Elementary board: Tax levy approved

Fannie May sales yield $39,606 profit for district

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ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Elementary School District Board of Education unanimously approved its 2022 tax levy at its monthly meeting Tuesday. 

The levy is 4.91 percent and under a five percent increase in local revenue so a truth in taxation hearing is not required. At last month’s meeting, District Business Manager Kevin Dale said the district is currently seeing a $16 million Equalized Assessed Value increase from last year to this year in calculating its levy. 

Superintendent Jason Harper said he had no new news regarding COVID-19 in his monthly school reopening update to the board. It was mentioned that the parent teacher organization’s Fannie May chocolate sales resulted in the district selling $92,414 in 6,601 boxes of candy. The district’s profit is $39,606.  

“Thank you to Mr. Doyle and the building principals who have been working on that and I would say that parent volunteers are the ones handling the delivery and organization and those types of things and we've sent a note out to get that out as best we can starting tomorrow afternoon,” Harper said. “With that many boxes, we also ask for patience as we go through this for the first time."

There was no discussion of ongoing negotiations with the teacher’s union on a new contract after multiple teachers spoke during public comment last month about working on an expired contract. The board did meet in executive session and took no action following it. 

The board also unanimously approved personnel changes to certified staff including the transfer of Heather Sweeney from art/PE substitute teacher at Lincoln School to full-time substitute and the hiring of Katelyn Gabbard as a first grade teacher at Lincoln School and Saire Johnson as an art/PE/substitute teacher at Lincoln School. 

Support staff personnel changes were also unanimously approved including the resignations of Kalynn Norris as a paraprofessional and Daniella Egland as an SEL paraprofessional (part-time), the retirement of Marla Bearrows from the cafeteria at Rochelle Middle School and the hiring of Roxanna Contreras (part-time Central School paraprofessional), Marisol Belmonte (special education paraprofessional at Lincoln School) and Rebekah Nicolosi (lunchroom aide at Lincoln School).