District 171 prepares for the end of the school year

District 171
The District 171 main office is located at 19266 Burnham Avenue in Lansing. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Student celebrations, new titles, and more were the focus of Sunnybrook’s meeting on Monday


LANSING, Ill. (April 28, 2022) – Sunnybrook District 171’s second-to-last board meeting of the school year focused on conference highlights and end of the year activities.

Board recognitions

Superintendent Dr. Erika Millhouse-Pettis congratulated Brandon Ford for helping the district receive a certificate of excellence in their Health Safety License from the South Cook Intermediate Service Center (ISC4).

ISC4 is the body responsible for inspecting all public-school buildings and school-related buildings on an annual basis to assure compliance with health and safety standards of public school students in Illinois.

During public comments, a student from Heritage Middle School advocated for a revision of the uniform policy. Pettis will meet with Chantelle Cambric, Principal of Heritage Middle School to go over incentive days where students can expressive themselves creatively through their clothing.

Pettis also led newly-elected school board members through a reaffirmation of their oath of office after one year.

Later in the agenda, Dr. Lori Owens Stranc, current Director of Curriculum and Instruction received an addition to her title, becoming Assistant Superintendent. “I am humbled and so honored to be part of the district,” she said.

National School Boards Association Conference highlights

During board reports, school board President Cozette Pettigrew invited fellow board members to share highlights from the National School Boards Association Conference.

Board Member Nicole Thompson emphasized it takes a community to fully develop children.

“It’s no longer just your child, it’s our child,” said Thompson. “It truly takes a village to raise a child.”

Board governance and the well-being of children and parents was a major highlight for Board member Elissa Veloz. She encouraged the district to do what they can to make things easier for parents.

Board Member Desiree Ambrose highlighted the communication workshop she attended.

“The key point with every communication workshop is are we listening to respond or are we listening to understand,” said Ambrose.

School updates

The district will participate in the 2022 Good Neighbor Day Parade. The theme this year will be “Salute to Sports,” and student athletes will be involved. The parade will take place on May 7.

During Heritage Middle School updates, Cambric shared several key dates. On April 28, students will be representing the school in the Math Bowl at Prairie State College. On May 10, the Spring Band Concert will be held.

On May 12, there will be a student performance of Annie the Musical. On May 17 and 18, the eighth grade luncheon and promotion ceremony will be held, respectively.

Joseph Kent, Principal of Nathan Hale Middle School, mentioned a Kindergarten celebration which will be held on May 25.

Other items on the agenda included:

  • Approval of April Bills and March’s Payroll in the amount of $1,269,731.69.
  • Due to recalculations of the Illinois evidence-based funding model, the district will receive $133,763 in funding by June 30, 2022.
  • The first day for parents to register their students in the district for the 2022-2023 school year will be May 2, 2022.
  • The last day of school for students will be May 26, 2022.

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday, May 16, 2022.The meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. at Heritage Middle School, 19266 Burnham Avenue, Lansing.