Homer School District 33C Board of Education Meeting March 21, 2017

Summary of the Homer School District 33C

Board of Education Meeting

March 21, 2017


            Barb Wilson, President      Angela Adolf, Vice President      Amy Blank, Secretary

    Deb Martin, Member    Ed Campins, Member    Elizabeth Hitzeman, Member    Russ Petrizzo, Member                                                                                       



At the March 21st Board of Education meeting:


  • The Board recognized a number of students, teachers and staff members for various achievements, including:
    • A Homer Junior High School student who was named recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Student Technology Award through Infinitec. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement using assistive or adaptive technology.
    • Students who raised the most money for the American Heart Association this past February during Jump Rope for Heart events. Together, the schools raised $67,600 and helped save 1,352 lives.
    • The Homer Mustang Wrestling team, which won its 10th straight Regional and its 8th Sectional in 10 years. The team, coached by David Rush, Kenton Brace, Chris Myers and Paul Oster, finished the season by taking 2nd in State at the IESA State Tournament earlier this month. Six wrestlers medaled at the tournament, including one State Champion.
    • The Homer Mustang 7th grade Girls Volleyball team, which took 2nd in State at the IESA 4A State series earlier this month. The team is coached by Ken Zeimetz.
    • The Homer Junior High School staff members who participated in the Polar Plunge and raised $8,520.65 for Special Olympics Illinois. Participants included: Brittany Konsoer, Shannon Gentile, Allison Connolly, Janina Giantomasso, Alexis Hirsch, Nichole Boyce, Tiffani Stark, Erin Sagon, Diane Blaskey, Kendra Michalik, Maxine Pavlovich, Caroline Risum, Kelly Kardas, Stephanie Moore, Mary Kay Oldendorf, Amy Marzano, Sam Hoinacki and Marisa Lopez.
    • Homer Junior High School teacher Shannon Schroeder who was named 2017 Educator of the Year by Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) — a professional organization that promotes the development, growth and use of technology in all facets of education.


  • Homer Junior High School teachers and club sponsors Laura Collins and Shannon Schroeder introduced the school’s Natural Helpers who continually outreach to and/or refer support for peers in need. The group of 28 students (including two 8th grade peer leaders) recently attended a weekend treat where they attended Peer Leadership and Helping Skill Training sessions.


  • Member Hitzeman presented an overview of the March 14th Finance & Operations Committee Meeting, which included discussions about Chromebook purchases for the 2017-2018 school year, a network upgrade and a request from the Will County Emergency Management – Red Cross to renew its agreement to use Homer 33C schools as shelters in emergency situations.


  • Teachers Union representative Jane Fojtik reminded everyone that the Union will host a School Board Candidate Meet and Greet on March 29, 2017, giving residents an opportunity to hear from the seven candidates seeking to serve them. The Meet and Greet will begin at 7 p.m. in the Homer Junior High School cafeteria.


  • Support Staff Union representative Susan Koziarski reported that negotiations are moving along and that the Support Staff Union hopes to see a great turnout at the School Board Candidate Meet and Greet.


  • The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:


Dismissal/Non-Renewal of Probationary Teachers

  1. Heidi Van De Voort
  2. Jennifer Vondra



  1. Anna Burke – Speech Language Pathologist, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year
  2. Colleen Crabbe – Special Education teacher, Homer Junior High School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year
  3. Adam Kueltzo – 6th grade Science teacher, Hadley Middle School, effective for the 2017-2018 school year
  4. Josette Crapia – 0.5 FTE custodian, Homer Junior High School, effective March 8, 2017
  5. Erin Fiske – coach for 6th/7th grade boys volleyball, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year


Letters of Intent to Retire

  1. Shelly Strahanoski – 3rd grade teacher, Butler School, subject to compliance with the applicable requirements of TRS and the District’s collective bargaining agreement


Leaves of Absence (Beginning and end dates open to modification)

  1. Sylvia McLenighan – art teacher, Hadley Middle School, effective at the start of the school year for six weeks with a return date on October 10, 2017
  2. Joan Kryl – bus driver, Transportation Department, effective March 14, 2017 through April 17, 2017


            Employment Recommendations

  • Certified staff probationary recommendations
  • Title I Summer Bridge Program Principals
    1. Jennifer Theissing – Grades K-2 program principal
    2. Jon Grill – Grades 3-4 program principal
  • Psychologist supervisory stipend recommendation
    1. Gwen Grant – stipend of $3,000 for each contract as a clinical supervisor role for interns/externs
  • Julie Tanguay – lunchroom/recess monitor, Butler School, effective March 27, 2017
  • Kelly Crimmins – accounting coordinator, administration, effective April 7, 2017


  • The Board reviewed and approved a revised job description, job title and terms of employment for the Assistant Director of Special Services (Special Education Coordinator)


  • Kathleen Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, presented an overview of the District’s Science Cadres and their review of science content, assessment and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learning science is no longer confined to reading and studying topics, but also investigating bigger ideas, interrelated concepts and practices of science. Today’s student is expected to learn about science by doing science — not reading about it and memorizing content. To meet the new learning standards, the District’s Science Cadres piloted several new programs this year and recommended the District implement FOSS (a fully digital curriculum) at Grade 5 and STEMscopes and Discovery Education Streaming (another fully digital program with hands-on inquiry learning) at Grades 6-8. The material will replace the District’s 15-year old textbooks, which are not only outdated but sometimes inaccurate. Teachers have been supplementing the material with videos and nonfiction print resources. The new digital material can be updated yearly and is accessible on Chromebooks, iPads, smartphones and desktop or laptop computers.


  • The Board adopted the Science curriculum resources as recommended by the District’s Science Cadres for grades 5-8. The implementation cost for the three-year adoption is $148,200 — $28 per student, per year.


  • The Board approved a recommendation to purchase 500 Chromebooks for the 2017-2018 school year and repurpose those currently used by our 8th grade students. The repurposed Chromebooks will be redistributed to the elementary schools and the new Chromebooks will be issued to incoming 5th Students entering grades 6, 7 and 8 will keep the Chromebooks they are using this school year. The new Chromebooks are not to exceed $110,000.


  • The Board agreed to hire Sentinel Technologies to upgrade the District’s network. The company submitted a request for proposal (RFP) that meets the District’s growing needs and offers the best firewall protection.


  • The Board did not approve Karen Musial’s request for retirement incentives without meeting the eligibility requirements set forth by the District’s 2017-2019 collective bargaining agreement.





The Next Regular School Board Meeting is April 25, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

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