Roselle Dist. 12 seeks new board member

Updated 6/13/2011 12:50 PM
  • Douglas Stokes

    Douglas Stokes

As a seat opens on the Roselle Elementary District 12 school board, officials say they are searching for a candidate with a strong background in finance.

Douglas Stokes plans to resign from the board at the end of this month after serving since April 2009. Stokes is moving out of state for a new job and cannot finish his term that expires in April 2013.

"He grew up and went to school here and had a strong desire to come back and serve the community where he felt he got a great education," Superintendent Lori Bein said. "And he has done a wonderful job."

As the district seeks candidates to complete the rest of Stokes' term, Bein said volunteers with a financial background are ideal. Although District 12 has not suffered staff and program cuts that many others have faced as a result of the state budget crisis and recession, Bein said proactive planning is still key.

"Our district has been fiscally conservative for years, and as a result we can weather the difficult financial storms" she said.

District 12 currently is using some of its reserves to continue funding salaries and programs officials deem necessary or that are mandated by the state. Illinois is behind on about $300,000 in payments to the district for this school year, Bein said, which is a notable portion of its $8 million budget for its two schools: Spring Hills and Roselle Middle School.

"We are spending local funds for state-mandated programs that the state no longer has the money to fund," Bein said. "We also don't like to do reactive cutbacks, which is why we are using some reserves to continue funding programs and people we feel are necessary to provide an exceptional education."

The majority of District 12 students consistently score well on standardized tests, are at or above scores for incoming freshman at nearby Lake Park High School, and are qualifying for honors courses, Bein said.

Another financial concern facing the district is the pending end of the downtown Roselle tax increment financing district in 2012, which could mean an extra $500,000 a year for the district in property tax revenue.

"It is important for us for the way we levy our taxes, so we are able to capture all that (revenue)," Bein said.

Candidates interested in applying for the open post should contact District 12 at (630) 529-2091.