District 58 Board of Education earns 2022 School Board Governance Recognition

District 58's Board is one of only 33 Illinois school boards to receive this honor


Last updated 9/28/2022 at 6:12pm

The Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education earned the 2022 School Board Governance Recognition from the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB). District 58's Board is one of only 33 Illinois school boards to earn this prestigious two-year honor.

"This recognition is designed to acknowledge those school boards that have engaged in activities and modeled behaviors that led to excellence in local school governance in support of quality public education," said Dr. Thomas Bertrand, IASB executive director. "We commend you for your hard work and the distinction of being a School Board Governance Recognition recipient."

The School Board Governance Recognition evaluates Illinois school boards on how well they practice effective governance behaviors identified in IASB's Foundational Principles of Effective Governance, through participation in and support for board development programs and events. The primary focus of this program is on full board development and participation.

"District 58's Board of Education has collaboratively achieved a tremendous amount of work, all while leading the District through a pandemic. They are deserving of this honor, and I am very proud of them!" said District 58 Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell.

Dr. Russell added that the Board's leadership has enabled District 58 to accomplish a wide variety of important work in recent years, including, but not limited to:

Completing a Master Facility Plan that comprehensively identified District 58's facility needs

Engaging the community to prioritize its facility needs, which informed a facility proposal

Approving a $179 million facility proposal to make District 58 schools safer, healthier and better-prepared for future generations of learners; this proposal will appear on the November 2022 Election Day ballot

Creating a fund balance policy to better manage capital funds and developing a five-year financial plan to ensure fiscal stability and transparency

Selling an outdated administrative building that no longer met the District's needs and partnering with the Village of Downers Grove on a new shared administrative space; these actions will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Adopting new curriculum resources in Math, English-Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Music and enhancing several academic programs.

Improving community communications at the school and district level, leading to an increase in engagement.

"I am especially proud of the camaraderie and mutual respect our Board members show each other. While they may not agree on all topics, they have robust, respectful conversations and always keep students' and staff members' best interests at the forefront," Dr. Russell added. "While School Board members are elected, they are not paid, and they volunteer many hours to support our school district."

District 58 Board of Education members are: Darren Hughes, president; Gregory Harris, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Melissa Ellis, Emily Hanus, Steven Olczyk and Tracy Weiner.

"On behalf of the Board of Education, we are honored to accept this award. As a board, we hold ourselves to high expectations because that is what our District 58 students, staff, families and community deserve," said District 58 Board of Education President Darren Hughes. "We will continue to work hard to help all students reach their potential, as well as serve our entire community in a fiscally-responsible manner."

The District 58 Board of Education will be formally recognized at IASB's Fall DuPage Division Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 2.


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