Husband of former coach calls for two resignations at Shiloh School amid harassment allegations


HUME — The Community Unit School District 1 school board’s monthly meeting on Feb. 14 launched a myriad of questions, feelings, strong opinions and the possibility of a long-term investigation.

Pat Sanstrom, the spouse of a former Shiloh School employee, presented a packet of information he labeled evidence to the Shiloh school board during the Wednesday night meeting. He claims his wife was harassed while working at the school, and then fired.

“There was an issue with my wife, harassment, and the person who was the athletic director at the time,” Sanstrom said. “It's disappointing because right here in the handbook, it says any workplace harassment will be looked into…with this enforcement that should have happened, my wife should have been protected, there should have been an investigation.”

Sanstrom told a Prairie Press reporter the conflict occurred between his wife and the school’s former athletic director on Nov. 4, 2023, over the number of basketball games fifth and sixth-grade athletes would play.

The conflict, which began at an event, escalated to a confrontation in the Shiloh gymnasium.

“He turned to my wife and started belittling her and yelling at her telling her she didn't coach well, that she didn't play her bench,” Sanstrom said. “He said how terrible she was in front of both teams, assistant coaches from both teams, the crowd and players. He then went into the hallway and cussed and screamed, belittling my wife, just going off.”

The concerned husband says the entire altercation was captured on video footage. He also says several people witnessed the director’s action and many took the time to check in on his wife.

According to Sanstrom, his wife followed the chain of command outlined in Shiloh School’s handbook and took her concerns directly to the superintendent on two separate occasions. He says that even though she was told the school board would look into the incident, no action was taken.

The documentation Sanstrom provided to the school board on Feb. 14 includes witness statements and records of his wife’s multiple complaints. He told the school board he would be more than willing to meet with the board to further discuss the matter but used the opportunity provided to him during the open session of the Wednesday evening meeting to appeal to the various board members, members of the public and media.

“No one deserves to go to work and be yelled at, nobody, especially at a school,” Sanstrom said. “I would ask that the board look at the issues I presented and either decide to give him (the former AD) the option to resign, or be discharged, per your own handbook.”

The individual Sanstrom alleges to be the antagonist in the scenario resigned as athletic director in January of 2024, but still coaches at the school. Sanstrom’s wife, a former coach for the school, was removed from her position in January by the school board.

When his wife was released from her position at the school Sanstrom says the couple was told by the board that several parents had complained about her coaching style. He also says that his wife was never informed that there were any complaints against her and was never given the chance to make any corrections.

“She worked here for five months, at the school every day, she was also here for games and events. He (the school superintendent) has our contact information, but he never let us know there were any issues,” Sanstrom said. “I also think you should give the superintendent the chance to resign or be discharged from his position, based on the fact that he did not do his job, and follow through with the harassment.”

Sanstrom says his last conversation with the superintendent, whom he referred to as a former rental tenant, was on Dec. 19.

“I just ask that you look at all of this, all of the dates and times, and the names of witnesses, and if you need more information I am here to help,” he said. “Our kids and the employees deserve better.”

Sanstrom says he has had conversations with the school’s superintendent, Bill Myers, in the past where Myers said that he didn't watch any of the video camera footage from the November altercation. 

“He didn't call the coaches from the other teams to get their side of the story or to see if, you know, my wife wasn't telling the story right,” Sanstrom said. “The ball got dropped.” 

Sanstrom believes that under the district's whistleblower act, his wife should have been protected. Additionally, he does not think his wife is the only one to have poor interactions with both the superintendent and former AD.

Superintendent Myers is currently on family leave for the death of a family member. He has not released any comments to the media.

In an interview with WCIA News, Kourtney Key, an assistant coach who worked with Sanstrom for two years, shared her side of the story.

Key says the former girl's basketball coach had several poor interactions with staff members and she believes the release of her employment by the school board was justified. 

“Throughout both seasons she (Sanstrom) has had negative reactions with all administrations, both ADs, because we had two different ADs,” Key told WCIA News. “I would get fired if I had multiple people saying, ‘I don’t want to work with them,’ or ‘I need someone to be a buffer between me and them.’ I would get fired from my job.”

In Sanstrom’s December letter to the school superintendent, she said interactions and altercations with the former AD “kept me from entering the Shiloh building without someone being with me…” 

Key told WCIA reporters that she would not defend the former AD but did not think any action was needed against the superintendent.

“There’s two sides to every story and I’m not okay with people using a situation to hurt people, especially people who didn’t do anything,” said Key. 

The school board began the process of creating a sub-committee for superintendent evaluation during their February board meeting.

“We’ve been working with the state to create a really good, solid superintendent evaluation process,” board president Aaron Richardson said. “I don’t know that it (the sub-committee) has to be just board members, I think it could be part of the union but I think there needs to be more discussion on it, I just want to make sure you guys know that we are looking to create a secondary committee.”

Richardson says the board needs to have an evaluation process in place, at least for the self-evaluation process, by the board’s next monthly meeting.

This is an ongoing story. The Prairie Press will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Shiloh, harassment, investigation, superintendent