Bonne, Sheffield refuse to comment on superintendent departure reports
By Jim Hagerty
According to Rockford Public Schools Chief Communications Officer Mark Bonne, reports that Superintendent Dr. LaVonne M. Sheffield is leaving the district are false.
Saturday, April 2, sources said Sheffield and the district may be parting ways.
Meantime, Alice Saudargas (Sub District C) said the removal of Sheffield was discussed by the school board during closed session Tuesday, March 29.
“We discussed it briefly,” Saudargas said Saturday. “But, we didn’t get that far with it.”
Outgoing Board of Education President David Kelley said a motion to fire the superintendent has not been made and that he was unaware that Sheffield was reportedly planning to resign.
Kelley said a Sheffield resignation would not be shocking, however, as there are people in Rockford who want to “serve LaVonne’s head on a platter.”
Monday, April 3, Bonne would not comment on whether Sheffield was heading elsewhere.
“LaVonne Sheffield is the superintendent,” Bonne said in an e-mail. “The district has no comment on rumors concerning whether the superintendent or any other employee might be leaving at some time in the future.”
Bonne’s statement echoed Sheffield’s comments when she appeared as a guest of WNTA radio host Doug McDuff Monday morning.
As McDuff and Ken DeCoster pressed Sheffield to confirm or deny she is leaving District 205, the superintendent refused to respond.
“I can’t confirm,” Sheffield said. “I am not commenting on any of the discussions. There are rumors everywhere. I’ve said this long ago, ‘I am not confirming (or) denying. I’m not doing anything with the rumors because they are always out there.’”
After Sheffield accused DeCoster of perpetuating rumors, DeCoster asked her to clarify whether the weekend report in The Rock River Times was true.
“If I do it,” Sheffield said, “it’s a continuing kind of process. So, I decided about four or five months ago to stop. It’s a rumor after rumor after rumor. If you continue it, you get me in this continuing rumor mill. I am not doing it.
“Whatever happens–happens. I am a happy person. I am at peace with myself. I am going to run the schools until such time that I don’t. I am not saying anything.”
Bonne also said reports that Sheffield vacated her office this morning are untrue.
“Dr. Sheffield has not vacated her office,” he said. “As a matter of fact, she has been working in her office all day.”
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