Lombard Elementary School District 44 is apparently looking to move in another direction, which does not include keeping Superintendent Dr. Michael Robey at the helm. On Tuesday, May 9, the school board voted to end his contract two years early, but with a one-year severance package. "We recognized we were at a place throughout the district in need of different leadership," said school board President Courtney Long. She explained that by offering the one-year compensation for Robey's contract, "We wanted it to be a mutual separation." By offering a year's contract, the board "emphasized the commitment the board has to Mike and his family," she added. Robey was hired in 2014 with a contract running from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2019. His starting salary was $197,500 plus benefits. This year's salary was just over $261,500, including benefits and other compensation. The board is also looking into a similar severance deal with Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Public Relations Aldo Calderin, who was hired at the same time as Robey, with a one-year contract and a starting salary of $130,000 plus benefits, and a current salary of just under $181,000, including benefits. Long said the assistant superintendent also had a one-year contract through June 2018. As with Robey, Long commented that in parting ways with Calderin, "We wanted to go in a different direction." Details of the severance packages are still being worked out, but at the same time, "We have a legal responsibility...to fulfill the contracts," the board president said. She also noted that the board anticipates hiring a new superintendent from within the ranks of current District 44 staff, so "Net costs in the end will go down." That is, Long outlined, the board will consider promoting from within, and also look at reorganizing positions to fulfill Calderin's duties. In that case, the district would not have an expenditure for hiring a search firm. "We do feel like we have some fantastic opportunities within, but no official decision has been made just yet. The HR position is being looked at more closely, before we determine if we need to refill or reallocate," she concluded. While an attempt to reach Calderin was unsuccessful as of press time, when asked to comment Robey replied, "When you are Superintendent, you have to make many difficult decisions that you believe are in the best interests of your students. Not everyone will agree with those decisions. The fact that the Board of Education and I are parting ways amicably speaks volumes to the character of everyone involved. I wish the entire school community continued success in the future."
Man of the Year and Distinguished Service Awards presented
JCI Lombard Area carried on a Lombard tradition by naming the 2016 Lombard Man of the Year and recipients of the John Egan Distinguished Service Awards during a ceremony on May 10 at the Lombard Village Hall. Robert Difino, who was not present at the ceremony, was chosen 2016 Man of the Year. JCI Lombard Area President Chrissy Moran presented the award to Difino’s wife, Patti, and 2015 Man of the Year award winner Greg Ludwig who accepted it on Difino’s behalf. Carol Bauer and Lynne Magnavite were presented William J. Mueller Citizenship Awards; Barbara Kruser, recipient of the award for respect; Man of the Year runner-up Jack Humphris; Kristina Clancy, who was presented the award for responsibility; and Blake Veldman, who was presented the award for caring.
Fourth annual Lombard Ale Fest June 10
Locals and visitors alike looking to sample the flavors of Lombard shouldn’t miss the fourth annual Lombard Ale Fest on Saturday, June 10. Situated in the heart of downtown Lombard, and adjacent to the Metra Station, the fest will feature over 80 unique beers from more than 40 craft breweries both from Lombard, Chicagoland and around the country, as well as foods that pair well with the brews, from some of Lombard’s favorite restaurants. “This fest will be a celebration of summer seasonal beers and craft ciders,” said Tim Glennon, event coordinator for the Glenbard East Booster Club, which is hosting the event, along with The Lombard Historical Society. “The restaurants have come up with great summer fare to complement the beverages. We know how loyal folks are to their local establishments, so we wanted to keep the local flavor throughout the fest,” he added. Local brewers presenting at the Lombard Ale Fest include Lombard’s own Noon Whistle Brewing, as well as Chicagoland brewers Pollyanna Brewing, Lunar Brewing, Penrose, Revolution and Two Brothers. Other brewers include 51st Ward, Allagash, Emmett’s, Firestone Walker, Left Hand Brewery, Lagunitas and Kona Brewing from Hawaii. In addition, hard cider brewers include Angry Orchard and Crispin. Live music will be provided by a variety of Chicago based performers and The Midlothian Pipe Band will complete the party atmosphere at the event. The Lombard Ale Fest is an adults-only event. All attendees must have an ID for admittance. Tickets may be available at the gate; however, the event, to be held rain or shine, may sell out, so advance ticket purchase is encouraged. No outside food or drink is allowed. Water will be available on the grounds, as well as picnic table seating. Guests are encouraged to travel via Metra, as the fest is held directly adjacent to the Lombard Metra stop on the Union Pacific West line. Tickets are available online at www.lombardalefest.com. Proceeds from the Lombard Ale Fest will benefit nonprofit organizations in the Lombard community, including the Glenbard East Booster Club and Lombard Historical Society. The Booster Club supports student activities at Glenbard East High School, while Lombard Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting Lombard’s rich history. For additional information visit www.LombardAleFest.com.
