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Setting the record straight and telling the REAL FACTS

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 9:35 a.m. CDT

To the honorable and good citizens of Morris:

Thank you for the support you have given to my husband, Dennis Best, and me throughout this pathetic, untruthful District 101 School Board election.

To be personally attacked and slandered by the persons who repeatedly feel it is their right and mission to say and print anything they want without regard to the truth, or to our friends’ and family’s feelings is very disheartening.

Was it so important that you and your friends chose to discredit my husband, other board candidates, the superintendent, and the administrators of Morris High School, as well as me?

My hope is that those of you who read these vicious statements had enough interest to make it your mission to check the public records through the Freedom of Information Act proving the REAL FACTS. I first taught at Morris High School in the early ’80s as an Adapted Physical Education teacher to physically and mentally challenged students. I took early retirement in 2002.

For several years following retirement, I taught LD Resource at MCHS. I was called and asked to teach behind-the-wheel at Morris High School when no certified classroom teachers could be freed up to drive students during the school day.

I have been certified to teach driver education for years, and could not be teaching this subject without the proper state of Illinois certification.

I was not hired under my maiden name, but under my legal name, Marianne Best. My husband, Dennis, had not been elected to the board of education until after I started teaching behind-the-wheel.

When I was hired, behind-the-wheel teachers driving extra hours for the high school were making $35 an hour. Not just me, but every teacher driving extra students, whether that was during the school day or before and after school.

During the last contact negotiations, the MCHS teacher’s union proposed a raise for teachers working extra hours, in addition to their yearly contract, to be paid $45 an hour. This was approved by the board of education.

Not only do I teach behind-the-wheel during the school day, but two other former MCHS teachers are also teaching behind-the-wheel to prevent the school from having to hire two more full-time teachers, which would cost the district at least $150,000 or more.

Further clarifications of the lies that have been circulated, once again, check the public record: Denis Best excuses himself from any vote that has anything to do with my employment or compensation.

This was recommended, found perfectly legal, and enacted since he was elected to the board of education. Again, he was not elected until after my employment.

Check the state of Illinois statement, as well as the district school board of education documents as to the legal determination of conflict of interest.

Being related to an employee is not a conflict of interest. Everyone on a board is related to, works with a relative of, or is a friend of a student or employee.

My hope is that people run for a board of education because they want what is best for the students, are supportive of the efforts and accomplishments of the students and faculty, and are supportive of the administrators and their efforts, while supporting the interests of the community.

What we find all too often is that people run for the board of education to promote their own, or someone else’s, personal interests and vendettas to discredit the true accomplishments of the school district.

Thank you for letting me get this off my mind. And, thanks again to all of you who made it your business to find out the truth and extend your support to both of us during this difficult time.

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