AP NEWS

RFHS board fills vacancy

February 21, 2019

ROCK FALLS – Matt Lillpop is moving up the Rock Falls schools ladder.

Lillpop, also executive director of the Whiteside County Farm Bureau, was approved to fill a vacancy on the Rock Falls High School Board at Wednesday’s meeting.

He replaces Steve Mulvaney, who resigned last month. The term expires in 2021.

Lillpop has served on the Rock Falls Elementary School District 13 School Board for 12 years. He plans to resign from his seat on that board when it next meets March 13. His term expires this year, but he was not planning to run in the April 2 Consolidated Election.

He’ll be sworn in on the high school board at its next meeting on March 20.

“I look forward to the possibility of finding ways that the high school can work more with District 13,” Lillpop said.

One way involves creating a mentor program where high school kids help District 13 students.

“I hope to bring in a perspective of what happens with children at a younger age, as they come into high school,” he said.

Lillpop was one of two finalists interviewed by Superintendent Ron McCord and the other board members during the closed session that preceded the public meeting.

David Chavira, a teacher at East Coloma-Nelson, was the other candidate.

Board President Michael Lewis and Vice President John Howard recommended to Chavira that he apply for whatever vacancy comes next on the board. 

“It was a tough decision,” Howard said. “As a board, we couldn’t have two more qualified candidates. It’s one of those cases where someone’s in and someone’s out. We couldn’t be more happy with the two candidates.”

Lillpop began service at District 13 when his son, Josh, was in kindergarten.

“Reflecting on those 12 years on the District 13 board, I’ve seen those kids prepare for high school,” Lillpop said. “For me, this is going to be the other side of the coin, seeing those kids come up from eighth grade come into high school preparing to have life after high school, with college or their career.

“It really is an opportunity to serve your community. By and large, when you have a great administration, and a great staff, it makes the school board that much better.”