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Libertyville High band director fired for ‘inappropriate relationship’ with former student

Libertyville High School bdirector Jeff Daeschler. | Special Sun-Times Media

Libertyville High School band director Jeff Daeschler. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 17, 2013 7:50PM

LIBERTYVILLE — The band director at Libertyville High School was fired Monday night by the Community High School District 128 Board of Education for having an inappropriate physical relationship with an 18-year-old student when she attended the school several years ago.

District Superintendent Prentiss Lea said the district is also seeking to revoke the teaching credentials of Jeff Daeschler through the Illinois State Board of Education.

“Although legal requirements prevent us from revealing specific information about the investigative process, we handled this matter with the utmost urgency it deserved and immediately followed all legally required reporting and investigative protocols,” Lea said. “Mr. Daeschler was immediately removed from his teaching duties pending the final outcome of the investigation. “

He said the decision to dismiss Daeschler, who took over as band director in 2010, was based “on the weight and validity of investigative evidence.”

“He was always bright-eyed, and well-liked by the kids,” said one band parent, noting officials have been “really tight-lipped at the school” since Daeschler went on administrative in November. “One line of thought had him away to look after a sick relative,” the parent added.

Lea said officials will be available to meet with parents at 7 p.m. today, Jan. 15, in the LHS Studio Theatre,.

He said allegations raised against Daeschler “are often frustrating because investigative and legal requirements prevent us from being as forthcoming” with parents during the investigative process.

“In addition, in a substantiated case like this, there is a victim,” Lea said. “We want to do everything possible to protect her identity, so that she is not victimized again through public exposure of her identity throughout and after the process.”

A Libertyville police spokesman said Tuesday the department’s School Resource Officer interviewed the student and there was no basis for any criminal charges because the young woman was an adult.

Lea said District 128 officials will “continue to act quickly to thoroughly investigate any allegation of inappropriate behavior by our staff toward students, and we will rely on the investigative evidence to render a final determination.”

As for the band program, Lea said Daeschler’s classes are being taught by music instructors from Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools, and officials are in discussion with former Libertyville High and Director Don Shupe, who retired in 2010, about his return to the program in February.

He said the district will be posting the open band direct position for the 2013-14 school year.

“The selection committee will include a parent representative to ensure community input in hiring the best possible candidate,” Lea said.

According to Daeschler’s online profile, his teaching responsibilities included Freshman Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, Wind Ensemble and The Marching Wildcats. He also directed Jazz Ensemble II.

Prior to his arrival at Libertyville, he taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he served as the conductor of the University Band, assistant conductor of the historic Summer Band, assistant director of the Basketball Band, on the staff of the Marching Illini and an instructor of conducting.

He also was a supervisor of pre-service teaching experiences for undergraduate instrumental music education majors. During that same time he completed coursework for a doctor of education in Music Education degree. As a teacher at the university, he achieved “outstanding” status on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.

Daeschler holds a bachelor of music education and a master of music education, also from Illinois.

From 2003-08, Daeschler served as director of bands at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in south suburban Palos Hills where he guided all aspects of the instrumental music program, including a two-time grand champion marching band, three concert bands, two percussion ensembles, jazz ensemble, pep band, and pit orchestra for the musical. Prior to Stagg he was the band/choir director at downstate Rantoul Township High School.

Daeschler is the second Lake County high school teacher to be removed from his job in the last month for allegedly having inappropiate contact with students. In December, Brandon Brown, 30, a Waukegan High School coach and physical education teacher was charged with criminal sexual assault for allegedly having sex with a student.

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