The Duneland School
Board recognized outgoing Board member Michael Trout for his years of
service at its meeting last night.
Trout joined the
Board in 1990 and has served for a continuous 28 years. He announced his
intention to step down earlier this year and will be replaced in January by
Alayna Lightfoot Pol, an educator who was elected over three other
candidates who vied for Trout’s seat in the general election last month.
John Marshall read a statement in recognition of Trout’s work on the Board,
noting that Trout has been an integral part of the Board and the building
and grounds committee, has long had the support of the Duneland Teacher’s
Association, and helped lead the Board to state recognition. “Mike has been
the rock this school board has leaned on for as long as I’ve been involved,”
Marshall said. “We will surely miss you.”
Kristin Kroeger said the Trout has been a mentor to her, reiterating
Marshall’s sentiment that Trout will be missed. “Being a board member is so
much harder than I think everyone realizes, and he has done so with extreme
professionalism and grace,” Kroeger said.
“It’s been a
privilege and an honor to serve the corporation,” Trout said. Trout said
that serving on the Board has been a big part of his life, and though he
will miss it, he knows it will continue to be successful. “The Duneland
difference is because of the people in this room and others outside this
building that do what’s best for our community,” Trout added.
Director of Support
Services Greg Lindy reported on sealed bids received for two projects. The
first project is installing new overhead garage doorsÑa total of 36Ñ on the
bus barns. Lindy said he received three sealed bids, and the Board approved
the lowest bid of $138,298 from Security Door Incorporated at his
The second project
is renovating the main office at Chesterton Middle School. Lindy said he
reconsidered the scope of the project to make the renovation less expensive
after initial bids for the project last year came in at over $800,000. Lindy
said the project is intended to make the main office a more secure entrance,
and he was still able to accomplish those goals with a more limited scope.
“We’re building some walls and separating things to keep visitors in a
secured space,” he said. The project will also free up space that can be
used as a classroom. Out of five bids, the Board approved going forward with
Larson Danielson construction for $311,005.
As it typically
does this time of year, the Board approved a resolution to close the 2018
accounting year, allowing Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz to make
year-end entries and produce her final report without calling a special
meeting of the Board.
The Board also
approved resolutions to create an operations fund and an education fund and
to establish the initial funding for those funds. New laws HEA 1009 and HEA
1167 require that all school funding, save the referendum, debt-service, and
food service funds, must be rolled into one of those two funds. The
education fund is intended for expenses directly related to students and
instruction, and the operations fund catches nearly everything else.
The new operations
fund will include the money that was previously kept in the capital
projects, transportation, and bus replacement funds, as well as the
operational portion of general fund money. The new education fund will
include all other money previously kept in the general fund. On the first of
the year, the old funds will be closed and the money from them will be
deposited into the new respective funds.
The Board approved
policy changes concerning how Board members receive health insurance.
According to Superintendent Dr. Ginger Bolinger, effective Jan. 1, 2019,
Board members who are eligible for another insurance plan through a spouse
must take that plan instead of Board member insurance, Board members will
not be able to extend their coverage to family members, and Board members
who are covered under the Board plan will be responsible for paying their