January 19, 2023

Public Comment
No one asked to speak.

The School Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to five teams of students from five different District 54 schools for their performance in the District 54 Fluid Power Challenge in December. This competition challenges junior high level students to work in teams to design and build a mechanism using fluid power, encouraging students to use teamwork, problem-solving and engineering skills.

The Hexide Squad from Addams Junior High was the Overall Champion. Team members include

  • Aarav Patel,
  • Anya Allen,
  • Christopher Wagner and 
  • Aaliah Pathan.
  • The team sponsor was Jessica Reinkingh.

The Hydro Sisters from Lincoln Prairie won Best Teamwork. Team members include 

  • Jenna Ahrens,
  • Victoria Gajda,
  • Julia Starzyk and 
  • Amari Gibson.
  • The team sponsor was Cassidy Vallone.

The Pyromaniacs from Keller won Best Machine Design. Team members include

  • Prateek Chityala,
  • Shrey Patel,
  • Jaskirat Singh and
  • Zachary Roberts.
  • The team sponsor was Sarah Hough.

The Hydromaniacs from Mead won Best Machine Performance. Team members include 

  • Ayush Patel,
  • TJ Walker and
  • Anthony Buonincontro.
  • The team sponsor was Ginny Lorenc.

The Plah-Doh from Frost won Best Portfolio. Team members include

  • Yumi Chinen,
  • Sophia Musial,
  • Lena Oshiro and
  • Anushka Patel.
  • The team sponsor was Dawn Zuffante.

The Board also presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to the following students whose artwork was selected for the STR Partners Holiday Card.

  • Haruka Nakayama – Campanelli, third grade
  • Miles Randolph – Aldrin, second grade
  • Vidhita Pahade – Fairview, first grade
  • Riyo Nokami – Fairview, fourth grade
  • Kailen Jurkowski – Nerge, fifth grade
  • Victoria Dimitrova – Collins, fifth grade
  • Lilyna Huynh – Aldrin, fourth grade
  • Mia Pipa – Aldrin, first grade
  • Vera Shah – Fairview, third grade
  • Ruhhan Patel – Aldrin, second grade
  • Valeria Gil-Guzman – Einstein, first grade

The School Board presented Above and Beyond Awards to Jaiden Shah and Priya Sundara from Mead Junior High School and Kayla Ellis from Addams Junior High for their voluntary work as Junior Ambassadors for The Giving Group. The Giving Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving back to local communities. Their Kickball 4 Kids Tournament this fall raised money for three local organizations, including a $10,000 donation to the District 54 Education Foundation.

The Board also recognized Custodians Juan Gallegos and James Gowler for the extra effort they give at Stevenson School.

Freedom of Information Act
Four Freedom of Information requests were received since the last report to the School Board related to purchasing records, staff contact information, board information and documents related to the former Twinbrook School.
Consent Agenda
The School Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda.

  • Resignations, terminations, leaves, retirements, employment and salary adjustment of personnel
  • Checks dated December 2, 16 and 30, 2022
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for November 2022
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for December 2022
  • The filing of the Audit/ACFR for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022
  • Contracts for renovations at Muir Elementary School
  • The purchase of a Caterpillar Wheel Loader

District 54 Education Foundation Report
The Foundation is focusing its efforts in this coming year on raising $100,000 for the Crisis Fund. Please consider donating at

New Business 

  • The Board approved the minutes of the regular and closed-session Board of Education meetings on Dec. 8, 2022.
  • The Board approved the expenses for board members from the 2022 Those Who Excel Banquet and the 2022 Illinois Association of School Boards Conference.
  • The Board Policy Committee brought the following policies to the full board for a first reading:
    • 4:15 – Identity Protection,
    • 4:60 – Purchases and Contracts,
    • 7:70(b) – Truancy and
    • 6:170 – Title I Programs.

School Board members thanked District 54 schools for inviting them to visit and interact with students and commented on the generosity students and staff demonstrated during the holiday season.

The Board adjourned at 7:35 p.m. to enter closed session for employment/appointment matters.