Board President Reflects on 2017 Accomplishments, Looks Ahead to 2018

As President of the Glenview District 34 Board of Education, I appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts about our 2017 milestones.
Our year started with the announcement of Dr. Dane Delli as our new Superintendent, following a multi-stage search process involving executive recruiters, feedback sessions, interviews of a highly-qualified slate of candidates by an informed group of community members and educators, and two rounds of interviews with the full Board. We are grateful for the extraordinary level of participation by members of our extended community, and are delighted with the outcome.
Dr. Delli’s influence on the District began almost immediately through his involvement in the hiring of three new principals (Henking, Pleasant Ridge and Westbrook), as well as a new Executive Director of Student Services. These fresh voices have quickly gelled with our talented core of veteran administrators to create a more cohesive leadership team and renewed sense of momentum throughout our schools. In the spring, we simultaneously bid adieu to three long-serving retiring Board members – Cathe Russe, Chris Northwick and Jack Murphy – while welcoming newly-elected Board members Jim Baumstark, Katie Jones, and Diane Stefani.
Financially, D34 again received a Triple A Bond Rating – the highest marker of fiscal responsibility. But for delayed receipt of revenues from the state and federal government, D34 would also have enjoyed its third consecutive fiscal year of a balanced budget. While that enviable performance has many roots, it would be nearly impossible without the cooperative efforts of our two employee unions. Our Citizens Finance Advisory Committee (CFAC) again developed a 5-year budget forecast to help inform future decisions, and completed an informative benchmarking comparison with other area school districts based on a variety of financial and demographic metrics.
The District also adopted an improved student identification process for advanced and accelerated math, and continued important implementation initiatives regarding district- wide common assessments, next generation science standards, and a new Social Emotional Learning curriculum. Multiple D34 teachers and buildings also received significant professional acclaim in the form of a Blue Ribbon for Physical Education Program and Springman’s Horizon School to Watch, and similar nominations and awards, and our Communications program earned both state and national commendation.
As for our facilities, this past summer marked the second year of major capital improvements to our schools, including significant security system upgrades to enhance safety for our students and staff. We also partnered with the Village to construct a major storm-water control basin at Lyon School designed to significantly benefit to adjoining residential neighborhoods, support commercial property redevelopment, and improve traffic flow at the school.
Looking ahead, we are confident that our progress in 2017 paves the way for an even brighter 2018. During the coming year, we anticipate developing a new strategic plan for the District, expanding our professional development efforts in order to meet the evolving curricular and instructional needs of our diverse student body, and implementing various operational changes to increase efficiencies.