SD 161 Superintendent Abruptly Retires

Summit Hill Superintendent Keith Pain submitted a retirement letter to the school board Wednesday, May 25, amid recent public criticism.

Summit Hill School District 161 Superintendent Keith Pain submitted a retirement letter to district the board of education Wednesday, May 25.

"I wish you the very best in the future of the school district and will do the very best I can to facilitate a transition to a successful new school year," Pain wrote in a letter read aloud by board secretary Denise Lenz.

Pain has been superintendent since 2004 and did not give a reason for his departure. He did not attend Wednesday's meeting. 

The letter was read with a smattering of applause and a “whoo hoo” from the audience.

 Board President Mary Kenny called the move surprising, though she noted community members had expressed mounting criticism of the. The contract was decided by a controversial 4-3 vote, the day after

During the May 11 meeting, Kenny said public comments were "very hostile" toward the superintendent, with six residents who spoke about issues ranging from the contract to communication issues.

"(Pain) hinted it at the last meeting but you never know it's never a done deal until you get the letter," Kenny said. "It was very, very unexpected."

Board member Sean William Doyle said he thinks the retirement is “premature.”

 "I do think he's done a fine job in this district since he was hired back in '04," Doyle said, adding Pain was able to purchase land to build .

Pain's last day is June 30.

"The last seven years at this school district have been professionally rewarding," he wrote, "and I believe much has been accomplished."

