Elmbrook board member David Marcello on Elmbrook education

This e-mail is from Elmbrook board member David Marcello to Renee Larson, the parent quoted in today’s article. It’s vintage Dave.

Dear Mrs. Larson,

I want to thank you for contacting me about K-4 education.

I want to encourage you to express your thoughts and opinions.

You may know that I do not support expanded K-4 education.
I believe kids do better in school when they have the opportunity to have more and varied experiences with their parents, grand parents, friends, and other care givers.

The trouble with school In my opinion is that School is basically boring.
Your child will have many years of boredom to endure in school so why rush it?
Having twin one year old’s would motivate me to want K-4 education also.
it would be great to have a place for your four year old to go. There are many good places already in our community however.

Even good schools like Hillside are often boring for kids. Just ask them when they come off the bus. They will tell you. ‘ I hate school’ or ‘school is boring’.

From the mouth of babes often comes truth and wisdom. If we were only so wise to listen.

I have other concerns regarding K-4 education which have to do with the additional cost it shifts to the community.
There is no proof that starting kids like your child in school at age 4 will make him a better learner.
In fact Finland, whose students have consistently scored the highest on world wide standardized knowledge and achievement tests, does not start school until age 7. In my opinion your child will do much better in school as a result of being with you another year or two.


david marcello
P.S. Congratulations on your great family.

There you go! I don’t support 4K either, but I don’t think I’d label education boring. I’m trying to get the time this letter was sent to see if it’s one of Dave’s famous drinking letters. I have a few of those.


  1. So, is she supposed to send her kid to Finland or does Dave send his twins to Finland or…? Jeez, this is too hard.

  2. @refreshingly candid – I held your comment back since you posted under two different names within a few minutes. If you’d like to pick one and stick to it, I’d be glad to relabel the comment and let it stand.

  3. Renee Larson says:

    This is Renee Larson, I am the one that received the email. I want everybody to know I did not send this email to people so that Mr. Marcello could be publically humilated. I think it is important that the Elmbrook Community knows how their board feels towards all issues. And although I still can not believe his can say our schools are boring and it does upset me GREATLY that one of our board members has this attitude. Let’s be sure we are focusing on issues not personalities. And although my issue is bringing the 4k back, there will always be an issue someone is passionate about. So it so very important to know who is on the board and what they stand for and be a part on running for the board or making sure you know who you are voting for. Let’s make sure we focus on our Children’s education and if you do not like a board member be part of the election process and also know what is going on with the board. Just an FYI you can receive an email on the board agenda for every meeting.

    Renee Larson

  4. I have to say that I also agree with Dave. School IS boring. I don’t know any 4 year old who would rather go to school than stay home with an attentive (attentive being a key word here) caregiver.
    Also, what academic advantages are there to 4k?
    You learn the same things in 5K that you learn in 4K.
    I think it’s a joke that so many parents out there are “APPALLED” that Dave said school is boring.
    Yes, education can be fun, but I hardly doubt it is in public school. Do so many people think that sitting at a desk for the whole day while the teacher barely has enough time to give you undivided personal attention is fun? Then again, maybe for kids whose parents don’t have time for them at home, it is fun.
    Either people just make themselves believe that school is fun to lessen their own guilt, or their standards for learning and what constitutes as fun, is just too low.
    Sidenote: tracking IP addresses? What’s the point in that?

  5. Sorry, r. candid, but I’m not going to do it. If you want to be refreshingly candid under your other posting name, that would be, well, refreshingly candid, wouldn’t it? I’m not one to encourage the use of multiple personalities on my blog.

    (Disclosure – I’ve posted under “it’s me” a couple of times to test comment software, but erased them.)

    Most blogging software automatically tracks IP addresses. That’s just the way it is, little one.

    How are you enjoying the super early release Thursdays?

  6. Why block someone just because it’s from the same IP address? And why assume it’s the same person? Many users can have the same IP address.

