Chesterton Tribune



Retiring School Board member Mike Trout praised for 28 years of service

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The Duneland School Board recognized outgoing Board member Michael Trout for his years of service at its meeting last night.

Trout joined the Board in 1990 and has served for a continuous 28 years. He announced his intention to step down earlier this year and will be replaced in January by Alayna Lightfoot Pol, an educator who was elected over three other candidates who vied for Trout’s seat in the general election last month.

Board President John Marshall read a statement in recognition of Trout’s work on the Board, noting that Trout has been an integral part of the Board and the building and grounds committee, has long had the support of the Duneland Teacher’s Association, and helped lead the Board to state recognition. “Mike has been the rock this school board has leaned on for as long as I’ve been involved,” Marshall said. “We will surely miss you.”

Board member Kristin Kroeger said the Trout has been a mentor to her, reiterating Marshall’s sentiment that Trout will be missed. “Being a board member is so much harder than I think everyone realizes, and he has done so with extreme professionalism and grace,” Kroeger said.

“It’s been a privilege and an honor to serve the corporation,” Trout said. Trout said that serving on the Board has been a big part of his life, and though he will miss it, he knows it will continue to be successful. “The Duneland difference is because of the people in this room and others outside this building that do what’s best for our community,” Trout added.


Director of Support Services Greg Lindy reported on sealed bids received for two projects. The first project is installing new overhead garage doorsÑa total of 36Ñ on the bus barns. Lindy said he received three sealed bids, and the Board approved the lowest bid of $138,298 from Security Door Incorporated at his recommendation.

The second project is renovating the main office at Chesterton Middle School. Lindy said he reconsidered the scope of the project to make the renovation less expensive after initial bids for the project last year came in at over $800,000. Lindy said the project is intended to make the main office a more secure entrance, and he was still able to accomplish those goals with a more limited scope. “We’re building some walls and separating things to keep visitors in a secured space,” he said. The project will also free up space that can be used as a classroom. Out of five bids, the Board approved going forward with Larson Danielson construction for $311,005.


As it typically does this time of year, the Board approved a resolution to close the 2018 accounting year, allowing Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz to make year-end entries and produce her final report without calling a special meeting of the Board.

The Board also approved resolutions to create an operations fund and an education fund and to establish the initial funding for those funds. New laws HEA 1009 and HEA 1167 require that all school funding, save the referendum, debt-service, and food service funds, must be rolled into one of those two funds. The education fund is intended for expenses directly related to students and instruction, and the operations fund catches nearly everything else.

The new operations fund will include the money that was previously kept in the capital projects, transportation, and bus replacement funds, as well as the operational portion of general fund money. The new education fund will include all other money previously kept in the general fund. On the first of the year, the old funds will be closed and the money from them will be deposited into the new respective funds.

Health insurance

The Board approved policy changes concerning how Board members receive health insurance. According to Superintendent Dr. Ginger Bolinger, effective Jan. 1, 2019, Board members who are eligible for another insurance plan through a spouse must take that plan instead of Board member insurance, Board members will not be able to extend their coverage to family members, and Board members who are covered under the Board plan will be responsible for paying their monthly premiums.



Posted 12/4/2018




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