May 2018

Board Meeting Highlights
May 21, 2018

Complete information packet


  • School Finance – Frank Panzica reported – Discussion covered many items on tonight’s agenda: 2018-19 tentative budgets for D39 and WCEA –FY 19 budget will be voted on in August; Illinois prevailing wages; Kindergarten Enrichment options; and how to best discuss administrator benefits packages. Next meeting is Monday, June 11th at 8:00 am.
  • Facilities Development – Alice Schaff reported – Construction manager gave update on Highcrest project, which is on schedule for summer; architect gave update on the learning commons in phase 2. Next meeting is Monday, June 11th at 8:00 am.
  • Community Review Committee – Alice Schaff reported – Audit report was approved and will be presented tonight. Committee is finalizing the primary report for this school year to be presented in June. Officers for next year and research topics were discussed. Next meeting is Monday, June 4th at 7:00 pm.
  • Educational Foundation – Lisa Schneider-Fabes reported – Foundation said goodbye to departing members. As a gift to the District, the Foundation is providing two pedal desks per homeroom (144 total) at HMS and WJHS for $5,000. Fundraising goals were exceeded this year leaving $133,000 in the bank. Next year’s budget was approved. Twelve new board members were welcomed. Exiting chair Liesel Brown was thanked for her service; Linda McKenzie will be chair for next year.
  • WCSEA – Ellen Sternweiler reported – Meeting was today. Discussed leadership advisory board changes for 2018-19 due to retirements of Denise Thrasher and Gail Buscemi. Meeting dates and tentative budget were set.

Tracy Kearney reported. No activity.


Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

Student Recognition – Student achievements in Special Olympics, Science Olympiad, Math Counts, and Chess were acknowledged

WJHS Assistant Principal – After a thorough search, Jeff Dees is recommended as the new 7th grade GLAd at WJHS, replacing Doug Wernet who is taking a Principal position in Frankfort. Jeff taught social studies from 2006-2012, first at St. Mary’s in Lake Forest and then at Loyola Academy.  He was promoted in 2012 to Department Chair at Loyola. Jeff earned his Bachelors from Northwestern University and a Masters in Education from John Carroll University in Ohio. Finally, he earned an administrative endorsement through DePaul University. Welcome Jeff!

Administrators’ 2018-2019 Contractual Salary Increases - Administrator salaries are indexed to Consumer Price Index (CPI). For FY19 recommended salary increases are CPI + .9%. However, with recent retirements, aggregate administrator salaries have actually decreased by 3.4%.

Superintendent Search – Lisa Schneider-Fabes reported. The Board has contracted to work with SCHOOL EXEC CONNECT and had a successful planning meeting with them last month. The search process will begin in earnest after school opens in September. Parents and staff will be surveyed and eight focus groups will help develop a profile that will be shared at the October Board meeting. Following that, a stakeholder’s committee of parents, staff, and community members will be formed to participate in the second round of candidate interviews. Our plan is to announce the final selection at the December or January Board of Education meeting. The D39 website will always have the most current information on the search and will be updated as new information is available. (This press release was sent after the Board meeting).

Strategic Plan Updates

  • CRC Audit Report – Dr. Meg Kahdemanm, CRC president, introduced past president Erin Stone to give the report.
  • Kindergarten Enrichment – Ms. Lee and Ms. Buscemi - Additional data charts and survey results are included in this report.There is ongoing support and interest in a Kindergarten Enrichment option.

Annual Business

  • Illinois Prevailing Wages – Ms. Buscemi - The Illinois Department of Labor establishes the prevailing rate of wages. Each public body is required to adopt, publicly post, and provide in all construction contracts a copy of the prevailing wages. Each year, New Trier High School coordinates the prevailing wages process with the township.
  • Fiscal Year 2019 District 39 Tentative Budget - Ms. Buscemi – In order to abide by Truth in Taxation Statues, it is necessary for the Board of Education to adopt a tentative budget. The Board is required to approve, and publicly display, a tentative budget 30 days prior to adopting a final budget and to hold a budget hearing prior to final adoption. Notice of the August public hearing will be published on May 24th. Operating Funds budgeted revenues are $75,795,945 and budgeted expenditures are $78,670,043. The budgeted year-end fund balance reflects $32,581,390 or 55.7% of annual expenditures in fund reserve.
  • Budget Resolutions – Ms. Buscemi - Three budget resolutions are tied to the Tentative Budget.


Board member Tracy Kearney removed the following items from the Consent Agenda:

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:


The three items pulled from the Consent Agenda were discussed and approved separately.

Dr. Lechner introduced the following item, which was approved by the Board:
Appointment of the 2018-2019 Assistant Superintendent
Following the retirement of Dr. Denise Thrasher, Dr. Heather Glowacki is recommended as the next Assistant Superintendent. Dr. Glowacki has a long history in D39.  Over this 23-year career, Heather has served as a special education teacher, a special education coordinator, an Asst. Principal (in 3 different schools), Principal of Romona, and Administrator of Human Resources. As we do in D39, the Asst. Superintendent maintains their current position, but receives added responsibilities that fill in for the Superintendent when needed.

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
June 18, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.


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