Students, parents speak out for Padlock

At the Wilmot Union High School District meeting of the board of education which took place last night in the Wilmot High School auditorium, eight students and/or parents spoke out in favor of Jim Padlock, associate principal of the school.  He had been placed on a leave of absence last month.  To read a prior article on this subject, click here:  “Wilmot Associate Principle Padlock On Leave.”

Bill Hopkins, a Silver Lake resident, gave his full endorsement of James Padlock.

Andrea Staneck, a mother of two daughters, said that she wants him here.  “It was Mr. Olsen last month, this month, Padlock.  Who is next?” she said.  She said that she was angry and appalled at the decision to put him on leave.  “In Mr. Kopp’s one year seniority, nine have been released from their duties, teachers and administrators.  She said that in his 14 years of service, Padlock has worn multi hats.  “He has an extensive skill set that makes him an effective administrator.  He disciplines the students, and then works with them in a positive manner.  He makes it a family-like atmosphere here in the school.  He’s their father at school.”  She urged the school board to evaluate the administration either with a survey or with a closed meeting with the staff.  “And,” she said, “Mr. Trottier, you will not be able to alter the evaluation.”

Reed Staneck, a senior, said that she supports Padlock.  She read a letter from Catherine Minlolo, from the class of 2012, who couldn’t be here as she was attending college.  In her letter, she relayed the story of her senior year at Wilmot High School (WHS) and how Padlock helped her.  “He was my only support.  He changed my life,” she said.  “He was the former vice principal, mentor, and father figure.”

Brittany Moore, a senior and president of the National Honor Society, a volleyball and soccer player, said that “he was a true leader.  He stepped up to become the new varsity head coach of girls’ soccer.  He is such a caring person.  During my senior year, I lost my grandmother to cancer.  He was the only one who had an open ear.”  She got a bit emotional as she said, “I hope he gets the opportunity to affect the lives of future students.”

Briel Staneck, who graduated in 2009, spoke about the Link Crew program, that Padlock instituted.  Before the program, 1/4 of students failed at least one class in their first semester; after the program, it went to 1/12.  She quoted:  “I am only one, and one can make a difference.”  “Well, he has made a huge difference,” she said.

Alison Stefan, who graduated in 2007, read a letter from Janelle Waller, who also graduated that same year.  She spoke of how Padlock influenced her life.  He urged her to become a participant in the Link Crew her senior year, and how he encouraged her to go to college.  “He got me excited about my future,” she said.  She graduated in May of this year from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  “Even though I graduated five years ago, he’s still interested in me.  He cares for the students, pushes them.  He’s not perfect.  But, he’s been a role model to me, and a positive influence in my life, and in the lives of countless others.”

Crista Berge, also a graduate from 2007, relayed how “Padlock made it bearable for all of them when senior Nicole Taylor tragically passed away.  He is a caring, wonderful individual.”

Jeff Moore, father of Ashley and Brittany, spoke of the additional guidance his daughters received from Packlock.  “Once they joined the Link Crew program, he showed them how to mentor and give guidance to the younger students.  He coached soccer, and he’s the best coach they ever had.  This is a good man.  This is the kind of leadership this school needs.  It would be a disservice not to allow him to impact children.”

The board went into closed session for an hour and a half to discuss employee discipline.  When they reconvened, Nadine Slowinski, president of the board, stated that no action would be taken tonight.


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