Applications available for Champaign school board seat

Applications available for Champaign school board seat

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign school board set a timeline at its Monday meeting for filling the seat left vacant after former member Stig Lanesskog abruptly resigned Thursday night.

The district has posted the application for the seat on its website, The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. July 5. Completed applications can be taken or mailed to the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., Champaign, IL 61820. They should be addressed to Ileana Saveley, the board's secretary. They can be also emailed directly to Saveley at

The board will decide at its July 8 meeting whether it needs to narrow the pool of candidates and will interview them at a special July 15 meeting.

Board President Laurie Bonnett said she would like to see the board interview applicants for the position in open session, as it did after the death of member Greg Novak last year.

The seat needs to be filled by July 22, Superintendent Judy Wiegand told the board. The new board member will serve until April 2015.

Board member Kristine Chalifoux said she liked the process used after Mr. Novak's death.

"I thought that worked really well," Chalifoux said. "It gave the public a chance to see who these people were."

The school board also discussed and approved several change orders at Westview Elementary, which Bonnett requested be removed from the board's consent agenda.

She asked Arlene Vespa, the school district's capital projects supervisor, about the change orders up for the board's approval. They included changes in power supplies and circuit breakers and fixing walls damaged when asbestos was abated because of a large amount of mastic adhering chalkboards to walls. They also included fixing ventilation in one classroom and building a ramp in the building that was missed in the original design drawing, Vespa said.

The school district allowed for a contingency of about $270,000 on the Westview renovation.

The district has about $38,000 of that left. Board member Scott MacAcam asked what happens if the district runs out of money.

School attorney Tommy Lockman said he's reviewing the school district's contracts on project.

"Those are things we will have to discuss if it comes to that," Lockman told the board.

Wiegand said construction is still in progress at Westview, and she hasn't heard anything to suggest that it won't be ready by this fall.

"I just want to make sure we're going to have that building ready and not over budget," she told the board.

The school board also approved a contract with Guy M. Cahill & Associates to mentor Matt Foster, the district's new executive director for business services, as he starts the job.

Foster sat with the rest of the school district's administrators at the board meeting Monday, the first time he's done so since being hired. He was formerly principal at Bottenfield Elementary.

Wiegand told the board that in the past, the district has provided consultants or mentors for new employees.

Bonnett said she thought it was important that Cahill be available to help Foster.

"We need for you to be successful," she told Foster.

The school district will pay Cahill $600 a day for up to 100 days, for a total of up to $60,000.

Cahill was an interim business manager for the school district in 2001 and 2002, he said.

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