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District 158 continues strategic planning discussion and honors retiring board member

LANSING, Ill. (April 22, 2024) – Lansing School District 158 held its April School Board meeting on Wednesday, April 17. The board continued discussing strategic planning for the district, its first diversity, equity, and inclusion event, and the recognition of a retiring board member. 

Honoring Abimael Durán

The evening began with the board honoring retiring board member Abimael Durán. The board presented him with an award for “Outstanding leadership, dedication, friendship, and personal commitment” for his continuous improvement of Lansing School District 158 and for putting its students first. 

Durán has served on the Lansing District 158 Board of Education in 2018.

Mary Kelly, District 158 School Board President, says Durán has held several board committee roles during his tenure. He also served as board Vice President during his second term. 

“Mr. Durán’s knowledge, perspective, and experience with human resources and technology have been invaluable to the board,” said Kelly. 

Strategic planning

Dr. Nathan Schilling, Superintendent at District 158, updated the board on strategic planning. He says the strategic planning survey is completed and has received 265 responses. Parents make up 148 of the responses.

The next step is to select a committee of 35-50 people to review the results and data to create the district’s next three-to-five-year plan. Dr. Schilling says the district is working with district principals, LEA and LEFA unions, the Lansing Fire Department, and the Lansing Police Department to select representatives to serve on the committee. 

He says that based on the survey results, the committee will focus on teaching and learning, finance and facilities, technology, community and communication, and staff and teacher development. 

District principals updated the board on their plans to find parents to serve on the committee as well. 

The Strategic Planning Committee is set to meet on April 24, May 1, and May 8 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the district training room. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

District 158 held its first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Cultural Festival on the evening of April 18 at Memorial Junior High School. The event celebrated cultural diversity, promoted equity, and provided awareness through inclusion. 

“We are trying to represent a lot of different cultures and trying to showcase the diversity we have in Lansing and respecting all those different cultures,” said Dr. Schilling. 

The event was organized by Dr. Kelli Ross, Principal at Memorial, and the district’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee.

Other agenda items:

  • District 158 has five recipients of the Illinois State Board of Education “Those Who Excel” awards including Superintendent Dr. Nathan Schilling.
  • District 158 June board meeting will be rescheduled from June 19 to June 12 due to the original meeting falling on the Juneteenth holiday.
  • The board approved awarding the Lester Crawl Primary Center Renovation/Expansion Project Rebid of Package #17 Landscaping to Vital Lawncare and Landscape, Inc. for $66,019.98.

More information about District 158 is available at www.d158.net. Meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of the month at Lester Crawl Primary Center, 18300 Greenbay Avenue in Lansing.

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Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.