Goodbye and good riddance Superintendent Mutchler!

Goodbye and good riddance Superintendent Mutchler!

Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation. – William Arthur Wood

Given the nature of my personal “relationship” with the soon-to-be departing Geneva D304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler and his fascinating family, the failure to issue a couple of stipulations first would be the kind of journalistic lapse I generally do my best to avoid.

The first caveat is the likely startling fact that I don’t despise many people. Most folks harbor some sort of redeeming qualities and the whole despising process takes way too much time and energy. That said, Kent Mutchler is a clear exception to that just-let-it-go rule.

I’m sure a great part of that animosity is a result of his two attempts to have me arrested based on fictions that were so blatant not even the Geneva Police would bite. Considering my history with them, that really oughtta tell you something.

What I’m basically saying is, in light of this first admission, I’d be taking the rest of this column with a rather large grain of salt.

The second precondition is the Mutchlers have lived behind me for 15 long years and that bestows an unfair journalistic advantage. I can’t remember the last time I was quite that privy to a public official’s personal life.

Though, in what may well be the finest example of karma I’ve ever seen, that family inserted themselves directly between this journalist and former outspoken D304 School Board member Sue Shivers. Trust me, that truly gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “caught between Psylla and Charybdis.”

Though, come to think of it, with all the neighbors hounding Sue and I with tales of the Mutchler’s peculiar behavior, I’m still wonderin’ who got the worst end of that karmic deal. Despite their frequent disdain for my ongoing op-ed efforts, those aggravated neighbors would regularly seek me out with the constant refrain, “When are you gonna write about him?”

But I never really did, again, because of the proximity issue. But now that the Superintendent is “leaving” D304, I have no compunction about recounting the family’s greatest hits that were either witnessed by other neighbors or became part of the public record.

The first is, when the Superintendent’s children were in grade school they could be regularly observed climbing from their balcony onto the roof in their underwear/pajamas in 40-degree weather. When a startled former attorney neighbor rang their doorbell to alert their parents, the children managed to beat them to the door.

But even after he persisted and told Kent what was happening, nothing changed.

Though I saw this one for myself, a slew of my subdivision compatriots reached out to me about one Mutchler child pulling another down the middle of the street on a wheeled toy oven. Again, they were both in their underwear/pajamas in 35-degree weather while a couple of motorists patiently waited behind the proceedings.

Can you say “an abject lack of supervision?” I knew you could!

The last and most egregious example was the 6 foot 6, 270-pound Superintendent having his 5-foot 6, 130-pound daughter arrested for domestic violence despite his son telling the 911 operator that Kent was the aggressor. A GPD insider told me they refer to that kind of thing as “creative charging.”

That March 2017 police report is available to anyone who wants to FOIA it.

So, rather than write about it, I reached out to four separate D304 School Board Presidents:

  • Mary Stith
  • Dean Kilburg
  • Mark Grosso
  • Taylor Egan

To provide them with an opportunity to put an end to this embarrassment. But even though my exasperated neighbors emailed Stith, Kilburg, and Gross the same details, nothing materially changed. The children’s behavior would improve for a month and then they’d be right back at it.

I also emailed the 2017 board the same 911 call audio, but despite that absurd icing-on-the cake dysfunction, they did absolutely nothing about it. I suppose it likely has something to do with the combination of a narcissists capacity to misdirect even the best people and the whole killing the messenger thing.

But even a narcissist’s mendacious tendencies eventually catch up with them, and even though the Superintendent is referring to his “departure” as a “retirement,” make no mistake, he’s being fired! The Board’s failure to offer him a new contract says it all.

In fact, the First Ward has known about Mutchler’s impending termination for months, but I didn’t want to report it for fear it might adversely affect the unfolding dynamic and the Board would keep him on to avoid being exposed for the enablers they and their predecessors have always been.

In the end, it was his eroding capacity to effectively monitor and maintain his professional façade that finally did him in, particularly as it was applied towards staff and students during the plague era. But the truth is he never should’ve been hired.

When you consider how Mutchler was run out of the Ankeny, Iowa, school district on a rail, I’ll never understand why D304 ignored that massive red flag and hired him in the first place. Those news reports were very easy find. And why did it take our school boards 15 years to finally catch on to this fraud who can’t even deal with his own family, much less an entire school district.

On Thursday, we’ll cover the professional lapses.

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