Annual ‘Cop on Top’ fundraiser May 19
Members of the Lombard Police Department will be participating in the “Cop on Top” fundraiser event to support Special Olympics. The event will take place at three Dunkin Donuts locations: 1160 S. Main St., Yorktown Center (Butterfield Road Entrance) and 411 W. North Ave. on Friday, May 19, from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Special Olympics Illinois provides opportunities for more than 22,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 20,000 young athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities and their families. In addition to the Cop on Top event, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the movement’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle, raising millions of dollars in Illinois during 2016. Contact Lt. Velazquez by calling 630-873-4485 or Velazquezc@villageoflombard.org at the Lombard Police Department with questions.
District 89 welcomes new board members, leaders
On Monday, May 1, the Community Consolidated School District 89 Board of Education welcomed two new members and elected three board members to new leadership positions. Jay Lerch and La Sridhar were officially seated on the board. Beth Powers was elected as board president, Haydee Núñez as vice president, and Scott Pope as board secretary. Glen Ellyn residents Lerch and Sridhar took the oath for their Board seats during a brief organizational meeting Monday night. Lerch and Sridhar were both elected in April to serve four-year terms. Lerch and Sridhar fill the seats of retiring board President Mike Nelson and retiring board member Jeff Hume. Núñez and Powers were also re-elected to the board. All four board members were unopposed in the April election. Lerch has lived in Community Consolidated School District 89 for 11 years. He and his wife Julie have a son, Max, in first grade at Arbor View Elementary School. Lerch earned a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Illinois College in Jacksonville Illinois. He is an assistant vice president at First Bank/Illinois in Palatine. Lerch has long been drawn to volunteer work, from Boy Scouts to Alpha Phi Omega (a national service fraternity). He has been involved in the Arbor View PTC, where he served as treasurer. He was interested in running for the board to continue to positively contribute to his community. Sridhar sees the board of education as an opportunity to give back to a school district that has been valuable in driving her son’s education and growth since preschool. Sridhar and her husband have one son, Param, who is in sixth grade at Glen Crest Middle School. Sridhar has lived in Glen Ellyn since 2003. She has been active in the Glen Ellyn community as a board member with Glen Ellyn Newcomers Club, Glen Ellyn Juniors and Teen Parent Connection. Sridhar was also active in the Park View Elementary School PTC, as the co-chair for their book fair for five years. Sridhar earned a bachelor’s degree from Delhi University, an MBA from Michigan State University, and Master’s Degree in Food Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is the global director of strategy and insights for Molson Coors in Chicago. Powers has lived in Glen Ellyn for more than a decade. She was appointed in June 2012 to fill an unexpired term on the board. Before becoming a board member, she served from 2010-12 as the co-president of the Park View Parent Teacher Council. She is a former member of the district’s Community Finance Committee. She is the mother of two boys. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Elmhurst College. Núñez was appointed to the board of education in September 2015. She has one child attending Briar Glen School. She is director of Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs at DePaul University. She earned both a Master’s Degree in social work and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Núñez has served on the board of directors the United Way of DuPage/West Cook since 2006 and chaired the Community Impact Committee. She also chaired the Latino Outreach Committee for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, where she has been active since 2004. Pope was elected in April 2015. He has been active in a variety of PTC-sponsored events and as a parent volunteer at Westfield School. He has degrees in electrical engineering and an MBA. He is employed as an engineering group leader at Argonne National Laboratory. Prior to the meeting, there was a reception to celebrate the service of Nelson and Hume. In honor of Beatles-fan Nelson’s 12 years on the board, the Glen Crest choir performed “Let It Be” and the orchestra played “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yesterday”.
