Marengo keeping athletic resolution secret

Posted on April 14, 2014 - 15:52:29

At Monday's Marengo school board meeting, the board is set to "recommend approval of athletic conference resolution."

The district, however, has continued to refuse to release the resolution when contacted both Friday and Monday by the Northwest Herald. While many school boards post attachments of board packet items to the public, Marengo does not.

If there is any question about whether the document is a public record, it is cleared up here by Illinois' Attorney General. The Northwest Herald has requested the information, through both phone calls and emails, multiple times and has also sent a formal FOIA request to the district.

From the Illinois Attorney General FAQ on Open Meetings:

Is a public body required to provide members of the public with a copy of its “board packet” at an open meeting?

No. At the time of an open meeting, a public body is not required to disseminate or public with copies of its “board packet” or reference information. It is important to note, however, the information contained within a “board packet” is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and a member of the public can request copies of that material through FOIA.

– Jon Styf,

Harvard football, wrestling vacancies may be filled this week

Posted on April 14, 2014 - 14:17:59

Who replaces Tim Haak as Harvard's football and wrestling coach may be resolved this week.

According to the District 50 Board of Education agenda, superintendent Lauri Tobias will recommend that board members hire Michael Saylor to replace Haak as the Hornets' varsity football coach and Mark Payne to take over the school's varsity wrestling program. The board meets Wednesday night.

Haak is retiring at the end of the current school year after nearly three decades of coaching both sports at Harvard.

There was no mention of any discussion about Harvard's possible ties to a proposed new athletic conference on the agenda. District 154 (Marengo) will vote on a resolution regarding its athletic conference at its meeting Monday night. Superintendent Dan Bertrand declined to make a copy of the resolution available to to the Northwest Herald Monday afternoon.

-- Jeff Arnold

McHenry's Jesse Reiser finishes ninth in California

Posted on April 13, 2014 - 15:34:00

McHenry junior Jesse Reiser traveled to Arcadia, Calif., to compete in the Arcadia Invitational, a prestigious meet which draws some of the top high school competitors from all over the nation.

Reiser finished in ninth place Saturday in the 3,200-meter run in 8 minutes, 54.31 seconds. He was one of 19 athletes to break the 9-minute barrier in a field of 35 competitors.

Reiser was the IHSA Class 3A state runner-up in cross country and finished seventh in the Class 3A 3,200 at the state track meet last year.

Kevin Murphy,

Where the Kishwaukee River Conference stands

Posted on April 13, 2014 - 13:11:29

Nothing has been announced on the future of a new conference (preliminarily named the Kishwaukee River Conference) involving area schools, but below is a list of the most recent information on each school district's discussions on the matter.

1. Marengo - Has an agenda on Monday's school board meeting has an item under new business listed as "Recommend approval of athletic conference resolution." Calls to Marengo's athletic director and principal on Friday were not returned. The Northwest Herald requested the resolution document, a public record, on Friday but it was not sent. Many schools include resolutions as attachments on their online school board meeting agendas as a matter of transparency. Marengo does not. In February, Marengo athletic director Chad Olson said his school would still consider joining the new conference.

2-3. Woodstock - This school district covers both Woodstock and Woodstock North high schools. In February, the Big Northern Conference said no to adding the two schools. At the time, the Woodstock and Woodstock North athletic directors said that decision would not impact the formation of the KRC. No athletic conference discussion was on the Woodstock school board's April 8 meeting agenda.

4. Burlington Central - Has committed, like the Woodstocks, to joining the new conference, which athletic director Steve Diversey noted in November tentatively included "Marengo, Genoa Kingston, Harvard, Johnsburg, Woodstock, Woodstock North and Richmond Burton." Then, in December, Diversey told the school board that Harvard and Genoa-Kingston had backed out, saying "the new conference needs to have six schools to make the change work. The high school principals are
meeting in January but may not revisit until June. This plan would not be implemented if approved for two years." The item has not appeared on an agenda or minutes since then. The board meets again on April 21.

5. Johnsburg - Set to move to the Big Northern Conference in the fall. Has been linked to conference by other athletic directors but the conference has never appeared in the minutes or agenda of a Johnsburg school board meeting, including on April 8.

6. Harvard - Was linked to the conference by other school's athletic directors and Diversey reported to his school board in December that Harvard had withdrawn, but the conference has never appeared on the agenda for a Harvard board meeting. Harvard is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, but has not yet posted its meeting agenda.

7. Richmond-Burton - Board discussed in late November whether to join the Kishwaukee River Conference but did not make a decision as board members said that they would need more information before deciding whether to join the conference. It has not appeared on the school board's agenda or minutes since then.

8. Genoa-Kingston - The item was discussed at several board meetings. On Nov. 26, athletic director Phil Jerbi noted that G-K, Johnsburg and Richmond-Burton had yet to make a final decision on the matter but discussed the positives and negatives of joining. From that meeting "If all eight schools do not buy into the conference change, Mr. Jerbi suggested we do not buy in. This is not a personal decision but a business decision."

Later on during that meeting, Jerbi told the board that "What has been read online and in the newspaper has not been accurate."

Jerbi did not expand on what had been inaccurately reported and where.

All items that have been reported on the matter by the Northwest Herald and Shaw Media, which also publishes the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb (which covers G-K), have come directly from school board meeting discussions, agendas or minutes and on-the-record conversations with athletic directors or principals of schools involved.

– Jon Styf,

Marengo's conference future to be discussed Monday

Posted on April 11, 2014 - 21:30:12

Where Marengo's athletic teams will call home in the future has remained in question for some time now.

Marengo was among those schools tied to forming the Kishwaukee River Conference – a new eight-member athletic confernece that woud start play in 2015. Whether that's still the case or if the school will choose to remain in the Big Northern Conference is scheduled to be discussed by the District 154 Board of Education on Monday night.

Listed under new business on the Monday night's agenda is "recommend approval of athletic conference resolution." Calls to Marengo athletic director Chad Olson and to other district officials Friday afternoon were not returned.

BNC President Drew Popejoy was not available for comment Friday afternoon.

Olson said in February that Marengo was still considering joining the KRC even after both Harvard and Genoa-Kingston announced in December that they would both remain in the BNC after initially stating that they would be willing to be part of the new conference.

Woodstock and Woodstock North, two of the schools instrumental in forming the KRC, sought admission to the BNC only to be told that the league was not interested in taking on new members. Johnsburg, another school that had been reported to be interested in the KRC, will move from the Fox Valley Conference to the BNC this fall.

-- Jeff Arnold

Former C-G standout Lamberti named to U.S. Collegiate team

Former Cary-Grove volleyball standout Kelly Lamberti is one of 12 players that were selected to be part of a U.S. National Collegiate team that will tour Europe this summer.


Lamberti is an outside hitter who now plays at Ohio University. Lamberti was named to the program, which is considered a second tryout for the U.S. women’s national team. The team will be coached by UCLA’s Mike Sealy.

  The players will depart on July 8 and will travel to Venice, Italy, followed by a four-day training camp is Maribor, Slovenia. The squad will train and have friendly scrimmages with Slovenia’s national team and Under-20 national team, along with other countries’ Under-20 national teams. The U.S. team will travel to Pula, Croatia to compete in the Global Challenge July 13-18.

Lamberti was named the 2010 Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year after finishing her senior season with 320 kills, 210 digs and 44 blocks while leading the Trojans to a 41-1 record and a berth in the Class 4 state final. Blogs