Saturday, May 31, 2008

An Illinois high school does what SIU didn't do about plagiarism

The Chicago Tribune reported that Illinois School District 203's superintendent moved to reassign Naperville Central High School Principal Jim Caudill next school year, while student Steve Su is being asked to return his valedictorian's medal, after each plagiarized portions of speeches they gave during commencement events last week, the district announced Thursday, May 29.

There seemed to be little doubt that Caudill was well liked: Caudill is popular with many students and parents for his outgoing personality and willingness to work long hours to accommodate school tours and support student activities. He has worked for District 203 for 34 years as a guidance counselor, dean and administrator, coming to Naperville Central in 1983 and being named principal in 2003.

The Tribune also noted: Caudill said that for his address to a senior honors event, he copied a speech given by 1997 graduate Megan Nowicki, now Megan Nowicki-Plackett, who is a teacher in the school's communications arts department.

Caudill said that the night before his speech, dissatisfied with the remarks he had prepared for the honors event, he decided to seek inspiration from previous speeches that the school keeps in a file.

Caudill said he thought Nowicki-Plackett's speech was good and decided to use much of it. He said he did not call her at home for permission because it was so late at night. He said he considered sending her an e-mail but decided that was inappropriate, so he decided to call her the day of the event, "but I just got busy and I forgot to do it."

For a discussion of the Poshard matter at Southern Illinois University, see for example


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