Monthly Archives: July 2016

2011 – CUSD 200 Bon Voyage conference.

Illinois recently passed a new state law requiring school districts, community college districts and other non-home-rule units of local government to regulate the reimbursement of all travel, meal and lodging expenses with maximum reimbursements and forbids reimbursement for entertainment.


Details about College of DuPage prompted the new law – Here’s an older example of employees/Board members taking advantage of the taxpayers.


A friend of mine was looking at Wheaton-Warrenville CUSD 200’s check registry monthly back in 2011 and noticed a large expense from a school board member. She put in a FOIA.  The expense related to a national School Board Association (NSBA) conference… so another FOIA for conference details (May 26, 2011).  She found more expenses after the FOIA – so not all expenses had been turned in at the time of the FOIA  .  Here is what she found:


The Conference was in San Francisco, hosted by the National school Board Association (NSBA) in April 2011.

  • Margo Sorrick (Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, SSC) $1,984.64 (she spoke but still paid registration fee) – retired June 2011
  • Ali Maggio-Beiermeister $2,087.21 (Sorrick’s assistant) no longer with district 200 after July 2011
  • Dr Harris – superintendent $2,114.47 left the district 2014
  • Andy Johnson (used points for air fare) $1,773 school board member until 2013
  • Barb Intehar $1,924.23 – still a school board member
  • Ken Knicker $1,719.58 – school board member until 2013
  • Linda Knicker (was a Director and wife of a school board member. We were told she went but do not have any expenses listed – may not have turned in expenses prior to the FOIA, or perhaps we were told wrong) retired June 2011

All had hotel, air fare, registration, some had food and ground transportation.

Why did the district send so many people?

Why did they send any who were retiring in two months?


Note: the NSBA gets its money via dues from school districts. This diverts taxpayer money to a group not subject to FOIA.  NSBAs main purposes are to lobby on behalf of the school Boards (or teacher union) and  to train school board member.  This “training” could explain why so many schools districts do the same thing at the same time.

What’s the “Public Purpose” of associations?

CUSD 200 Celebations

On June 28, 2016 I, Jan Shaw, sent a FOIA request to CUSD 200 asking “How much money has CUSD 200 spent on celebrations for the adults (not students) in the past three years? (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016)” and received a response on July 1.  Then I spoke out during public comments at the Board meeting on July 13.  I suspect the board was unaware of how much this entailed as I found none of it itemized in the monthly report of bills paid.

See Dr. Rammer’s response letter which includes my original request.

Response Letter 7-1-16

He sent a total of 9 pdf files for a total of 428 pages .

While reading these examples, keep in mind that according to the Illinois Constitution “Public funds” are to be used only for “public purposes.” The purpose of Public Schools are to educate the children. How do parties and gifts for the adults educate the children?

from:  Compiled Illinois state statutes.

(a) Public funds, property or credit shall be used only for public purposes.
(b) The State, units of local government and school districts shall incur obligations for payment or make payments from public funds only as authorized by law or ordinance.

The grand total spent by the district (not including what the schools, the teacher’s union,  or the PTAs spent, and assuming Dr Rammer didn’t miss anything) for three years of “celebrations” was $65,707.

Total spending per year
2013-2014          $19,372.0
2014-2015          $17,856.6
2015-2016          $28,479.26

There were retirement dinners at Cantigny
year      cost              #attendees     #retirees invited
2014    $4,140.40        104                      52
2015    $3,234.53          88                      40
2016    $6,385.97        167                     82

Retirees, one guest per retiree, school principles, 8 administrators from the district office and the board members were invited for “free.” Guests of administrators and the WWEA union paid for their own meal. One board member, Jim Gambaiani paitd for himself and his wife. Other board members paid for their guests in 2014 and 2015, but not in 2016.

Part of the invite list for 2016

retire din 2016 attendee


The cost of the meal:

cantigny 2016 invoice

cantigny 2016 invoice2

cantigny 2016 invoice3


A total of $10,650.20 for “Retirement clocks” over a two year period (2015 & 2016) multiple invoices:

retirement clocks



On 5/19/2014 they spent $6,957.00 with “Awarding you” for
• 160 5×7 Magnetic Acrylic awards @ $43 each
• 154 Certificate printing

frames 2014

There were attendee lists for “Honor Tea” celebrations in May 2014 and May 2015.  They honored retirees,  and 15-year and 25-year service anniversaries.  But, no invoice for the Tea’s.  Not sure where they were held, how much they cost or who paid for them.

In May 2016 there was a “Awards Reception” at the Marriott in Naperville.

The menu consisted of:

  • Beef Satay
  • Parmesan Crab Tart
  • Chicken Potstickers
  • 6 Antipasto Stations
  • Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls
  • Asparagus
  • Fig Blue Cheese Flatbread
  • 6 Fruit Stations

Total cost: $13,050.33 The district paid $5,500. The remainder was picked up by the Wheaton Warrenville Education Association – the teachers’ union.

Marriott 2016

Marriott pd 2016

For the 2016 Awards Reception and the 1014 and 2015 Honor’s Teas “Moox & Haddon Studio” was hired to produce the program booklets.
2014: $450.00
2015: $900.00
2016: $650.00

moox 2016


Individual Service Anniversary gifts ordered from Eagle Recognition
2015: $8,054.96
2016: $9,698.52
Total: $17,753.48


Eagle ex1.jph

Also for 2014, on 5/16/2014 they spent $1,337 with “Awarding you”
• 50 stainless steel water bottles with Black LOGO,
• 60 Double wall ceramic tumbler white with black lid & black logo
ordered by Erica Loiacono (Public Relations)

mugs 2014

There were several Edible Arrangements for individual staff members – 2 examples:

edible Bouquet sender

edible Bouquet loiacono

In Nov 2015 There was a Blue Ribbon Breakfast at Arrowhead Country Club. It was a recognition program for the Emerson and Longfellow Elementary School staff for being selected as Blue Ribbon Schools by the United States Department of Education.  The district paid $200.00 for 80 corsage/boutonnieres for the staff.


There were Sympathy Flowers.  This one for a board member:

sympathy flowersFlowers for individuals with no obvious reason



And MORE – What is the Public Purpose?