Hinsdale High School teachers call for immediate reorganization of school board, including appointing a new board president

Teachers, staff and community members to pack tonight’s school board meeting

HINSDALE – Teachers, staff and community members will pack tonight’s Hinsdale Township High School District 86 (HTHS) Board of Education (BOE) meeting and call for an immediate reorganization, including appointing a new board president. They’ll also shed light on the toxic working and learning conditions that have been created by the board.

“We want to shed light on these issues so we can work together to resolve them. All school board members pledge an oath to work with educators and the superintendent to foster excellence in every student when they take office. This is not happening. Our community, schools and, most importantly, our students deserve better,” Hinsdale High School Teachers’ Association Co-President John Bowman said.

The BOE has done several things to help create and foster the toxic working and learning environments in the district. The following issues and decisions have had negative impacts on resources, district finances and, most importantly, students:

  • The board has made several unprecedented, non-collaborative decisions regarding teacher-curriculum development for students in math, science and social studies. Specifically, the curriculum that was designed with students’ best interests in mind was denied by the board.
  • Second, the level of administrative turnover is unprecedented and highly unusual for a district of HTHS’s caliber, signaling a deep-seated issue within the board’s operational dynamics. Staff turnover includes:
    • Seven acting superintendents in the last 12 months
    • Resignation of two school board members
    • Resignation of assistant superintendent
    • Resignation of interim superintendent
    • Resignation of director of human resources
  • The school board lacks the necessary fiscal responsibility needed to oversee District 86:
    • Forcing a superintendent on paid administrative leave, while employing two interim superintendents, for a total of nearly $600,000 in salary, not including legal fees associated with this decision.
    • Advocating for some courses with little interest to be held with fewer than five students, while refusing to offer other classes with a similar number of interested students.

“We are asking our school board to recommit to continue the excellence in our district, which is currently jeopardized. It is essential to reinstate the collaborative culture that has been absent and ensure that each member fulfills the obligations of their sworn oath as elected officials. This community deserves better. Our students deserve better. Our staff deserve better,” Bowman said.

HHSTA represents 361 teachers and certified staff within Hinsdale Township High School. They serve the nearly 4,000 students who attend Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South High Schools.

The District 86 BOE meeting is at 6 p.m. at Hinsdale South (7401 Clarendon Hills Rd, Darien). It will also be streamed live here.


At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

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