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Resignations stir Iroquois outcry

The resignations of newlywed Iroquois School District administrators sparked an outcry during a special meeting of the School Board on Thursday.

After the board approved the resignations, 6-1, Iroquois Middle School Principal Ann Marie Spitzer wept as her husband of six days, Assistant Superintendent Brian Wiesinger, would only say "No comment."

Though the official district line is that the resignations were not forced, what sparked them was not forthcoming.

Superintendent Neil Rochelle declined to discuss the issue, citing school rules that prohibit any discussion of personnel issues.

But dozens of teachers and parents who filmed the Superintendent's Conference Room in support of the ousted administrators were anything but quiet.

"Are those the faces of someone who wanted to resign?" Carol Nottingham, a parent, asked as the Wiesingers consoled each other after the meeting.

Rochelle said that the letters of resignation were received April 7, but did not explain why it took the board three months to act on them.

School Board President Susan Brunner allowed public comment at the meeting, which featured teachers wielding signs that said: "If you vote yes, I vote NO confidence."

"Put political and personnel antics aside," Linda Cullen, a Middle School teacher urged before the vote. "Rumors circulate in a situation like this. Do what is in the best interest of the students."

Gretchen Riedel, the Middle School PTO president said, "We're very disheartened. Letting them go will set [our schools] back. They don't seem like they want to leave. Is this their idea or someone else's?"

One Middle School teacher said the resignations were politically motivated and that there was a "gag order," that the Wiesingers were told if they said anything they would not get their benefits.

Brunner said there is no policy at Iroquois prohibiting marriage between employees and that there are some married teachers in the district.

Both resignations are effective Wednesday.

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