MHS to install smoke & vape sensors

MENDOTA – The Mendota High School District 280 Board of Education held a reorganization meeting and a public hearing prior to its regular meeting on May 15.

During the reorganization meeting, Jim Lauer was re-elected as board president, Jim Sundberg will serve as vice president and Megan Faber is the secretary. Jeff Simonton was appointed as treasurer.

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held pursuant to the requirements of Sections 10 and 20 of the Bond Issuance Notification Act of the State of Illinois, as amended on the plans to issue General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2023, in the amount not to exceed $2,500,000.

Superintendent Jeff Prusator said that action is being taken in anticipation of replacing the flat roof on the school in the next few years. He added that with the retirement of a current working cash bond, the tax rate will not increase for district taxpayers with approval of the Series 2023 bonds.

Regular Meeting

Assistant Principal Joe Masini presented the proposed 2023-24 student handbook updates/changes. They include an addition to “description of infraction” in regard to detention served, dress code for physical education, and honors assembly grade point average requirement. Also, it was noted that the restrooms will be equipped with Zeptive vape sensors. These sensors detect smoke and vapes. Students in restrooms when sensors alert may be subject to searches for contraband items. The board approved the proposed changes pending legal counsel review.

In other action, Fall athletic bids were approved.

An overview of the Reimagine Mendota parent and student surveys was shared.

During the Superintendent’s report, the second reading, consideration and approval were granted for IASB policy updates.

Prusator reviewed the summer maintenance projects. They include the back parking lot; baseball and softball dugouts and press boxes to be sided; the outdoor classrooms/patios; business office safety modification; and a 10-year health life safety review.


The board acted on numerous personnel matters, including:

  • Hired Ray Lipe as bus mechanic;
  • Approved the transportation director’s salary;
  • Accepted the three-year retirement notices of Matt Gehm and Kevin Wohrley, effective at the conclusion of the 2025-26 school year;
  • Accepted the resignation of Adrianne Espinoza-Zamora as Spanish/ESL teacher and additional duties;
  • Hired Brenda (Hermosillo) Carbajal as Spanish/ESL teacher, Foreign Language Department chair, Spanish Club sponsor and Spanish Honor Society sponsor;
  • Accepted the resignation of Taylor Gibson as sophomore volleyball coach;
  • Hired the 2023-24 athletic coaches;
  • Hired Paula Baker and James Younger as sophomore class co-sponsors;
  • Hired Liz Zinke as junior class sponsor;
  • Hired Elias Sumner and Daniel Hanson as student summer custodial workers.

The next regular meeting of the Mendota High School District 280 Board is Tuesday, June 20 at 6 p.m.

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