New Board Ponders Brown's Future

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

A new Rockford School Board is in place, and supporters of ousted superintendent Alan Brown are in the majority.

WIFR 23 news takes a look at what this means for the future of Rockford schools and what it will take to rehire Brown.

Some say Tuesday's School Board election was more about the status of the fired superintendent than about educating Rockford kids.

Over the past few weeks, the outgoing Rockford School Board voted to approve hundreds of layoffs, program cuts, and the firing of a superintendent.

"The fact that they let out contracts to search firms, I feel that should have been left to the incoming boards prerogative," said Alice Saudargas, elected to school board.

But on Tuesday Rockford voters had their say, choosing Alice Saudargas to take the seat vacated by Brown-opposer Stephanie Caltagerone.

Bob Evans won another term, Karol Hammond easily beat out incumbent David Strommer and David Kelly edged out incumbent and Brown supporter Mike Bliss. Mike Williams ran unopposed.

The election now opens up the possibility for the rehire of Alan Brown.

"We've made no secret of the fact that we really want to be a part of this and we certainly would come back, yes," said Dr. Alan Brown, former Rockford schools superintendent.

The last board voted four to three to fire Brown. But under the new board, Saudargas, Hammond, Evans and Kalchbrenner have voiced support for the former superintendent, tipping the scales in the other direction.

"I would like to hope doctor brown is brought back because he is a man of very high standards and morals and the community has accepted him and he's done a wonderful job," said Karol Hammond, elected to school board.

As one new school board member put it, the board will have to jump through a lot of legal hoops to rehire Brown, but it is still a possibility.

The new board members will be sworn in on April 8.


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