john bruno May 26, 2011 at 07:30 PM
Bring back Jan Clinton to full-day kindergarten. She loves the children and didn't deserve that one teacher's wrath and Pain's arrogance.
Wally May 27, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Wow, apparently you "due" say good "riddens".
mxpx May 27, 2011 at 02:41 AM
Well said Wally!
Denise Wildeveld May 27, 2011 at 03:09 AM
Marcie I would have been right there beside you and let out a very loud whoo-hoo. Maybe well will get another chance to do that when the Keith Pain supporters Dee Molinare and Sean William Doyle resign from the board. They both should be ashamed of themselves
sam May 27, 2011 at 04:13 PM
SWBurbs-Sean William Doyle?
Just a Resident May 27, 2011 at 04:27 PM
I am ESTATIC that Mr. Pain is gone!!!! Especially since all the drama he allowed to go down at Rogus FDK. I agree with Mr. Bruno, give Mrs. Clinton the opportunity to come back to a job she apparently loves. She loves those children. As for the slandering back and forth on some of these posts. We have the opportunity to move forward so why not do just that. I do not know Mrs. Wildeveld and she is no longer a board member so I'm not getting how her credibility is even importaint anymore.
Bridgette Outten May 27, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Hi all, thanks so much for joining in the conversation. "Informed" I had to remove your last post because we can't have obscene language in the comments. Also, people, please watch the name-calling and posting anything that could be considered libelous. Again, thank you for joining in the conversation and for keeping a civil discussion! -- Bridgette
informed May 27, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Sam, I also believe SWBurbs is Sean William Doyle. He's back on the Patch with his combative attitude just like at the board table.
informed May 27, 2011 at 05:18 PM
I find it interesting SWBurbs that you have NO idea who Sean William Doyle is, but you know Denise Wildeveld and her cronies, and all the illiegal activity, bad stories, ect.... if this is not Sean William, is it the monoply man, Dave Macek, or Ken Balcersak, or Keith Pain he has time on his hands with only weeks left? Denise, I would be very worried about SWBurbs if I were you. This is Extremely Creepy. Denise, who do you think SWBurbs is? You have been off the board for how long and they know SO very much about you and have NO idea who Sean William is?
Just a Resident May 27, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Again, Denise isn't even a board member so all of SWBurbs mud slinging is mute and pointless. IF by some chance you are a board member. Maybe you need to look at your own track record . OR maybe start investigating into Keith Pain and all of his wrong doings. Or are you a friend of his??? Is this your way of taking the attention away "161 Superintendent abruptly retires"??? I wonder!!!!
Stella Nyder May 27, 2011 at 06:42 PM
I wish Mr. pain sincerely the best in his future too (as well as the outgoing board members). May God bless you in your future endeavors. I think he made the best decision for himself and the district. I am excited about our new president on the Board, Mary Kenny-she has so much experience and she has alot of Godly wisdom. Most of all she has alotof love for our students to get the very best education possible with the needed resources to be made available. I have full confidence in her ability to lead the Board and theDistrict in the right direction. I am so happy that she has been given this honor as I think she deserves it and has worked hard for our district and for our students! Congratulations. I am enthusiastic about the new Board because they have so much creativity and diverse backgrounds and expertise and comopassion that is what is needed right now. In the last year I have seen Mary Kenny,Denise Lenz, and Joy Murphy fight for the students and the community! with a vote always(almost) of 4 against 3! But they have persevered, have stood steadfast in their convictions of what was right, so i also want to say to these Board Members well done! I also want to congratulate Mr. Doyle on his new role on the Board as i think he has experience that would be useful to our district and to the newer members on the Board;, it is a humbling role going from being president to one of the board members but still a very important role. I will be praying . In Christ, Stella
Are you kidding me? May 27, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Denise Wildeveld May 27, 2011 at 09:26 PM
SwBurbs did you accuse me of illegal activity sounds like I should take this to an attorney
Bridgette Outten May 27, 2011 at 10:02 PM
OK, people, let's try this one more time =) I have removed any comments that attack an individual by name or can be considered libelous. We do not tolerate name-calling or accusatory posts at Patch. If you are unable to post your opinion without attacking another person, please keep your comments to yourself. Thank you. -- Bridgette Bridgette Outten Fill-in Editor, Frankfort Patch
Dennis Robaugh (Editor) May 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Folks, I've removed several comments this afternoon posted by SWBurbs involving accusations of illegal activity and several defamatory comments. Understandably, emotions run high over issues involving taxpayer money and the education and well-being of our children. That said, it's possible to discuss the issues without subjecting YOURSELVES to possible legal action. You are responsible for the comments you post on this site. Accusing someone of illegal actions without publishing demonstrable proof is defamatory. Calling someone names on our site violates our terms of service. Thus far, we've granted a lot of leeway for folks to vent their positive and negative emotions. But if you want to continue to weigh in on this important issue and participate on Patch, you need to rein yourselves in a bit. You can disagree without being disagreeable. Thank you. Dennis Robaugh Regional Editor, Chicago
Denise Wildeveld May 27, 2011 at 10:08 PM
You seem to know me so why shouldn't I know your name you are very good at mud slinging and making false accusations about me. But enough said, I believe I hit a nerve I am preparing for a celebration with all of my thug friends and the wonderful union thugs, as you call them, that teach your children everyday, to celebrate the ABRUPT retirement of a certain superintendent gotta run Sean oh I'm sorry you don't know him
Denise Wildeveld May 27, 2011 at 10:16 PM
informed May 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Denise Wildeveld, "Ditto" !!
Bridgette Outten May 27, 2011 at 10:42 PM
