Schools: Mark Bonne resigns in midst of District 205 chaos
By Jim Hagerty
As the Rockford Board of Education must now search for a new superintendent, District 205 Chief Communications Officer Mark Bonne has resigned.
The news came eight days after Superintendent Dr. LaVonne Sheffield announced April 7 she was leaving the district at the end of the month.
An e-mail sent to Bonne last Friday (April 15) was returned with the following message:
“I will be out of the office for several days beginning Thursday, April 14. If you need immediate assistance, please contact Angela Lundin at 815-966-5299.”
It was later learned Bonne stated that he was leaving the district to avoid becoming a distraction to new leaders. In his resignation letter to Sheffield, Bonne’s statement is similar to the outgoing superintendent’s alleged reason for resigning.
“I have decided to follow your lead and step aside so that I may freely pursue other career interests,” Bonne’s letter states, “and not become a distraction for the new administration.”
Bonne has been with the district since 2006. He is also a former Rockford Register Star reporter. His resignation is “effective immediately.”
Sheffield’s last day with the district is April 30, four days after three new school board members will be seated.
According to statements from the school board, upon leaving District 205, Sheffield will be paid $105,000—half of her annual salary—three months worth of health care benefits and unused vacation and sick days.
Mark Bonne’s resignation letter
Please accept this letter as official notice of my resignation as Chief Communications Officer effective today.
As you know, I am deeply honored to have had the privilege of serving as a member of your Cabinet and working so closely with you over the past two years on behalf of the students of Rockford Public Schools.
In five years, I have worked directly with three superintendents and have been saddened by the departure of each. All of [sic] been good people, putting forth their best effort.
My role has been to fully support each superintendent with my best work along whatever course the superintendent charted. I know that I have the capacity to make another such transition, but I’m not sure that is possible in the current climate. For this reason and after considerable soul-searching, I have decided to follow your lead and step aside so that I may freely pursue other career interests and not become a distraction for the new administration.
I wish very much that my departure could coincide with yours. You are aware, however, that I’ve been neglecting some health concerns that demand my attention.
Once again, thank you for the opportunity to work with you and learn from you. Beginnings and endings are often difficult; the middle is usually the best part of anything. I will always reflect fondly upon these two years together, and I trust this is not the end of our relationship but the beginning of a new chapter.
From the April 20-26, 2011, issue
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