  7. But that wasn’t the case for this user. Should he/she want to keep one name and use it for all the comments, that would be great.

  8. Dear Cindy, After reading and listening to parents concerns about 4K in the Elmbrook School District, I could not agree more with their decision to not have this program. I, like many parents that have teenagers in high school and children in college feel that we chose to have our kids in school at that young of an age, we chose our own PAID programs throughout the community. I see no reason at all to have a 4K program. As far as the Dave Marcello bashing, you should be held accountable for slander. I have known Dave Marcello throughout the years, and have only known him to be a caring, UNINTIMIDATING and Christian person. I have seen him donate time to the soccer association, the St Dominic Home and School, and he is a loving father and husband. He is not one to have a fast temper, in fact only the opposite. He coached one of my sons in basketball, and my son has the highest regard for Dave. It truly upsets me to see you TRY to make him seem like a person he is not. YOU, on the other hand, are a mean and vindictive person. Could we talk about your parenting role, and the decision your eldest son chose to make a few years back? That could all be blamed on you, and your mean spiritness. Please leave your personal, unvalidated reason for dislike of Dave out of your daily blog. It only makes you look like an angry, middle aged lady who is very disliked in her community. I would know, I never hear a nice thing about you, and I live in your immediate community.

  9. Then Mary, you’ve never been on the bad side of Dave Marcello. Consider yourself fortunate. I’ve known Dave for 14 years. There has been a lot to make me wary in those years.

    I know we know each other. It’s not that big a neighborhood. I will say you have very poor judgment to put a man like Dave Marcello in higher esteem than a woman who has spent years trying to expose the weak leadership in our community for the child abusers and get-rich-quick goofs they are.

    If you continue to attack my children like the disgusting-bitch move you made above, you can expect to go down in flames. Disagree with me all you want, but when you drag my family into it, you get a full-fledged war without rules.

    It’s exactly what you deserve.

    PS – if any of you would like to share your feelings with Mary, her e-mail is mba3boiz@aol.com (MBA is short for Mary Beth Anderson, a good Christian woman from St. Dominic’s community.)

  10. Update – I’ve had an email correspondence with Mary Beth confirming it is indeed her. I’ve asked her to meet with me, and I suggested that Fr. Dave be involved. She has refused.

    Some people like their version of a story so much that they run from any place the truth might be exposed.

  11. Shawn Matson says:

    On the other hand, it’s a pretty sad reflection on our community that someone like Dave Marcello–that is, someone who says education is “boring”–is elected to the school board because we’re too lazy and apathetic to pay attention.

    You know what’s boring? Working for a cause you don’t believe in. You’d know, Dave.

    And Mary, we’re glad you live in the immediate neighborhood, seeing as it means as much as a warthog’s backside.

  12. I’ve said lots of nice things about Cindy and I don’t even live in her immediate community. BTW she’s not “middle-aged.”

    I’m just not in favor of sending anybody to Finland.

  13. Now grumps, if I turned out to be middle-aged, would that make you (giggle) old?

  14. I live in this community and I have very high regard for Ms. Kilkenny. I know many who share my opinion. It takes a brave person to expose the goings-on in a community so that we can judge how our representatives are representing us. It is of great benefit to get the inside scoop on local issues. Without Ms. Kilkenny, we’d be clueless. I respect her battle scars.

  15. That’s not what will make me “old,” CK. It’s all the miles on rough roads.

  16. It should come as no surprise to Ms. Larson or anyone in this community that Mr. Marcello would not be supportive of a push to reinstate 4K. As I recall, his opposition to the program was listed early on in his campaign literature. What does perplex me, is why he was not among one of the 3 board members to vote to table the discussion for 2 years.

  17. Libby, I read it very quickly, but I thought perhaps that was a committee vote. He may not be on that committee? (A committee vote would explain why only 3 votes made a majority.)

    That’s what I saw, anyway.

  18. Ah – thank you.