Schools: District 205 leaders deflect rumors of Sheffield resignation

April 6, 2011

With regard to reports of her possible upcoming departure, Rockford Public School District 205 Superintendent Dr. LaVonne M. Sheffield (pictured) said: “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.’” (Photo by Jim Hagerty)


By Jim Hagerty
Online Editor

In spite of District 205 statements that Superintendent Dr. LaVonne M. Sheffield remains at the head of Rockford Public Schools, reports of her resignation continue to emerge.

Tuesday, April 5, unconfirmed reports from sources close to the district indicated an announcement of Sheffield’s resignation could be expected as early as Thursday, April 7.

When reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon, April 5, District 205 Chief Communications Officer Mark Bonne said: “If an announcement of that magnitude were to be made, it would occur to all media and public at the same time. That form of communication would not be given by the district to any one media organization only.”

Saturday, April 2, several sources said Sheffield was preparing to resign. In an attempt to confirm the reports, The Rock River Times obtained comment from school board member Alice Saudargas (Sub District C) and outgoing Board President David Kelley (Sub District G).

While Kelley said a decision to terminate Sheffield had not been made, he would not discount that she’s decided to leave Rockford. Kelley said because there are people who “want LaVonne’s head on a platter,” her resignation would not come as a surprise.

Saudargas said the school board discussed terminating Sheffield during a closed meeting before the Tuesday, March 29, Board of Education meeting.

“We discussed it briefly,” Saudargas said April 2. “But, we didn’t get that far with it.”

Kelley also said he intended to contact Sheffield and inquire whether she was planning an exit. Attempts to reach Kelley, other board members and Sheffield were unsuccessful as of press time.

However, speaking to WNTA-1330’s Doug McDuff and Ken DeCoster on the air Monday, April 4, Sheffield would neither confirm nor deny that her time in Rockford was over.

“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 parroted Sheffield Monday afternoon.

“LaVonne Sheffield is the superintendent,” Bonne said. “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 also said the report that Sheffield had vacated her office Monday, April 4, was false.

“She has been working in her office all day,” Bonne said.

From the April 6-12, 2011 issue


  1. Daniel Robert Smyth

    April 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    It would be a great thing to have her gone. If she is gone, what did she get paid to leave? You know she was paid to leave if she did so.

    Please remember, no matter how much we love to hate the superintendent, she can do nothing without board approval! The board hires and can fire! The heat cannot stop just because a headstrong administrator leaves. The problems we have today are not from any one or set of superintendents, the problems are manufactured in the closed meetings with the school board members we send in to do a better job.

    Let’s make sure that the next superintendent we hire is hired with a contract that says she can be fired on a whim for any reason just like the non-tenured teachers and aids can be.
    We as well need to have meetings open and recorded for later inspection.

    Lets make sure we have money to pay the teachers and upkeep the buildings before we hire administration.

  2. just watch'n

    April 8, 2011 at 6:29 am

    kenny d must be very happy today.

  3. just watch'n

    April 8, 2011 at 6:31 am

    pls do not censor us,that’s what the other paper does.

  4. truckertom

    April 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    several callers to talk radio pointed out that several 2–hosts double-teamed Supt. for more than 3 weeks. Shoresh academy,vacation scheduling,alcohol stories,,etc,etc oh yes several of the ‘local’ host not only stirred the pot but greased the rail and hid like children. Why can we run the supt, bob o’b, out of town—but we cannot hold keeny and bruce accountable??

  5. Stacy

    April 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Rumors put to bed – BOE voted, resignation accepted. Now, what can she do between 4/12 and 4/30 to cause further furor?

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