Stevenson said he was born and raised in Ottawa, attending McKinley Elementary, Shepherd Middle School and Ottawa High School. He now has three children who have attended Ottawa schools, including one child with special needs.
“From Kindergarten through eighth grade, we had a very positive experience with the school system,” Stevenson said, “and I want to give back to the community and to the elementary school system.”
Superintendent Cleve Threadgill said Stevenson was selected by the board from a pool of four applicants. Threadgill said he was pleased that so many community members were willing to serve the school district.
Stevenson has a background in finance and is employed at Centrue Bank.
“I have a lot of understanding of scarce resources that Cleve and the board have faced,” he said.
The board approved an abatement of the Working Cash Fund up to $1.4 million, to be transferred to the Education Fund.
“But we don’t think we are going to need to use that much,” Threadgill said.
The district had projected a $2 million shortfall in the Education Fund by the end of this school year, but it is actually in better shape than that. The district received more money than anticipated from the state of Illinois and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which assisted the district with the cost of the new Central Intermediate School.
The state now only is behind $43,000 in payments to the district.
Threadgill said the amount of state funding that will be provided next year still is not certain.
“We’ve got to continue to look at ways to save money and yet grow the best program that we possibly can,” he said.
Stevenson abstained from the vote, having not received the information for review in advance of the meeting.
** Central Intermediate School principal Jama Wahl told the board that school secretaries are having a difficult time getting parents to turn in registration forms for next year. Wahl said parents who have missed the deadline risk their child getting bumped to a different school. Though the deadline has passed, Wahl requested parents get their registration forms in by the end of the school year.
“It’s very difficult to plan for next year without having the numbers,” Wahl said.
Threadgill said registration numbers jump dramatically in August, so it would benefit parents to register as soon as possible.
** The board approved a 4-year lease agreement with Apple to provide new computers for staff and student use throughout the district. According to technology coordinator Brandon Lamkey, the company offered the district a buyback option in year three that will cover the cost of the lease in year four. That offer made for a better deal than what Microsoft would have given them, Lamkey said.
** The board recognized fourth-grade teachers Mrs. Bartman, Mrs. Nett and Mrs. Quick for writing a grant application that resulted in $10,850 for technology equipment to be used in third and fourth grades at Jefferson Elementary School. Principal Ron Moir commended the teachers for their efforts, which will benefit children beyond their own classrooms.
“They’re out to help as many kids as they can,” Moir said.
** There will be a public hearing on the amended 2012-13 budget at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday June 18, during the regular school board meeting which begins at 6 p.m. at Central Intermediate School. The budget is on display at the superintendent’s office, 320 W. Main Street.
Amy Flanery can be reached at (815) 220-6975 or email@example.com.