantastic staff that does an amazing job of counter acting any negative effect on the education of its student body. It is a known fact that the environment has improved drastically since the community voted to remove Patricia Godziszewski from her position on the board, but there still remains a lingering stink of the previous environment that will not go away as long as Mr Stachura continues his path of self serving activities.
Ironically, David Stachura has missed a great opportunity. Had he and Patricia Godziszewski just been willing to respect the views of others while they were acting as the board’s President and Vice President. If they would have compromised and worked together with the rest of the board, the public might view them as a “team of rivals” ultimately doing what’s best for kids. Unfortunately, David’s behavior was and is being viewed as nothing more than a dysfunctional individual, who is working against the very district he was elected to serve. He swore an oath, and apparently that means nothing to Mr David C Stachura.
David Stachura needs to be held accountable for his actions not only at the last meeting, but at the majority of the meetings he has ever attended.
His actions during his time on the School Board of Schiller Park School District 81 have cost the children, and Taxpayers a great deal both in lost educational opportunities, and hard earned tax dollars. We as a community can and will hold Mr Stachura accountable.