What’s going on at Heartland Head Start?

By:  Diane Benjamin

First, I am not even slightly familiar with Heartland Head Start.  I am using information I’ve been told and info received by a FOIA request.  HHS isn’t subject to FOIA.

There is one familiar name on their governing board:    https://www.heartlandheadstart.org/en/get-involved/governance/governance-board

gov board

HHS is supported by federal tax dollars and some local organizations.  Jeff Crabill and the rest may want to investigate what is happening.  3 upper level managers were fired within the past week.

This is the Executive Director:

bruning ex dir

I’ve known since June that Karen Bruning got a DUI last January.  I chose then not to post the police report because I couldn’t rationalize what the public purpose would be.  Bruning’s recent actions, and concern from those still employed,  mean there is a public purpose.  Bruning does work with KIDS and should be a role model for them!

Her alcohol level was .143, that is close to double the legal limit of .08.  

The details of her arrest would be comical if she was just a regular person with no stature in the community.  She backed into an ambulance that was responding to a call and then got out of her car and asked the ambulance to move.  She pleaded guilty in October.  She received 24 months supervision and has to pay $1564.05.  You can see her record here:  https://webapp.mcleancountyil.gov/webapps/PublicAccess/PubAC_SearchCriminal.aspx

See this report:   Blood Alcohol Report

And this one:  Crash Report


I only received 2 of the 3 messages Bruning sent to the employees.   I think the governing Board and parents should be asking questions!

Hello,
.
I’m sorry to inform you that Bill’s last day at Heartland Head Start was Friday. I know this brings with it many questions and typically questions I can’t answer due to privacy issues.
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What I can say is that staff turnover is hard, and of course, when it’s leadership, it brings about questions regarding the stability of an organization. Unfortunately there will always be times when organizations lose people. I also know it can be disruptive for you and your team. My goal is to keep us running as smoothly as possible during this transition.
.
I want you to also know that change can have positive results too. It can provide some of you with the opportunity to take on new and different responsibilities or roles and learn new knowledge and skills. We are in a critical point of our strategic direction and the next six months will be setting the stage for the next 5 years.
.
If you get concerned about changes happening in your team or content area, confide in a colleague you trust, or find someone you feel comfortable talking to about your concerns. Alternatively, write down your thoughts and emotions in a journal and share with your supervisor. This could help you to organize your thoughts and make better sense of the situation. As always, if you can’t get answers from your supervisors, you can reach out to me.
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It’s easy to forget your own needs when you’re trying to support others, but it’s important to look after yourself as well. Don’t forget – we can’t do what we do without YOU!!
.
Karen

Please take the following message very seriously.
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Unfortunately, Deb is no longer with HHS. Steps to protect our agency have been put into place to protect outside accounts, etc and with the work and support of our management team and the Office of Head Start, please know that our agency is safe and sound.
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Your managers are all abreast of what they can be at this time and are prepared to support you, answer questions (as we can legally), and be a listening ear.
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Know that your jobs are not in jeopardy at all and my hope is that you can just come in and do your work and let us handle the upper level issues.
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We (managers and I) will be as honest and transparent with all of you as we can when information becomes available.
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We are poised to keep things moving forward on behalf of you and our children and families.
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Please know that any outside contact with past employees is against our policies and procedures in regards to our current work. Of course you may maintain your relationships outside of work and off the clock.
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Thank you for your continued efforts and for doing what you do!
.
Karen
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..
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15 thoughts on “What’s going on at Heartland Head Start?

  1. LMAO asking the ambulance to move! Now that is what I call DRUNK! Stinkin’, red faced, three sheets to the wind, pie-eyed, trippin’ as-wasted!

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    1. Guess the local media didn’t find this story worth writing about. I’m sure it has nothing to do with their cozy alignment between the media and our esteemed mayor, a close ally of Crabs.

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  2. Head Start was designed in the LBJ Great Society era to provide a, well, head start to low-income children. Studies have shown, however, zero learning growth among children going through headstart versus those that do not. Essentially, it’s free, socialized childcare. Locally, the turnover situation is troubling. Usually, lots of turnover in a short period of time can be traced to a bad manager or executive leader. The use of “privacy issues” in the first letter is vague and just seems like a convenient excuse not to talk about Bill’s situation. The ensuing language suggests Bill wasn’t falling in line. Letter 2 seems more intriguing with the terminology of “outside accounts.” What outside accounts? Bank accounts? Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To be blunt, a significant number of people in this area put on a pedestal as a community leader are trainwrecks when it comes to their behaviors outside the office environment. All that matters to many of them is to have a fancy title, make as much money as possible and be recognized when out and about. Their personal lives are often the inverse of their carefully crafted images whether it’s substance abuse, being a lousy spouse or worse yet, a failure as a parent or a mixture of all three and more.

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  4. Basically, when you GET people like Koos and Renner into office, you’re going to have “substandard” people running other positions of “power” so you NEED to get out and VOTE these people out, so that the REST of their “followers” don’t get complacent.
    “Birds of a feather” philosophy… in a UPTOWN nutshell.
    No excuse WHY THESE two towns CANNOT have EXCELLENT management, streets, services, credit ratings and just plain good old people running them.
    IT IS TIME TO CLEAN THE SWAMP!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Head Start is a wonderful organization that provides much more than “childcare” to eligible families. There is bipartisan support at the federal level because the assistance given to families with children unborn to age 5 has been proven to help empower families and children to be more successful in public schools.

    Kudos to the Executive Director and Board for making difficult decisions that will enable them to restructure and be more effective and efficient in the next decade.

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  6. The second email sounds a lot like the e-mails Tami Foley and Debra White from Mid-Central Community Action used to send when someone quit or was fired. Wait Tami Foley was involved with Heartland Head Start…in fact she was supposed to rewrite their policies and procedures book. I think Head Start is great…When it serves children and families. Does Heartland still do that or is it a political hot spot right now.

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  7. All the data is against the Head Start program, but hey…..when you can build a multi BILLION dollar Leftwing indoctrination machine, targeting youth even before they are born (will the abortionists allow me to call them “youth”….OK–tissue masses) on the taxpayer’s dime, what’s not to love?

    No wonder all the Democrat presidential candidates support universal (some even Mandatory) preschool for children.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wait, so now Head Start is training kids to be Communists? I’m losing count now. It seems everything that comes in front of my kids wants them to be red communist bastards. I must take my family off to the wilderness where we can create a perfect community where we wear American flags for clothes and make sure we don’t eat animals that could be Communist. A place where we can use our guns freely to chop down trees for firewood and shoot at those NASA satellites that are trying to beam subliminal, Marxist propaganda. A place where we can suffer from deadly diseases because those vaccines are created by government force people to become slaves and pay taxes without question.
    On a serious note Maggie. I always enjoy your posts because it makes me glad I don’t live with you or live with someone like you where I would be subjected to a 24/7 fever swamp of anti-Communist hysteria and worrying if I read the New York Times that I would need administer CPR to you because you would have a heart attack. Have a beer or something and don’t worry if sounds like it came from a Socialist country.

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  9. in essence she is a public employee if Head Start gets taxpayer monies . and what happens to public employees in BLONO,why NOTHING! they just go on their merry way after commiting crimes that would land the rest of us in jail . must be nice to be one of the privileged . wonder what would have happened if someone had been killed by this chick? my guess,nothing!

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  10. Nothing would have happened like this when Debbie Ditchen was Director. She built Heartland Head Start, Karen is demolishing it.

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