By Michael S. Hoey


A new leadership group called Teamwork Respect Accountability Integrity Leadership, or TRAIL, has emerged at Delavan-Darien High School to replace the Varsity Club. The school board approved transferring a $1,000 stipend that used to go to the Varsity Club to TRAIL.

Athletics and activities director Guy Otte said the Varsity Club is a group that met for several years but did not meet last year because it had no advisor. The $1,000 stiped was not paid out as a result. Otte said student members had to have a varsity letter to be a member of the leadership club.

Otte said TRAIL, which has 38 members, was started last fall with the goal of adding to the culture at the high school.

“We are looking to get students more involved in athletics and activities,” Otte said.

Otte said he and Principal Jim Karedes have been guiding the club and he listed several things the club has been working on including a wall of honor for veterans.

Otte proposed the $1,000 stipend that used to go to the Varsity Club be transferred over to TRAIL to help fund its activities. The board approved the proposal unanimously on May 8.


      The first step toward transferring administration and funding of three scholarships presented each year from the district to the Delavan-Darien Foundation, which already administers several scholarships, was approved.

Superintendent Robert Crist said the Dora S. Arthur Financial Aid Fund, the Florence Dunwiddie Memorial Fund and the Robert Labonne Scholarship were all begun by families that donated money to fund them many years ago. He said the accounts don’t have enough money left in them to fund the scholarships anymore. Transferring the remaining funds and control over the scholarships to the Delavan-Darien Foundation would ensure the continued success of the scholarships.

The board approved the move, but coordinator of school and community relations Mike Heine said that was just the first step. He said even though the board has approved making the transfer, the issue is still being discussed internally and no final decision has been made.

Board seats

      Board President Jeff Scherer again brought up possibly changing how the board represents the district. Currently each board member represents certain geographic areas and only residents living in those areas can run for those seats. In the April election, two seats representing the Town of Delavan were open and no one filed paperwork in time to get on the ballot. That led to the ballot being open to four write-in candidates, two of whom won the seats – Giovanna Moses and Ron Deschner.

The board has discussed for several months if a change is necessary to attract more interest in serving on the board. At least two candidates would have liked to have served beginning in April but neither of them live in the Town of Delavan. That led to discussions about making the board all or at least part “at-large” with some or all of the seats open to anyone.

Scherer said May 8 that he still hoped to have a proposal in place by July so the district could try to get the 100 signatures it would need on a petition to get the matter on the agenda of the annual meeting in September.

Scherer directed the board to consider the issue and be ready for further discussion at the June board meeting.

Comet logo

      The board approved a request by the Darien Fire Department to add a Comet logo to the new fire engine the department is getting as a way to generate community spirit.

“It is a phenomenal idea,” Crist said.

Board officials selected

      The May 8 meeting was the first regular board meeting after the April election, so board positions were elected. Scherer remained president, Sharon Gonzalez was selected Vice President, Roxann Kelton was selected clerk, and John Andreoni was selected treasurer.


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