H-F board approves contracts, gives bonuses

The District 233 school board approved contracts at its June 21 meeting for bus service, food service and building maintenance at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, and awarded bonus payments to H-F’s top administrators.

The board agreed to extend its 2022-23 contracts with 12% increases for Kickert Bus Company and a special education transportation contract with Alpha School Bus Company. The board approved a $2,344,820 contract for the services.

Dr. Lawrence Cook, chief school business official, told the board that although the extension of the contract called for a 5% increase, the companies justified the jump in payment by providing the business office with reports showing their salaries were up 23% for drivers in 2021-22 with another 5.3% increase scheduled for this year; a 30% increase in liability insurance; and continued increases in fuel costs.

Cook said he contacted other school districts who reported increases of between 15-17%. One district reported a 50% increase. He told the board the district recognizes there are few bus company competitors, which discourages competitive bidding.

The school board extended its contract with RJB Properties, Inc. for cleaning services with a 5% increase for a total $1,400,847.75.

The school board also agreed to a contract extension with Quest Food Management Services for its profit-loss model running cafeteria services. Cook reported that for this ratio to work, Quest will be raising costs 7% for food and beverage items – an average of 19-cents on food items and 12-cents on beverage and snack items.  The district also agreed to add to the $50,000 to the Quest service management fee and additional $105,000 operating fee for a total cost to the district of $155,000. 

The board gave one-year contracts to several administrators: Lisa Caposey, business office manager; Ann Cherry, director of alumni relations; Pat Gnaster, executive assistant to the superintendent; Candice Hall, transportation and logistics coordinator; Brad Hamilton, assistant to the director of operations and maintenance; Victoria Koblick, administrative assistant in the human resources office.

The board also approved bonuses for top administrative officials. In announcing the awards, Board President Gerald Pauling said, “We certainly appreciate the efforts that all of you and others have contributed this year, and we hope that this recommendation, in some small way, expresses the appreciation we have for the work you do every day.”

The bonuses were:

  • $10,000 to Superintendent Von Mansfield and Superintendent-elect Scott Wakeley. 
  • $5,000 to Jodi Bryant, director of human resources and public relations; Lawrence Cook, chief school business official; Craig Fantin, associate principal; Jennifer Hester, director of curriculum, instruction and professional development; Matthew Lyke, director of athletics; Steve Richardson, director of information systems; Jennifer Rudan, director of student operations; Angela Taylor, director of special education.
  • $3,000 to Quitman Dillard, assistant principal, and Jim Patterson, director of operations and maintenance.

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