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News from the May 16th Board of Education Meeting

News from the May 16th Board of Education Meeting

The District 64 Board of Education held a regular meeting on Thursday, May 16th in the Hendee Rooms. 


Recognition and Celebrations

Special Olympics

  • We celebrated the dedication and perseverance embodied by our very own District 64 Special Olympics team. “These athletes are a constant source of inspiration. They remind us that with hard work, anything is possible,” said Special Education Teacher Amanda Gump. “They show us the true meaning of sportsmanship, celebrating not just victory but the effort and the journey itself. To our athletes, you are champions; you inspire all of us with your dedication and spirit.”
  • Congratulations to our athletes Ben W., Henry C., Cece E., Julia B., Kimi C., Aidan D., Simone H., Isaac S., Augie B., Dominick J., Josh T. for competing in the Special Olympics last month!

Young Author Winners

  • We honored our Young Author Winners as well! Congratulations to each grade-level winner for their fantastic stories. You can find the list of winners here. As Curriculum Specialist Meghan Keefer said, “Write their names down because someday you will see their books published on the shelves in the bookstore or library!”. 

D64 Music

  • Additionally, we had numerous student musicians in attendance to celebrate their recent sweep at the Music in the Parks Festival! Congratulations to the D64 Concert Band, D64 Symphonic Band, D64 Concert Orchestra, D64 Philharmonic Orchestra, Emerson Show Choir, Lincoln Show Choir, and the D64 Honors Chorus, which performed and competed on their way to earning first-place finishes last month. 
  • “We're really proud of the work that all of you did to accomplish that, and we know that a lot of time and effort goes into making those ensembles,” said Superintendent Dr. Ben Collins. 
  • Staying with music, we also had to congratulate Erica Faulhaber and Ilona Hutter for winning the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Awards. You can read more about the prestigious honor here.

Emerson Middle School Spotlight

  • Emerson Principal Tessa Shulman and Assistant Principal Maria Soulias teamed up with Emerson staff and students to share how the Eagles embody the phrase, “Together We Are Emerson”.
  • The presentation can be viewed here. 
  • “It is truly the people inside of the building that come together to make us Emerson,” said Principal Shulman. “Our theme revolves around an inclusive environment for all, where we celebrate and support one another.”

Recognition of Tenured Teachers

  • At the meeting, we also recognized a group of teachers as the title of probationary teacher was removed, and then the title of tenured teacher was bestowed upon these individuals. “I think it's great that we're also here to recognize some of our teachers,” said Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Joel Martin. “I think, for me, hiring is one of the greatest parts of the job that I get to do because I get to see the new teachers who come to District 64 and the commitment and the energy that they bring.”
  • Congratulations to tenured teachers of 2023-2024! Rachel Amundson, Natalie Briggs, Alyson Christensen, Julia Clarke, Beatrice Dahilig, Rita DiGiacinto, Hannah Ebert, Jennifer Garofalo, Brooke Goelz, Effie Horwitz, Kendra Hutchinson, Ilona Hutter, Nikki Kelsey, Kathleen Kennedy, Thomas Kimes, Benita King, Kathleen Kreisel, Jessica Kreppel, Jordyn Levitt, Victoria Lies, Jenna Magill, Mia O’Connell, Mary Oberg, Brandon Perl, Stephanie Polakowski, Maeve Scibeck, Ashley Stange, Jamie Takagi, Andrea Zito.

View a collection of photos from this Board meeting's celebrations.

Approval of Municipal Advisor

  • Motion Approved
  • PMA will act as the District’s municipal advisor. 
  • This is a different model than the District has operated in the past. The duties of the municipal advisor include both the duty of care and duty of loyalty. In this role, they will: 
    • Advise and assist the Issuer in formulating and executing a debt financing plan 
    • Determine an optimal financing structure
    • Incorporate the Issuer's debt needs with its operating needs and expectations
    • Prepare the official statement and rating agency presentation
    • Help to secure the lowest borrowing cost given market conditions

Superintendent Update

  • District Office Administrators joined Dr. Collins in presenting an update on the Strategic Plan's ongoing work. The presentation's PDF can be found here, and you can watch this part of the meeting here
  • As the school year is coming to a close, so is Dr. Collins’ first year as Superintendent. He presented how his transition is going. Highlighted by 220 total school visits for Dr. Collins, it’s been a busy and fun first year on the job! You can find his presentation here and watch it online by clicking here
  • “I just want to say thank you for the trust that you've put in me and for letting me learn along the way as I've grown into this role,” said Dr. Collins. “I'm excited to be better in year two than I am in year one.”

Board Committee Reports

  • Board Member Rachel Georgakis gave an update on the two Policy Committee Meetings that have taken place since the last regular Board meeting. The most recent Policy Committee Meeting included parents, staff, administrators, and school board members as they reviewed the student-parent handbook. 

Student Services Action Plan

  • Director of Student Services Alicia Schmeisser and Emerson Speech and Language Pathologist Julie Flyke gave an update on the Student Services Action Plan. Work within the committee is ongoing, but the mini-teams have identified and defined four potential specialized programs to support students. ​​The committee will continue this work in the 2024-2025 school year, expanding collaboration with staff members in the identified buildings for each specialized program, providing targeted professional development at the building level to prepare for the transition, and engaging families to support their understanding and involvement.
  • You can read that presentation here
  • To watch this portion of the meeting, click here. 

Legal Fee Discussion

  • Dr. Collins and the Board discussed the District’s legal fees over the past several years. At the end of the fiscal year, a report similar to the one presented will be presented to the Board with final billing numbers.

Resolution #1337 Authorizing the Sale of Real Property

  • Motion Approved

Consent Agenda
The Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda

  • Bills, Payroll, & Benefits
  • Financial Update for the Period Ending March 31, 2023
  • Recommended Personnel Report
  • Administration and Non-Exempt Non-Union raises
  • 2024-2025 Student/Parent Handbook (policies & specific sections) 
  • Resolution #1338 Directing the Transfer of funds from the Education Fund to the Operations and Maintenance Fund and then to the Capital Projects Fund
  • Resolution #1339 Authorizing and Directing the Permanent Transfer of Money from the Operations and Maintenance Fund to the Debt Service Fund for Debt Certificates
  • Resolution #1340 Permanent Transfer of Capital Leases
  • Resolution #1341 Working Cash Abatement
  • Intergovernmental Agreement for Crossing Guard Services
  • Consolidated District Plan for Grant Funding
  • 2024-2025 Board of Education Meeting Dates
  • Meeting Minutes of the April 18, 2024, Regular Meeting, April 18, 2024, Closed Meeting, and Amended March 21, 2024, Regular Meeting

Together We Discover, Learn, Grow & Care

At D64, our mission is to foster opportunities for discovery, engagement, and growth for all students. We accomplish this by nurturing interdependence, appreciation of differences, and care for self and others.

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