SWBurbs, If you go back and look at all the comments, you will see any post with name-calling has been removed. Any mention of illegal activity -- from anyone -- has been removed. If you see something I've missed, please by all means, point it out for me and I'll take care of it. Thank you. -- Bridgette
informed May 27, 2011 at 11:22 PM
SWBurbs, Maybe Denise feels the same....sick of all the nonsense with Sean, Dave, Ken, Dee, Keith, monoply guy, etc..... You guys let some of the administrators treat employees without professionalism. Go ahead and give it all you got, continue to waste your breath. Adminstration has done some rotten things to certain people for no good reason and the OLD school board allowed it to happen. I have sat back and watched it all unfold. SWBurbs go ahead and feel sorry that you lost the board majority and your superintendent and community support, you will NOT change the minds of hundreds of employees and community members that have been affected by the day to day operations by some adminstrators in our district. Were done, your done.....time for change the community spoke you may not like it --but you have to except it. "bye, bye baby"!!
john bruno May 27, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Truth is a defense to libel and slander. Moreover, the Plaintiff has the burden of proof in any case she or he brings. Importantly, they also have the burden of proving their "damages"....Who, living in the Square, is going to have measurable damages based on heated discussions on this website? No one. Most of you have no clue about bringing any action for libel, slander or defamation. The only thing that I understand is when someone abruptly decides to retire after having his Contract extended and having received a raise, there is more to the retirment than meets the eye. When he retires, the new Board should void all of the dismissals made by the lame-duck Superintendent. He knew he was retiring long before he made decisions which negatively have impacted administrators in the District. One good thing, all of the current Administrators won't have to be afraid of their Superintendent.
Denise Wildeveld May 27, 2011 at 11:47 PM
jd May 28, 2011 at 12:40 AM
Please don't talk about Denise that way. Denise wasn't even on the school board when the other superintendents were around. She just won at the last election and is a very good school board member. Whoever you are get your facts straight before you start spewing your nasty comments. You sure sound like a very unhappy employee.
jd May 28, 2011 at 02:00 AM
you really are nasty!!!!
Just a Resident May 28, 2011 at 02:04 AM
How can someone who is not even a board member force out anyone???......lets talk about the forcing out of the Kindergarten principal. A great principal who gets the short end of the stick under our soon to be former superintendent.
Just a Resident May 28, 2011 at 02:50 AM
SWBurbs knows an awful lot.........my guess would be that if this person is not a board member, then most definitely a spouse. Just a guess though.. And definitely holdes grudges against former board members which makes me believe this person is pretty close. THANK GOD for Stacy and George.......maybe, just MAYBE the board will start to work in the best interest of the children and the needs of teachers and spend my tax dolllars wisely.
jd May 28, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Just a resident Swburbs doesn't know much he just likes to spread lies about the new board and is so hung up on this union thing he is so angry, I believe that maybe if he would attend church he could be a better person. Tomorrow is the Lords day I hope he considers this avenue
Bob D May 28, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Let us remember that it does take a village to raise a child, we need to put aside our differences and work together to do just that. Your children need your guidance more than this man needs more thrashing, what a horrible way to have your career end! WWJCD
Just a Resident May 28, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Mr. SWburbs, you have spent a whole lot of time on this thread mud slinging, name calling, accusing a union president of sleeping with a board memener, etc. The topic of conversation I believe was suppose to be about our "soon to be former Superintendent". You seem to "know it all" and everything that is going on in the district, so please enlighen us!!!! Enquiring minds want to know. Or is this your way of taking the conversatin away from the real issues?? I do not wear "blinders" as you have accused some people of wearing. I am awake and "pay attention" as you have accused some people of not doing. I am fully aware of what is going on in our district and I'm fully aware that someone who just received a raise and a contract extention doesn't just "retire" without cause. As for the union president sleeping with a board member, unless you were there cuddling with them, its all gossip and hearsay and has nothing to do with our "retiring" superintendent. These "Union" teachers that you have an issue with, they teach my children every single day and give it all they have. Hopefully our new superintendent will actually care what our teachers needs and concerns are and it will make our district stronger. For every teacher that is a "bad apple", there are dozens that are GREAT. Being union or non union won't change that.
Denise A. Lenz May 28, 2011 at 03:41 PM
First off Thank You JD! Wildeveld and Lenz only have the name Denise in common. I Denise A. Lenz has lived in Frankfort for 16 years. I actively been involved in this community by coaching Softball, soccer and basketball. With the help of the Frankfort area Jaycees, Frankfort Lions club and yes even Keith Pain and District 161 I have been able to raise over a quarter of a million dollars within the last 10 years for children and families of this community, by providing School Supplies, holiday baskets, monetary donations for people with cancer and my most passionate cause Children with Diabetes. I am and will always be a advocate for the children of our community. Do I have friends that work in this district YES! If it was not for some of these friends I would not be able to serve as many children. I am one on the school board but we are seven that make the decisions. I will continue to pray that we as seven can move forward and continue to keep the children first!! As for all the negativity on some of the post, please be respectful of all that will come. MLK once said "Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."


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