Letter: Supporting Tony Valente for Kaneland School Board

By on March 17, 2011

I am writing to support Mr. Valente’s run for the Kaneland School Board. My support is not based on anything that has been said, but on practical experience of dealing with Tony, as my wife and I found ourselves in the unfortunate situation of one of our children having gotten in trouble at school.

I was the one who initially was dealing with a staff member at the high school. At a certain point in the conversation, I felt the need to state that I did not do this—that my child might have done something wrong, but I had not and there was no reason to talk to me in such a fashion. As a citizen and a taxpayer, I felt that I deserved to be spoken to in a better manner. It became quite obvious that the person I was talking to did not care about our child or want to listen at all.

A meeting was set up with the principal, Mr. Valente. Based on that frustrating conversation I had with the previous staff member, we felt it was best that I not attend that meeting. I had a real fear that I might start talking to people at that meeting like I had been spoken to, and that would not have been an appropriate way to act.

So my wife and our child went. They were treated very fairly by Mr. Valente. They were talked to in a respectful manner. The treatment we received in his office was far different than I had received on the phone. The end result was not very different than what the other staff member had described, but we were treated like human beings.

That is why I support Mr. Valente. He did not give us soft treatment—he enforced the rules. But he did it in a calm and professional manner. He and Leigh Jaffke gave the impression that our child had made a mistake, and they were going to work with us to correct things. They actually conveyed the impression that they cared about our child.

What else would you want in a person who is to be involved in our schools? Someone who is fair, reasonable, cares about kids and still enforces the rules.

Mr. Valente has earned my vote.

William T. King, Jr.
Sugar Grove


  1. RM

    March 17, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    I never had any experience with Mr. Valente when he was principal at KHS. It’s always good, though, to hear when you needed someone in that position, they were professional and supportive. That’s what we deserve and should expect from our administrators. That wasn’t so much what I saw from the middle school presentation for school board candidates. I was disappointed in how Mr. Valente seemed to go after another board member and he believes strongly that we need to teach to improve test scores. I believe this is absolutely the wrong approach and that is why schools are doing poorly. We need to stop worrying about tests and teach subject mastery – period. If we can teach kids to think and master the material, they’ll do well on tests. Life is not a box where if you check the right one, you’re a winner.

  2. 302peep

    March 22, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    If you look at the video again, you can see Mr. Valente gets attacked by the 2 current board members. Just present your views and let the people decide. Tell me the voter how you stand up above the rest. This is a volunteer position and the fact that people are willing to step and put in their time to make our children’s education better is great. This while using our taxes wisely. There are 7 board members and they all need to be held accountable and responsible. In my view,a board members should be currently active and in touch with the community.

  3. RM

    March 22, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    I didn’t see him being attacked but there was clearly a difference of opinion of subject mastery vs. teaching to pass tests. Mr. Valente was clearly hostile in his defense of emphasizing test scores and aggressive towards the board members who believed differently. This doesn’t strike me as someone who would work very well with the rest of the board and I seriously question his motives since he is a high school principal in another district. How many high school principals do you suppose are serving on the school board on a different district in which they work? I’m sure he could contribute a lot because of his background but I think I’ll pass.