News from CCSD15 Board of Education

March 9, 2022

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March 9, 2022, BOE Meeting

Pledge of Allegiance

Virginia Lake invited its student leadership team to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. This group of talented students, in partnership with Virginia Lake’s Climate and Culture team, supports the implementation of PBIS by running the Dolphin Dollar Store, starring in Cool Tool videos that help reteach expectations, organizing VL fundraisers, and beautifying their school. They make VL a special place for students and staff. Way to go, Virginia Lake!

Photo of Viriginia Lake Students

Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) Solo & Ensemble Competition

On Saturday, February 12, 2022, 152 band, orchestra, and chorus students from eight of our District 15 schools competed in the annual Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) Solo & Ensemble Contest. This annual contest provides vocal and instrumental music students an opportunity to perform for a judge and receive feedback on their performance.

District 15 had 11 students who achieved a perfect solo score and 2 perfect duet/ensemble scores. Our students who participated overwhelmingly placed in first and second divisions! Congratulations to all these extraordinary musicians!

Photo of IGSMA Students

2-Ball Winners

Back this year – District 15’s annual 2-Ball competition! What is 2-ball? 6th graders compete in a basketball game with two players and its unique set of rules. Each elementary school holds a tournament to determine which team will represent their school at a District 15 competition.

It was an exciting event for students, parents, staff, and spectators. The students put in a lot of time with their intramural coach to practice their basketball skills and work with their partners.

Congratulations to all of the participants!

Photo of 2-Ball Students and Coaches

one-five Presents Mini-Grant Award Winners

The one-five Foundation presented awards to the staff mini-grant winners. The one-five funded 13 mini-grants submitted by staff across the District for a total of $26,404. District 15 would like to thank the one-five for all they do for our District, students, and staff.

Mini-Grants Awards included:

  • Interactive Projector for All submitted by Laura Wayman from Carl Sandburg Jr High

  • Early Childhood Special Education Core Curriculum Language Advancement & Support submitted by Annice Coughlan, Katie Nawrot, and Heather Klikas from Conyers Learning Academy

  • Sensory Path submitted by Jorie Denton, Taylor Sharwell, and Angie Martinez from Conyers Learning Academy

  • Keeping the peace - silent band practicing submitted by Julie Schupple Kurka from Carl Sandburg Junior High/Kimball Hill/Central Road

  • Social/Emotional Academic Learning (SEAL) submitted by Elizabeth Woodin from Frank C. Whiteley School

  • Inclusivity in Classroom Literature submitted by Dayna Laffey from Gray M Sanborn

  • Building a Foundation with Family Literacy Bags submitted by Debbie Goode from Gray M Sanborn

  • ACE Toolbox submitted by Jen Whitman from Hunting Ridge

  • Pathway to Successful Learning submitted by Melissa Winters from Lake Louise

  • Sensory Supports For All submitted by Cynthia Friesen from Lincoln School

  • Mirrors and Windows in the JH Classroom submitted by Katie Sauer from Plum Grove Junior High

  • Peace Place submitted by Michelle Pashkow, Sue Major, and Irene Salman from Virginia Lake and Frank C. Whiteley

  • Diversify the Music Library submitted by Hannah Menich from Winston Campus Junior High

Photo of CLA's Mini-Grant Winners

Honoring National Board Certified Teachers

National Board certification provides teachers, social workers, psychologists, speech and language pathologists, as well as occupational and physical therapists, an advanced level of knowledge, skills, and training toward excellence in their field. For this reason, National Board Certification is recognized as the “gold standard” for professional educators and has a direct impact on the quality of services received by our students.

This year District 15 has 58 teachers, 14 social workers, 12 psychologists, 33 speech and language pathologists, and 12 occupational and physical therapists who hold this distinct certification.

At the Board meeting, District 15 recognized staff members who have completed this rigorous process and recently attained or renewed their National Board certification.

Photo of National Board Certified Staff

Those Who Excel

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) annually sponsors Those Who Excel to honor individuals who have made​​ significant contributions to our state's public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools.

Awards are presented in five ​categories: school administrator, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteers, and teams.