Glenbard schools among ‘most challenging’
For the seventh consecutive year, all four high schools in Glenbard District 87 have been named to the Washington Post’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Approximately 12 percent of high schools nationally make the list. The list ranks schools through an index formula that uses the following ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. In releasing the list, the Washington Post also notes the percentage of students who come from families who qualify for lunch subsidies and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career. Superintendent David Larson said, “Our instructors, staff and administrators believe all students can grow academically, and they instill this belief in students. They encourage all students to take Advanced Placement classes. “We are preparing students to excel in higher education or the career of their choice. Experiencing college rigor in the supportive high school setting is so important. I am proud of our students for breaking out of their comfort zone and taking more rigorous classes. They understand that with hard work they can be successful in college and the workplace.” Even with having more than doubled the number of students taking AP exams in the past 10 years, Glenbard District 87 students have maintained an above average passing rate on AP exams. Last year, Glenbard District 87’s AP passing rate was 72 percent, which exceeds the state and national averages of 62 percent and 58 percent, respectively. “This is a testament to students’ hard work and the support of their teachers and families,” Larson added. Through a partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools, Glenbard District 87 also has seen an increase in the number of traditionally under-represented students taking Advanced Placement classes. Glenbard South High School has earned national recognition for closing its enrollment gap, joining less than 1 percent of high schools nationally that have closed their gap. Glenbard South is one of only three high schools in Illinois to close its AP enrollment gap, and Glenbard District 87’s other three schools are on track to do the same. Out of approximately 682 public high schools and 146 nonpublic high schools in Illinois, 78 Illinois high schools were named to the Washington Post’s list. The following is where Glenbard high schools appear in the 2017 Illinois ranking of high schools on the Washington Post’s list: Glenbard West, No. 12; Glenbard South, No. 30; Glenbard North, No. 54; and Glenbard East, No. 60.
Five homes featured in Kiwanis May 19 house walk
The Kiwanis Club of Lombard will present its 13th annual “Over the Threshold … A Tour of Distinctive Lombard Homes” on Friday, May 19, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and again from 5-8:30 p.m. All attendees are invited to a reception from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Lombard Historical Museum’s Coach House, where they can meet the homeowners and designers. The house walk showcases homes that make up the Lilac Village of Lombard. Tickets are $30 per person and are available at Potted Petals, Lombard Pharmacy, Paradiso, Blossoms of Lombard, and the Lombard Chamber of Commerce and Industry. On the day of the house walk, tickets are available at Lombard Pharmacy and at each home. No children under 13 years of age, including infants, are allowed on the tour. The club asks that the homes and their owners’ privacy be respected and that no cameras or video recorders be brought into the homes. All proceeds from the house walk go toward charities supported by the Kiwanis Club of Lombard. For further information, check the Web site at kiwaniscluboflombard.org.
Lilac Time Auction to be held Saturday
The First Church of Lombard Auction Team invites everyone to its 27th annual Lilac Time Auction. The event, which includes a full catered buffet, will be held Saturday, May 20, in First Church of Lombard’s Hatfield Hall, 220 S. Main St. Tickets are $30 if purchased by 4 p.m. Friday in the church office or $40 a the door. A silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. which leads to a verbal auction at about 8 p.m. Special auction and raffle items include a Nintendo Switch, a week at the Mayan Palace in Acapulco, a 49 in. Sony ultra HD Smart TV, an Apple 2 watch, a flowering ornamental tree planted by a landscaper, a handcrafted stained glass design quilt, a diamond and blue zircon pendant, a 3-night stay for up to 10 people at a Saugatuck, Mich. home; gourmet home-cooked meals, assorted theme baskets, gift certificates for dining, rounds of golf at a variety of courses, stays at local hotels, a variety of services and much more.