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What's going on at Morton (IL)?

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  • What's going on at Morton (IL)?

    Any of our Illinois friends have any insight into what's going on with the director there?

  • #2
    Originally posted by OldSchoolTrumpet View Post
    Any of our Illinois friends have any insight into what's going on with the director there?
    You will see. A bad situation, considering that this is arguably one of their most successful marching band seasons. From Wisconsin, I wish them well.

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    • #3
      The only story I can find at the moment is the director got demoted.

      As to why?.... Well this can't be good.
      Formerly muse
      Otherwise known as "thewho" on IM.com

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      • #4
        If it had to do with a kid, he'd probably be removed.

        I would assume this has something else to do with an organization. A friend suggested embezzlement.. I think that's much more likely.

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        • #5
          Someone I know with sources in the district says "something not illegal but not ethical"

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          • #6
            This is honestly heartbreaking to me. I have no idea what has happened. As someone who's been around and seen their rise to the upper echelon of Illinois marching band (from literally last place at shows), I'm stunned. Jeff's a genuinely good guy, and one of my favorite directors to talk to/deal with in the state.

            The head director position is posted for the 2019-2020 school year. I only hope for the sake of those kids that the district hires someone who is able to continue the legacy that Jeff and his crew have built over the last 18 years. Otherwise, they'll fall off quickly and struggle to field a band, a la Lake Park (among others).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Allohak View Post
              Someone I know with sources in the district says "something not illegal but not ethical"
              Having worked in schools off and on for the last 15 years, that makes sense. I won't traffic in rumor, but you can find some speculation/rumors about what happened online.

              Of course, reassignment/demotion is simply a precursor to the guy finding a new job. I assume he wouldn't stick around under a new director and one would think that the some of the support staff will move on as well.

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              • #8
                I wonder if it's something like what happened more than four years ago when Lakota West's longtime director was accused of financial improprieties:

                "The conflict originated April 16, 2014, when the board suspended [Greg] Snyder for a month for alleged violations of professional ethics and state statute involving using his influence as band director to get discounted or free meals and trips for himself and his family, and giving endorsements to travel agencies"

                He retired the following February (following the band's second Rose Bowl appearance; he claimed he had planned to do so at the end of that school year regardless). A few months later:

                "Thirteen months after Lakotaís school board issued a letter of reprimand and a suspension for Lakota West band director Greg Snyder, the Ohio Department of Education has issued a letter of its own, dismissing the allegations without further investigation."

                The article I'm quoting notes that a decision not to investigate doesn't mean full exoneration, but obviously it was never too serious.

                [url]https://www.journal-news.com/news/allegations-against-lakota-band-director-dismissed/F63KF48tKAt1hn2OzoNPqN/[/url]

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                • #9
                  [url]https://www.pjstar.com/news/20181204/morton-board-says-band-director-had-inappropriate-relationship[/url]

                  ​ In a statement read by board President Tom Neeley, the board praised Neavor for building the marching band into a renowned program over the past 18 years but said Neavor earlier this year ďadmittedly engaged in an inappropriate personal relationship with a female employee over which he had supervisory responsibilities.Ē

                  ďHe has also engaged in actions which the board believes have demonstrated poor judgment unfitting for someone who leads an important program in our school district,Ē according to the statement, which was read at the boardís Tuesday meeating.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dbalash View Post
                    [url]https://www.pjstar.com/news/20181204/morton-board-says-band-director-had-inappropriate-relationship[/url]
                    Smartest decision the board could have made. Imagined if they failed to act and something worse happened that people would have been screaming for their heads, too. We see it in schools all of the time - ignoring warning signs or letting things slide / turning a blind eye.

                    Band isnít everything and Morton will move on. Iím sure theyíll attract decent talent to take over.

                    He could have very easily avoided this situation, by disclosing it, but it appears made a choice not to do so.. at least based on what is out there so far.

                    That isnít an adult way to handle this.
                    Last edited by BARABOO_LOU; 12-06-2018, 12:50 PM.

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                    • #11
                      [url]https://week.com/news/2018/12/04/morton-band-isnt-morton-band-without-jeff-neavor-students-speak-out-against-morton-school-board-reassigning-marching-band-director/[/url]

                      Members/parents/BOD protesting.

                      I don't have an opinion on this (not sure that it matters), but I will say that in my corporate environment, any relationship in the workplace that involves someone in a position of authority over the other is either strongly discouraged or must first be cleared through HR so that both parties must sign waivers. It seems like this may be a similar type of situation that could have been easily avoided, as Baraboo_Lou said.
                      Last edited by srv101284; 12-06-2018, 01:50 PM.

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                      • #12
                        My only input on this is that it will most likely take Morton off the map for a good few years ó- no director in their right mind would touch this position. Itís generally known that the new director who immediately follows a beloved director that was let go through rapid or unceremonious circumstances is simply set up for failure; with the parents and students support rallied behind the previous director who they wanted to keep and his or her sainthood galvanized through what they view as an unjust demotion...eh, thatís just a recipe that never breeds success for a new director.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jake W. View Post
                          My only input on this is that it will most likely take Morton off the map for a good few years ó- no director in their right mind would touch this position. Itís generally known that the new director who immediately follows a beloved director that was let go through rapid or unceremonious circumstances is simply set up for failure; with the parents and students support rallied behind the previous director who they wanted to keep and his or her sainthood galvanized through what they view as an unjust demotion...eh, thatís just a recipe that never breeds success for a new director.
                          Unless the next person in the job is well-experienced and can produce immediate buy-in and respect from the students.

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                          • #14
                            Definitely a tough situation for the program. There are many top notch bands who have completely collapsed due to a director leaving/being forced out under bad circumstances. But there are some that have recovered and thrived. Hopefully Morton stays strong and continues to grow.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jake W. View Post
                              My only input on this is that it will most likely take Morton off the map for a good few years ó- no director in their right mind would touch this position. Itís generally known that the new director who immediately follows a beloved director that was let go through rapid or unceremonious circumstances is simply set up for failure; with the parents and students support rallied behind the previous director who they wanted to keep and his or her sainthood galvanized through what they view as an unjust demotion...eh, thatís just a recipe that never breeds success for a new director.
                              I don't necessarily believe in this notion. I know there have been some pretty obvious instances of this happening (usually with the top echelon programs where parents develop egos and are too involved), but these are interesting circumstances. I think the right type of leader can step in and set precedent right off the bat by being forthright and addressing things head-on the minute they walk in the door. Addressing the transition, identifying with the current membership/parents/supporters and their situation, and ensuring every attempt at continuity is a way to get people in your corner at the start. Retain the other staff members and design team, take a couple of years to ensure a smooth transition, then make it your own.

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