Bloomington School Board Honors Retired Superintendent Reilly | local education

BLOOMINGTON — The Bloomington School Board honored retired District 87 Superintendent Barry M. Reilly Wednesday night before he filled a vacancy and finalized this year’s budget.

“This job, like any leadership role, isn’t one you do alone,” Reilly said. “Anything I’ve ever done on my own, I’ve always done with the help of others.”

Reilly will be succeeded on July 1 by David Mouser, outgoing Superintendent of Downs-based Tri-Valley Schools.

A statement from former Superintendent Robert Nielsen, presented by John Durst, touched on their relationship, which has spanned more than 30 years in the Bloomington-based county. Reilly was a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal at Bloomington High School, then spent seven years as assistant chief of human resources before succeeding Nielsen in 2010.

Julie Riley, President of the Bloomington Education Association, who was the only person to speak during the public comment phase of the meeting, used the allotted time to congratulate Reilly on his resignation.

“We’ve seen you move through your various roles in the district, taking on additional responsibilities and exemplifying what we want for both our students and our staff,” Riley said. “It’s not goodbye, it’s goodbye, maybe because I think we’ll keep seeing you as there’s no greater champion in District 87.”

State Assemblyman Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, spoke at the meeting about Reilly’s work in ensuring that students in grades 6-12 had internet-enabled devices and online access in 2014 and his efforts to respond to the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020.

“Thank you, Dr. Reilly, of the 96th General Assembly of the Illinois House of Representatives, and we send you our best wishes and deepest gratitude for your service to the community, to the education system, and to all students graduating from elementary school, high school, and, yes, even higher education ‘ Brady said.

Following Reilly’s recognition, the board appointed Valeda Harvey to replace Tammy Houtzel, who recently became vacant.

Harvey, who is originally from Bloomington and returned to the area in 2013 with her three children, succeeded Houtzel, a seven-year-old member who resigned in April because she moved out of the district.

Harvey’s two older sons graduated from Bloomington High School and their youngest daughter will be a senior this fall.

“It is a special opportunity that has been presented to me again. I was in District 87 as a student, I’ve seen it as a parent and now as a board member,” Harvey said. “Once a hunter, always a hunter”

After reviewing 14 applicants and interviewing five, the Board approved Harvey’s appointment to fill the vacancy until the end of the term in April 2023, when the next school elections are scheduled.

“I am very pleased that Valeda will serve on this board. She’s been a huge supporter of District 87 since she came here from California with her kids,” Reilly said. “I had the opportunity to meet her immediately and I was very impressed by this woman and what she stood for and her family. I’m so glad District 87 will benefit from having her on this board.”

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Harvey is a paralegal at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, previously worked at the McLean County Law and Justice Center and has served on several committees of the Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission and the Westminster Village Board of Trustees.

The school board also voted to reappoint President Mark Wylie and Vice President Elizabeth Fox Anvick as board members.

In other matters, the school board approved a tentative amended budget for fiscal year 2022, which ends June 30.

Since the board approved the preliminary budget in September, projections now show a deficit of $621,260, down from the $3.5 million originally calculated.

The narrower deficit is attributed to increased income from the education fund, errors in the state funding calculation and a drop in spending, Chief Financial and Facilities Officer Michael Cornale said.

Education fund revenue was up $2.7 million, which included increases in corporate tax revenue to replace private property and property taxes, and a reduction in interest income, he said.

Cornale said a $243,258 cut in education fund spending is also planned.

Revenue and expenses from the capital projects were reduced by $1.5 million after the school board shifted money from the camera upgrade project to the operations and maintenance fund, Cornale said.

The reallocation of money for the camera project adds $500,000 to the O&M fund’s income and expenses.

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