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  • Megann Horstead

Summit Hill officials accept 2016-2017 audit


The Summit Hill District 161 Board of Education reviewed a copy of its 2016-2017 audit prepared by Mack & Associates at its Oct. 11 meeting.

Mack & Associates audit manager Erica Blumberg presented an overview of the results and went on to say the district received a clean opinion.

Typically, representatives for Mack & Associates come out to the district to complete its testing once toward the end of the fiscal year and again in August. The firm has found the district’s finances to be in order the past three years.

This year marks the third time in which Summit Hill District 161 has worked with Mack & Associates to complete a financial audit.

“We’ve seen improvements and steps forward each year,” Blumberg said. “The audit is completed in an efficient manner where we’re given everything we need, access to what we need, questions are answered completely and timely, and we very much appreciate that. Overall, [we experienced] a very smooth audit process. We commend the office staff for that.”

Last year, the district saw an increase in revenue of more than $450,000, which is attributed to delays in state payment that came in subsequent to the end of fiscal year 2017.

D161 has experienced a decrease in debt and an increase in its net position in reviewing the results from the audit. To achieve this aim, officials paid out more than $50 million to close out fiscal year 2017 to create a roughly $20 million net position to end the year.

“Outstanding bonds, they’re down accordingly,” Blumberg said.

Blumberg took a moment to review financial statements highlighting the budget versus actual schedule for use of the district’s general funds.

“It does appear the district was over budget both on revenues and expenses, that is if you take out the effect of those on behalf payments that I talked about, which were estimated based on last year’s number,” she said. “The unforeseen increase [in state funding] resulted in an overage on both ends. [It’s] nothing that we’re worried about in terms of operation. The operating budget is very much accurate and worked for the district.”

Blumberg said this is “positive” financial position for the district to be in.

“You’ve got the funds that you need on hand to make the expenditures you anticipate,” she said.

The financial information and accompanying statements compiled by Mack & Associates provide officials with details to guide officials for financial planning purposes.

The firm formed its opinion based on its efforts to test transactions, utilize a risk-based approach and examine internal controls.

In a 5-0 decision, the board voted to accept the results as presented.

Board of Education recognizes October as National Principals Month

Also at the meeting, Summit Hill officials took a moment to recognize the district’s principals during the Illinois Principals Association’s commemoration of National Principals Month.

“Summit Hill School District 161 honors today our exemplary school leaders who clearly are committed to serving our students,” Superintendent Barb Rains said. “We celebrate these hardworking professionals who mean so much to the families we serve. They’re not just the lead educators in their buildings, but in many ways the heart and soul of their school.”

The Board of Education took time to thank its principals by shaking hands with each of one of those present during the meeting and went on to acknowledge them by sharing a series of videos, in which students express their appreciation for what they do.

Among those recognized were Francie Boss, Dana Wright, Jason Isdonas, Michael Ruffalo, Laura Goebel, Daniel Pierson, Tracy Bulfer, Maura Carroll and Colin Bradley.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the Oct. 11 regular meeting of the Summit Hill District 161 Board of Education:

  • Officials approved the publication of a notice for a tax levy hearing set for 7 p.m. Dec. 13.

  • The school board will hold its next regular meeting 7 p.m. Oct. 25, at the Mary Drew Administration Center.

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