The Homewood District 153 School Board honored two staff members for their outstanding efforts.
The board, at its Monday meeting, presented Jodi Dunne, a district office staff member, with the Jerry Morin Educational Excellence Award. Kevin Keane received special recognition for his outstanding efforts in the maintenance division.
“Jodi is the person who everyone goes to,” Superintendent Dale Mitchell said as he presented her with the honor. “She fills a role that is so desperately needed in the district.”
Although her title is bookkeeper, district administrators at Monday’s meeting spoke of how Dunne has assisted on numerous projects and addressed hundreds of questions, all with smile. Her work is especially beneficial to the district’s business manager, but Dunne also is knowledgeable on state mandates and a host of other important issues, Mitchell added.
Dunne has served on the Team Building Committee, the Recognition Committee and taken the initiative on various projects over her 15 years with the district.
Mitchell said he wanted to give special recognition to Keane because he is such a constant source of good will in the district. “I can’t tell you how many times staff members have said to me, ‘Kevin is fantastic!’ and I personally know what they mean,” he told board members.
“No one’s going to know what an asset he is to the district,” said Wayne Scardigli, director of buildings and grounds, “but I know how much he does and how he makes my job easier.”
Keane, a maintenance/HVAC specialist is truly a jack-of-all-trades. The board also recognized him for his phenomenal work ethic.
In other business, the superintendent told board members all the construction projects, including the reroofing of Hart Junior High, new air conditioning systems for the gyms at Churchill and Willow Schools, and the sanding and refinishing of the wooden gym floor at Hart, will be done in time for the start of school Aug. 27.
The district is investigating purchasing a tarp system for the wood floor to prevent ongoing wear-and-tear during band programs, special meetings, etc. Resurfacing the floor is expected to give it another 10 to 12 years, but Scardigli said the tarp may buy the district an additional five years of use.
The district’s enrollment target of 1,975 students for the 2015-16 school year is very close and may go beyond the projection because families are still registering. Mitchell said 95 families who had students enrolled last year still haven’t registered.
The number of English as a Second Language (ESL) students is increasing. Staff expects to work with 70 students classified for ESL services, including 12 pre-kindergarten students.