MINOOKA – Former Minooka Community High School board member Michelle Mullen gave an emotional goodbye Thursday to fellow trustees and those in the audience at the meeting.
Mullen resigned from her position two weeks ago after a communication from the Illinois Attorney General stated it is a conflict for Mullen to serve on the school board, since she is a teacher with the Grundy County Special Education Cooperative. District 111 Superintendent Jim Colyott serves on the co-op’s executive board.
Mullen said when she decided to run for the seat in December 2012, her motivations were pure.
“I grew up in this town, worked at this school, and some of my best friends work here – people that I consider family,” she read from a prepared statement, “and I had a strong desire to try to improve things that were clearly broken.”
Mullen said she disagrees with the nonbinding ruling of the Attorney General, but feels it’s fruitless to fight anymore. When running, she said she spoke with representatives at the Illinois Association of School Boards twice, and was told there was no conflict of interest.
When she turned in her statement of economic interest to the Grundy County courthouse, she said there still was no indication there would be a conflict of interest with her on the school board.
“I have had the threat of being charged with a felony held over my head for almost a year,” she said. “I have not had more than a speeding ticket in my life, and felony is a scary word.”
Mullen added she is disappointed she will not be able to serve as a board member and help solve issues she sees as problems, but after the meeting she said she aims to continue to attend the meetings as a member of the public.
The school board also discussed the timeline for appointing a replacement for Mullen’s seat. Those who would like to apply for the position should submit their letters of intent by March 31 to the district secretary.
The board will notify candidates for interviews on or by April 4. Interviews will be conducted April 8, and the new board member should be seated at the April 17 board meeting.
The Minooka Community High School District 111 board has declared a vacancy and will appoint a member for about a one-year term, until the next school board election in April 2015, where a successor shall be elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term. Interested citizens who are registered voters, at least 18 years of age, and a resident of the District for at least one year, should provide a letter of interest with sufficient supporting information so that the board can evaluate their candidacy as well as complete a questionnaire. Letters and questionnaires are due to the MCHS Superintendent’s Office, 26655 W. Eames St. in Channahon, by 3 p.m. March 31. Candidates should make themselves available for a potential interview at 6 p.m. April 8. For information and the questionnaire visit www.mchs.net. The new board member is planned to be seated at the April 17 meeting.