Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Stacy Cesta, Danielle Didrickson, Anna Briscoe and Jim Andresen were all elected to the Mokena School District 159 Board of Education on Tuesday, April 9.
Four new members will take seats on the Mokena School District 159 Board of Education in the coming months, after voters elected Stacy Cesta, Danielle Didrickson, Anna Briscoe and Jim Andresen to seats on the board. “It's exciting to hear the numbers,” Didrickson said. “It's very excited to see the numbers that we're seeing and hope that officially those numbers are truly the numbers that come in at the end of the day” The quartet ran as a ticket, watching the results trickle in during election night together. “It's great, it's exciting, my wife encouraged me to get out there and do something to support the community,” Andresen said. “It's all kind of just sinking in, and between the absentee and early ballots, it's just so exciting. As …
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The D159 school board is considering a fund-raising carnival, the year after rejecting another planned carnival for not going through full board approval.
If the Mokena School District 159 board approves it on April 12, a carnival could be coming to the district in late May. On Monday, the board heard a presentation from area resident William Phelps on a possible carnival to benefit the district from May 17 to 20. The district's attorney is reviewing the contract, but if the board approves it at their next meeting, it could mean rides, games, concessions and other carnival activities coming to Mokena Elementary School grounds next month. The previous district administration heard plans for a carnival, but when the organizers shifted from the Knights of Columbus to the newly formed Citizens to Enhance Education the board found what board President John Troy called an "obscure" rule that any …
Friday, March 16, 2012
Student council members from all three Mokena District 159 schools collected a total of 1,800 toys and $277 in cash and gift cards for Orland Park-based charity The Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation.
About 1,800 children undergoing cancer treatment will get a chance to feel like a kid thanks to the student councils from Mokena School District 159 schools. The student councils from Mokena Elementary School, Mokena Intermediate School and Mokena Junior High School collected 1,800 new toys and $277 in cash and gift cards for the Orland Park-based Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. The Treasure Chest stocks the closets and toy trunks of 39 cancer treatment centers nationwide, putting toys in the hands of about 7,600 children undergoing cancer treatments each month. "We always try to teach the children to help other people," MES Principal Chris Clavenna said. "I think our students came through with flying colors." Read how a …
Thursday, March 15, 2012
After taking the job as Mokena Elementary School principal 11 days before classes started last fall, Chris Clavenna has taken a job as a junior high assistant principal in Downers Grove.
After 12 years with Mokena School District 159, including one as principal of Mokena Elementary School, Chris Clavenna has taken a position at a junior high school in Downers Grove, she said on Wednesday. "Even though I am leaving Mokena, Mokena will always be a very special district for me," Clavenna said. Clavenna will be starting as assistant principal at O'Neill Middle School in Downers Grove in the fall, she said. She was assistant principal at Mokena Junior High School for a year before taking the MES job last August. "I just really liked that level. The young kids are great. It's been a wonderful experience, but my niche is really at the junior high level," she said. "I think that I always thought that someday I would return to a …
Monday, March 12, 2012
Four members of Heather Esgar's third-grade class spoke at last week's school board meeting. Watch video of their presentations on spiders, Gatorade and other class projects.
Four Mokena Elementary School students from Heather Esgar's third-grade class spoke to the District 159 school board last week about projects their class has done. Each meeting, students from different D159 classes talk to the board as part of the Educational Showcase. See a previous class project by Mrs. Esgar's third graders (and try to guess who the kids are dressed as).
Friday, March 9, 2012
After the state left Mokena in the lurch for the $82,000 it costs to run the at-risk early childhood program Early Start, the school board voted to keep the program, but at a much higher costs for the parents who can pay.
After district staffers presented the options of doubling the fees parents pay for the Early Start at-risk childhood development program or tripling them, the Mokena 159 school board quadrupled them. The fee, previously set at $168 a school year, will go to $675 a year, the board approved unanimously on Thursday. The state cut all funding for Mokena's Early Start program this year, leaving D159 the harsh decision whether to fund the program out-of-pocket or cut it entirely. The hike means D159 must find $60,800 to $64,800 a year to run the program instead of the $75,000 to $79,000 previously needed. "Right now, anything that's not in the budget will come out of reserves," board President John Troy said. The district determined the previous…
Monday, March 5, 2012
StatShot looks at Mokena District 159's eighth-grade class sizes from 1999 to 2011.
Mokena District 159 has, over the last several years, seen declining enrollment and reductions to the teaching staff through attrition. Both these factors play into class sizes. Today's StatShot looks at the number of students per class for eighth graders at Mokena Junior High School. The average of the last 13 years is 27 students per class. The numbers spiked to 32.8 in 2010, nearly 10 more children per class than in 2007, the year with the lowest class sizes. Here are the class size numbers, courtesy Northern Illinois University's Illinois Interactive Report Card.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Anger over the Burros, D159 referendum talk back in the news and a closing school made this week in reader comments on Mokena Patch and the Facebook fan page.
We are achingly close to 500 fans of the Mokena Patch Facebook page. It's taunting me, haunting my nightmares, filling my waking hours with a stomach-punch longing flinging my soul into the dark torment where joy and despair are one. OK, maybe that's a bit much, but it would be cool if we got up to 500 fans. "Like" the page. Here's a few of my favorite comments from the week. Favorite sarcasm came from today's story about a Mokena 159 consultant suggesting going for the fourth referendum attempt since 2010. Carol Lester Garcia Why didn't we think of that? Favorite description came from our weekly round-up of the top rented DVDs at Mokena video. Mike Buziecki I feel like I'm stepping back to 1983 every time I walk into that place! Good …
A consultant hired by Mokena 159 said recent cuts will eliminate the district's deficit, but that a referendum could let the district undo its reductions.
A strategic consultant hired by Mokena School District 159 said the word that divided the town three times before—referendum. "My only personal point of view is if—if—you want to return to some of the previous standards, the only way you can get there from here is with a referendum of some sort," Larry Heidemann of StratPlan Consulting told the board during a special meeting Thursday night. If the board follows Heidemann's suggestion, it would be the fourth go at a referendum in the last few years. This brings back a familiar, emotionally charged and some say false divide in Mokena: "What about the children?" versus "What about the taxpayers?" "I'm sorry if I was too much of an advocate for the kids," Heidemann said at one point while …
Thursday, February 23, 2012
These Mokena Intermediate School students were caught by teachers, staff and their classmates being kind during Random Acts of Kindness week.
Find out more about Mokena Intermediate School.