The Tale of the Plagiarizing Principal

James Caudill

Once upon a time, there was a principal. His name was James Caudill. He was principal at a very old school with an illustrious reputation, Naperville Central High.

Then graduation time came along. Mr. Caudill needed to give a speech. But he had other things to do and no time to write a speech. Then he had a great idea. He remembered that the high school kept an archive of graduation speeches from years past. (By the way, full disclosure – I am an alumnus of Naperville Central. I spoke at my graduation in 2000 and the school asked for a copy of my speech.)  So Mr. Caudill found a speech that he liked, one written by a former student. He decided to use it.

When graduation came along, Mr. Caudill delivered that stolen speech. Someone in the assembled crowd of students, parents, and teachers thought the words sounded oddly familiar. She thought, “Hey, that’s my speech!” She was a teacher at Central now but a few years back, she had been a student at Central.

Mr. Caudill was caught in a brazen act of plagiarism. Now he is no longer principal at Naperville Central. The school district, Naperville Community Unit School District 203 decided to “reassign” him. I hear he now works in 203’s administrative office.

But a little research on the internet revealed an interesting twist to the story. As an employee of a public school district in Illinois, Mr. Caudill’s salary is a matter of public record. His current salary is approximately $138,000. On the other hand, Mr. Wiesbrook, his successor as principal at Central, earns about $114,000 a year.

The moral of the story? Cheaters never prosper – except in Naperville.

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