Skip to main content
Home Page Scrolling

News / Articles

Rotamorr October 24th

Andrea Buckman  | Published on 10/31/2017
Untitled Document
ROTAMORR   October 24th, 2017


Newsletter of the Rotary Club of Morris, Illinois

Chartered July 1, 1915

“Celebrating 101 Years”

  October 24th, 2017

Dr. Shannon Dudek


   Dr. Shannon Dudek , Superintendent of School District 54 was our guest speaker.  Before coming to Morris in June of 2016, Dr. Dudek served as Superintendent of District 69 in Peoria, IL.  Dr. Dudeks focus was on three main areas, Staffing, Facilities, and Finances.  Several positions were open due to people retiring and taking positions elsewhere. 

   David C. Raffel is the new Principal at White Oak as of April 2017.  Dr. Dudek worked with Mr. Raffel in Peoria and knew of his success in that district.  Mr. Raffel seems to be very involved and popular with the student body and staff alike.  His last fundraiser for the PTO was to have the students purchase duct tape pieces for $1.00 each and tape Principal Raffel to the wall.  His efforts raised $700.00 and were publicized on Facebook and Twitter.

   Tammy Dransfeldt is the new Dean of Students.
   Marie Stover has been hired as the Dean for Special Education.

   Kevin Mikuces is the new Athlectic Director.

   Doris Knoll has been hired as a Security Adviser.  She has already put programs in place to address Fire Drills, Visitors on the school property, radio communication, student safety and more. 

   Shabonna and White Oak schools have been combined starting in the 2017-2018 school year.  White Oak serves around 1200 Pre-K through 8th grade students.

   The Shabonna building is being rented out to various organizations.  Morris Hospital is renting about 22,000 square feet of space.  They will be moving their Medical Records and Billing Departments to that building. 
   Joliet Junior College is also renting part of the building.  Morris High School uses the soccer, field and track for their programs.

   There are plans to refurbish the track.  Currently the track is 6 lanes wide and they would like it increased to 8 at some time in the future.  A long jump area might also be added.  This project, in conjunction with the Morris High School should cost around $375,000.00 and another $50,000.00 for equipment.

   White Oak School will add a new coating to the roof to a cost of $350,000.00.  This will prevent furture leaks and have a 20 year warranty. 

   55 parking spots were added to the rear parking lot and a new digital sign will be added at the entrance.

   The district is working with IDOT and the City of Morris to open access to Route 6 with a right-in-right-out at the Locust Street intersection. 

   Jim Wright questioned the plan to pay off the high priced bond dept for White Oak.  The White Oak building should of been paid on in 2018.  However, because of a loss in revenue, the bonds had been refinanced.  Dr. Dudek said the plan is to pay off 75% of the debt within 8 years.  This will also coincide with the expiration of the TIFF.  Art Hornsby commented that the day the building was opened, they knew they would not be able to pay back the bonds.  

   Dr. Dudek and his staff are working on stabilizing the property tax rate at $3.60, which is the same rate as 2016.  As bonds fall off between now and 2025, less will be paid on interest and they will start to pay on the $18 Million bond principle still owed on White Oak. 

   District 54 has started to receive money from the State of Illinois since the budget has been passed in Springfield, IL.  $500,000.00 comes to the district because 50% of the student population is considered eligible for free or reduced fee programs.  District 54 is in the 2nd tier (2nd from the bottom) in a 4 tier system with the State.  There is a low likelihood that they will lose state funding. 

    A thank you to Dr. Dudek for attending our meeting and providing information on what is/has been going on with the schools. 

* We NEED to set up a work date for the Rotary Park *

* Starting 7/25/17 - Updated location for meetings in Maria's Ristorante and Pizzeria*
  - Location: 1591 N Division Street
                    Morris, IL 60450
  - At Maria's, members will be billed for food on quarterly Statements. *only if you eat*




 Upcoming Events:
  • NEW PACKING DATE - Next packing will be on Wednesday, November 1st.  Quite a few people will not be available.  If you can lend a hand, please let Alan Ferrari know. 
  • We will need a Rotarian to attended the Cruise Night Committee meeting in January 2018 to request a Cruise Night for Rotary.  John Car will not be about to attend but can provide the request letter but another member needs to attend to make the request in person.  John Carr will be calling Rance Welch to obtain the exact date of the January 2018 meeting. 
  • Since Jim Bianchetta has resigned from the club, the Tour d'Corn will be retired.  In order to supply the needed funds for the Backpack Program, either a new signature fundraiser needs to be planned OR we need to complete the process of becoming a 501(c)(3) and solicit corporate grants on an annual basis. 


Meeting Recap:
  • The meeting opened at 5:45 pm. 
  • Updated- Farm Fair proceeds - Preliminary estimate is that each of the 5 clubs and First Midwest Bank will receive around $6,000 - $7,000. 
  • Dictionary Project - the dictionaries for Nettle Creek and ICS have been handed out.
  • NO MEETING, October 31st - Halloween.
  • ***  If anyone has ideas for raising funds we need - as well as promoting the club and recruiting new members - please bring them to the next meeting.***


 Andrea Buckman, Dianne Breslar

Pledge of Allegiance


Four-Way Test




Guests:  Dr. Shannon Dudek, Lynn Carr

Sergeant-at-Arms –  

$$Happy Bucks$$


Heads & Tails Winner:   

THE FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think say or do:
First: Is it the TRUTH? Third: Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Second: Is it FAIR to all concerned? Fourth: Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The next Morris Rotary back packing will be held on Wednesday November 1st, White Oak Elementary @ 6:30pm. 

*The Club continues to look for new members to continue to grow the membership. If interested in attending a meeting please feel free to join us anytime. We have adjusted our meeting times to start at 5:45 pm on Tuesday nights and to conclude by 6:45 pm with an option to have dinner immediately following.*

  2017 Calendar of Events  
Date Program
November 1st Back Packing @ White Oak
November 7th TBA
November 14th TBA
November 21st No Meeting - Thanksgiving
November 28th TBA


Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
  1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  2. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
  4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Club Officers 2017-2018
President ** Andrea Buckman, Dianne Breslar
President-Elect **  
Vice-President/Programs ** Need VP – Deb Baker (Programs)
Secretary ** Andrea Buckman
Treasurer ** Tom Talarico
Sergeant-at-Arms ** Jim Ringer
Directors & Committee Chairs 2017-2018
Club Service Projects Director ** Amy Carr
Club Administration Director ** Charlie Gibbs
Club Membership Director ** Alan Ferrari
International Service Director ** Art Hornsby
Rotary Foundation John Carr
Charity Fundraiser  
Scholarship Committee Chair Jim Wright
Back Pack Committee Chair Alan Ferrari
ROTAMORR Editor Amy Carr
Public Relations Chair Rich Mitchell
District Assistant Governor Lisa Allen
Youth Chair/Interact Liaison Amy Carr
Planning Committee Draw Down Amy Carr
Interact Advisor – Morris Community H.S. Amy Carr




Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events