Recap of D155 February Board Meeting


The recent board meeting offered a sneak peek of what the PR library will look like after summer 2022 construction.

The District 155 school board held its monthly meeting at Cary-Grove High School on February 15, 2022. The Prairie Ridge news team provides the following synopsis to make the information more convenient and accessible. Use the specific hyperlinks embedded below to view those sections in the publicly accessible video.

The session began with the Cary Grove presentation about its art program. Dr. Neil Lesinski, the principal of Cary Grove, introduced the three C-G art teachers–Mrs. Wendy Guss, Mrs. Lindsey Dileo, & Mrs. Taylor Smith–who teach “essential life skills.”

The value of taking high school art classes was the first topic at the February 2022 District 155 Board meeting.

The teachers focused on the art program’s creating worth, creating opportunities, and creating confidence for students.  Cary-Grove art students Emily Miranda, Sheyla Arizmendi, Lucas Hennessey, and Connor Elbert shared their stories. The teachers then highlighted the $2,732,272 of scholarships gained by D155 art students through IHSAE. Riley Day, Charlie Matulewicz, Tyler Michaelis, Kacy Hayes, Broderick Vaclavek, Ali Cielak, and Addisyn Donfris then spoke. The teachers ended by speaking about commitment day and the Odyssey Artwalk.

Next was the report by Director of Communications and Community Relations Shannon Podzimek who recognized Cary Grove’s Varsity football team and invited Coach Seaburg to speak to the past few years and spotlight the team’s seniors.

The communications report also included the district’s nine FOIA requests in the last month, a notable increase.

Then came public participation, where members of the community are given three minutes each to speak to the board.

Lisa M. : Shared the story of her friend Elwyn Hart 

James T. : Discussed bill 818, a bill dealing with K-12 sex education, requesting “all parents or guardians be notified proactivly in writing of the existance of the opt-out” option

Alexander D. : Implored people to be considerate of high risk individuals and “basically care about the people around you.”

Chris S. : Regarding his involvement with two lawsuits of the board, stated: “This is a happy day. This temporary restraining order against you–you wouldn’t do the right thing on your own so very excited about this piece of paper.” 

Laura S. : Finds it ironic that the board says the pledge of allegiance “because we really are running from tyranny within the district.” Continues on to how Jay Carr voted nine to zero on the ruling concerning the executive order. She then references statements the previous speaker made and past times she has spoken.

Zach Z. : “I believe we see a group of highly trained child abuse facilitators” and that the board abused the students with the mask mandate.

Bruce J. : Thanks school board for allowing children to now be able to make the choice of whether or not to wear masks. Continues on saying, “We all know masking has never been about the science but, in fact, about compliance.Yet it goes much deeper than that.” He then voices his worry that his children and grandchildren will lose their basic American rights.

Kathy G. : Discussed how Dr. Fauci and the CDC’s definitions and claims have changed over time.

Once her time was up Kathy G. did not step away from the mic and continued to speak even after the mic was shut off.

Theodore S. : Expressed frustration that “there was never an exit plan for COVID. No clear path back to normal” and the mental stress put on students. He closes by urging the board to reject the ESSER funds.

He also did not stop once his three minutes concluded and continued to speak even after his mic was shut off.

Chief Officer of Finance & Operations Dr. Kevin Werner’s Finance Report.

The ending balance of January 55.8 million, slightly up from the previous month

FEMA aid has been extended to April 15

9.4 million payment for January 12 through February 8

After Dr. Kevin Werner stated that a number of the shared D47/D155 school buses have already received filtration upgrades, board member Mr. Secrest points out that the D155 board had not been consulted about the decision to implement the new filtration systems.

Troy Stinger gave the Operations report which included information about summer construction projects, which includes updated spaces for “student tutoring and learning” within each of the high schools. At Prairie Ridge, the updates will take place inside the library.

Human Resources report by Associate Superintendent of HR Jay Sargeant

Board policies revisions were approved

Matt Timmerman moves to Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services & Strategic Partnerships & Ben Thomas new Division Leader for Humanities at CLC

After that was the report of the Superintendent by Mr. Steve Olson. He introduced Justin DeBolt, head of the Career Experience Program, who gave a presentation about the new program that will help connect students to careers such as manufacturing or engineering.  Superintendent Olson also recognized Crystal Lake Central’s State Champion cheerleaders and the 76 early graduates from District 155 high schools.

School board member Jason Blake interjected before the board moved on to new business about putting politics aside and returning the board’s focus to education.

In new business a representative from the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) Tom Leahy spoke to the board about possible options for the replacement process of our current superintendent Mr. Steve Olson.

The next District 155 school board meeting will be held on March 15 at 7:00 pm at the District 155 Center for Education, One South Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.