Round Lake Area Schools Update

Look, a blog post!! I realized I haven’t posted anything here in some time so I will do an update here. I haven’t seen a reporter at one of our meetings in some time so either we’re boring now or they have something else better to do! Here’s what’s going on.

Board Reorganization

Tammie Hanna and Denny Driscoll were sworn in on the board in May along with Nanci Radford, Tonesha Baker, Annette Negrete McGinley and myself who were all re-elected to the board. After swearing in officers were elected and it was decided that I will be president of the Board of Education for the next two years. I wished my very heart-felt thanks to Ann Welk my good friend and predecessor for her hard work during her tenure as president. Nanci was elected vice president and Annette was elected secretary.

It’s been exciting to serve as the board president, it is a lot of additional responsibility but I have confidence my past experience on the board and my past leadership experience in other organizations will serve me well in the job.

Building Principals

At the Middle School the district hired Brian Minarcik and Kurt Sinclair was hired for Round Lake High School. They both start in July although both have already been hard at work getting ready for their new positions. Mr. Minarcik comes to us from Schiller Park School District where he was a middle school principal. In his introduction to the board he stated his training and experience had been in urban school districts and he felt Round Lake was a close match for those experiences. Mr. Sinclair comes to us from Kenosha Unified School District where he was principal of an alternative high school and middle school and served in other administrative capacities as well. He came to Round Lake to fulfill the dream of becoming a high school principal and he’s looking forward to continuing the progress we’ve made at RLHS under Dr. Brierton, his predecessor.

Other Administrative Changes

Dr. Ben Martindale is all set to take over as CEO the 1st of July, he already has me on speed dial and has been very active with the district in the past few months while still holding down his job at Gurnee SD 56. Ben is a veteran superintendent and a superb administrator, I can’t wait for him to be in the position full-time.

We have also filled almost all of our other vacancies in upper administration. We recently lost our human resources director to another district and we are looking at options for filling that position presently.

Construction Updates

Elementary HVAC Project

Work is progressing quickly on all the HVAC installations, most buildings are just about ready for the units. Everything is on schedule for them to be online for the start of school though we could certainly hit some snags. Once the units are delivered we’ll have a much better idea if all will be on time. The expectation is that they will be at this time.

Magee Renovation

As you have probably noticed demolition of the sections of Magee being replaced is well underway. We have hit a few small snags but nothing major. We did have some asbestos in an unexpected place and we’re set to get that taken care of so the project isn’t bogged down. The next round of bids were opened but after they came back a bit high Seater Construction thought it would be best to “value engineer” the specifications and see if we can get bids within budget. Value engineering is basically looking at the specifications and seeing if alternative materials or methods can be used to save money. We have a $3 mil surplus in the building fund above the budget for all outstanding projects but obviously we want to preserve that if at all possible.

Work is on target still for the re-opening of Magee for the 2008-2009 school year. During the coming school year the administration and the board will be hard at work preparing for that. There are many things that will need to be done including determining the boundaries for the two middle schools, building names, mascots, athletics, etc. It’s certainly an exciting time but the task is a large one. I’m confident we will be well prepared for it, I expect us to be looking at a timetable for reopening tasks shortly.

Mobile Classrooms

One of the mobiles in in place at the high school and the other will be arriving from Michigan soon. Both should be in place for the start of the new school year. It’s a good thing, we desperately need the space while we hold on for one more school year until Magee is ready for occupancy.

I think that is all of the significant items for now, hope you appreciate the update.