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District 233 abates $2.09 million in property taxes

Property owners in Homewood-Flossmoor High School District 233 school will pay less in taxes thanks to the school board’s action to abate property taxes by $2.09 million.

The board took action at the Feb. 21 meeting. The district is abating 2022 and 2023 property taxes payable in 2023 and 2024 by reducing its tax levy. The district is receiving $2.043 million from the Illinois State Board of Education through its Property Tax Relief Grant, said Lawrence Cook, chief school business official. Accepting the funding requires the district to abate taxes.

The state shifted school support to Evidence Based Funding in 2019. The legislature also recognized that taxpayers in school districts in the South Suburbs have a higher tax burden and designed the Property Tax Relief Grant to give tax relief. District 233 has been reducing its tax levy as a way to give property tax relief. Cook said since 2019, H-F taxpayers have gotten $11.3 million in tax relief.

Administrators’ contracts

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The board approved two-year contract extensions for H-F administrators.

  • Jennifer Hester, director of curriculum, instruction and professional development, will earn $185,399 for year 2023-24 and $192,815 for 2024-25.
  • Carla Erdey, director of communication and community engagement, will earn $140,400 in 2023-24 and $146,016 in 2024-25.
  • Matthew Lyke, director of athletics, will earn $140,105 in 2023-24 and $145,709 in 2024-25.
  • Shannon Swilley, associate principal, will earn $132,500 in 2023-24 and $137,800 in 2024-25.
  • James Patterson, director of operations and maintenance, will earn $130,326 in 2023-24 and $135,539 in 2024-25. 
  • Gail Smith, director of activities, will earn $120,000 in 2023-24 and $124,800 in 2024-25. The board voted unanimously to reclassify Smith’s position from a coordinator to a director position, at the request of Superintendent Scott Wakeley. 

The board also approved a $75,000 administrative contract for Suzette Diaz, who will serve as executive assistant to the superintendent on July 1. Diaz replaces Pat Gnaster who is retiring at the end of the school year. 

Diaz now is the administrative assistant to Principal Clinton Alexander. Wakeley said there was no need to advertise the position outside the district because there were many qualified candidates at H-F who applied for the job.

2023-24 school calendar
The board approved the school calendar for 2023-24. Wakeley said the calendar matches closely to feeder districts 161 in Flossmoor and 153 in Homewood. The calendar sets out 176 days of school.

School will open Aug. 16 for freshmen and transfer students. Wakeley said it is a repeat of a successful initiative the district put in place last year setting aside one day for new students. 

Winter break will be Monday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Jan. 5. Spring break will be Monday, March 25, through Monday, April 1. The last day of school will be May 30, 2024. 

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