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March 2017 Board Report

Amy Sipovic, a social studies teacher at Streator Township High School, was appointed Thursday to fill a two-year unexpired term on the Illinois Valley Community College board.

Laurie Bonucci of Princeton resigned from the board in January after serving four of her term’s six years. Sipovic emerged from among four applicants interviewed by the board for the vacancy Feb. 27, IVCC President Jerry Corcoran said.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with Amy,” said Corcoran. “Her educational vision is aligned with our goals.”

A native of La Salle, Sipovic attended La Salle-Peru Township High School, earned a bachelor’s from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master’s in educational leadership from American College of Education in Chicago and a doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction from Northern Illinois University.

Sipovic’s first meeting will be April 13.

In a statement near the close of the meeting, chair Melissa Olivero lauded Bonucci for being a “fantastic addition to the board who represented her constituents well.” Bonucci attended the meeting with her husband Steve to say goodbye to board colleagues and college staff. 

In other business, the board approved tenure for English composition and creative writing instructor Tracy Lee and laboratory and developmental mathematics instructor Emily Lesman.

Lee was credited for reinvigorating the student literacy journal River Currents and for increased enrollments in creative writing. Lesman was praised for being a “remarkable support” to developmental math students.

In other action, the board:

Accepted with regret the retirement of 10-year Director of Human Resources Glenna Jones. “We thank Glenna for her service and wish her well as she pursues other interests in her retirement,” said Corcoran. Jones’s last official duty will be helping coordinate the 21st annual employee recognition ceremony April 28.

  • The resignation of nursing instructor Eris Simons effective March 8.
  • The $1,064,000 bid of PIPCO Companies of Peoria for the Building D chiller/air handler replacement and Building G controls.
  • A three-year, $54,000 contract with Illinois Century Network (ICN) for broadband service payable at $1,500 per month.
  • A 2018 trustee budget totaling $14,750. That budget includes $11,500 for membership in the Illinois Community College Trustees Association and is contingent upon state funding.    

The board also learned:

  • Student demographics have remained consistent over the past three years, Associate Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski reported in his campus update. “Enrollment status, gender, location of enrollment, permanent residence, ethnicity and reason for enrolling all depict minimal percentage variances,” Grzybowski said. While enrollment of traditional-age students remains strong, adult enrollment has suffered due in part to improving employment rates, he added.
  • Non-tenured faculty renewed for 2017-18 are Jean Forst, English and reading, Heather Knoblauch and Judy Lowe, nursing, Tammy Landgraf, early childhood education, Willard Mott, agriculture, Andrew Seeger, world languages, Heather Seghi, dental assisting, and Dan Serafini, math.
  • Teresa Bowen, administrative assistant for Project Success, retired March 1; part-time computer instructor Mary Turchi will retire at the end of the spring semester; Donald J. Corcoran, truck driver training specialist the past 15 years, retired Feb. 24; and Continuing Education Center program manager Monica Near, another 15-year employee, resigned March 3.
  • Jill Urban Bollis, educational psychology, and Promise Yong, chemistry, have been named co-winners of the 2017 Stephen Charry Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence and Wendy Lamboley, anatomy and physiology, is the winner of the Outstanding Part-time Faculty Award.
  • Corcoran credited longtime instructor Steve Swett for leading tornado relief efforts in Naplate and Ottawa for the American Red Cross.
  • IVCC instructors David Kuester, Don Grant Zellmer, Betsy Klopcic and theater technical director Matt Boehm are working with Horizon House on a disabilities awareness program at Holy Family grade school in Oglesby. The program is in its sixth year.
  • IVCC’s women’s basketball team will play for the Region IV, Division II championship vs. Moraine Valley at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove. The winner will advance to the NJCAA Division II national championships in Harrison, Ark., March 21-25. The team will also be invited to attend the April 13 board meeting.
  • IVCC officials will participate in La Salle-Peru High School’s career fair the morning of Tuesday, March 14 and IVCC’s Spring Open House that night from 5 to 7:30.
  • Students Aelsa Butler of Princeton and Trevor Finnan of Utica will be recognized for academic excellence at the Tuesday, April 4 Phi Theta Kappa awards banquet in Springfield.
  • The annual student academic awards ceremony is Wednesday, April 5 in the gym.
  • On Thursday, April 6, IVCC will hold its first Ag Open House in the morning and the Foundation will host its first “One IVCC Giving Day,” an online fundraiser replacing the spring dance and golf outing.