Community Consolidated School District 15 honored its District nominations for individuals or teams. Congratulations to:

  • Karen Flor - Student Support Personnel

  • Tracie Fior - Teacher

  • Cynthia Friesen - Special Education Teacher

  • Mary Beth Knoeppel - Administrator

  • Danielle Guardino - Educational Service Personnel

  • Winston Campus Junior High Climate and Culture Team - Team

Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators (IASPA) New Member Award

District 15’s Director of Human Resources, Phil Georgia, received the Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators (IASPA)’s New Member Award. The award is given to a member of fewer than three years who has provided significant contributions to the organization and membership.

Photo of Phill Georgia

2022-23 Staffing Needs

Dr. Heinz, members of her cabinet, and Department Directors presented the 2022-23 staffing recommendations made in collaboration by the Educational Services, Multilingual Programs, Teaching & Learning, and Student Services departments.

Among the recommendations presented were the addition of Special Education teachers and Interventionists who will provide direct academic support to students across our continuum of service offerings. In addition, the team recommended reinstating full-time librarians at our elementary schools to deepen student knowledge and grow modern literacy knowledge and skills such as ethics, action, accountability, communication, collaboration, and analytical thinking. Additional interventionists were also approved to provide at-risk students with additional support.

Portrait of a Graduation

Dr. Heinz presented a brief overview of the Portrait of a Graduate process District 15 will engage in this Spring. The portrait will engage a diverse group of stakeholders to outline what a District 15 education will look like in our students. The portrait will also inform the Strategic Planning process that will begin in 2023.

Final Components of Moving 15 Forward

Superintendent Heinz, Diana McCluskey, CSBO, and James Kaplanes, Director of Facility and Operations updated the Board on the following components of the Moving 15 Forward plan.

The update included the presentation of a video focused on facility issues identified within the Moving 15 Forward plan, specific school one-pager that identify proposed improvements, preliminary concept plans that may include either renovations or additions and feeder patterns, as well as updated maps which will be available on the new Moving 15 Forward website. Families and community members are welcome to navigate to the site to see the detailed information provided at

Committee Reports

Education Research Development (ED-RED) Organization

Board Member Annerino shared a legislative update

one-Five Foundation

Board Member Taylor helped honor the one-five mini-grant award winners. He also reminded everyone that the one-five’s 50/50 raffle is still open. Tickets are $100 with the winning name being drawn on March 17! Buy your tickets now!

Finance Committee

Board Members Hunt and Wang shared there are no new updates from the Finance Committee.

Equity Committee

Board members Ader and Khan shared there are no new updates from the Equity Committee at this time. Board members Ader and Khan volunteered to participate on the Portrait of a Graduate committee.

Action Items

  • 9.1 Resolution: Honorable Dismissal of Teachers - approved

  • 9.2 Approval of 17.0 Additional Full-Time Special Education Staff Members - approved

  • 9.3 Approval of Educational Services - Related Services Staff Position Changes - approved

  • 9.4 Approval of 13.0 Additional Full-Time Interventionists and Change of MTSS Coordinator to a 12-Month MTSS Assistant Director - approved

  • 9.5 Approval of 2.0 Additional Full-Time Administrator Positions in the Multilingual Programs Department - approved

  • 9.6 Approval of 5.5 Additional Full Time Library Innovation Teachers (LIT) - approved

  • 9.7 Approval of 1 Full Time Instructional Coach - approved

  • 9.8 Approval of Social Work and School Psychology Internship Stipend - approved

  • 9.9 Personnel Report: Administration, Certified, and Non-Certified - approved

  • 9.10 Bid Award #22-002 – 2022 Stuart R. Paddock and Virginia Lake - HVAC Improvements - approved

  • 9.11 Bid Award #22-003 - Lake Louise Parking Lot Improvements - approved

  • 9.12 Bid Award #22-004 - Plum Grove Parking Lot Improvements - approved

  • 9.13 Bid Award #22-005 - Carl Sandburg Parking Lot Improvements - approved

  • 9.14 Bid Award #22-006 - Virginia Lake Parking Lot Improvements - approved

  • 9.15 Bid Award #22-007 - Presbyterian Church Parking Lot Improvements - approved

  • 9.16 Student Disciplinary Decision / Action – Student 2022-02 - approved