Meeting in special session Wednesday night, the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Lee Harrison, Morrisonville, as the district’s art teacher for the 2017-18 school year.
Harrison will step into a vacancy created by the unexpected resignation of 13-year veteran art teacher Jerry Rosentreter, who resigned in mid-July. Harrison will start as a first-year, non-tenured teacher. His hiring is subject to routine verification of certification.
The action to hire Harrison followed a 25-minute executive session. Upon returning to open session, board member Jenni Alepra moved to hire Harrison, with a second by board member Bill Carter. In addition to Alepra and Carter, President Mark Hayes, Dennis Tiburzi and Don Dobrino voted in favor of the measure. Peyton Bernot and Weye Schmidt did not attend.
Supt. Joe Tieman said Harrison has taught at the K-12 levels for the past eight years in the South Fork School District, Kincaid. He earned a master of science degree in educational administration in 2014 from Eastern Illinois University, Charleston. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, also from EIU, awarded in 2003.
Harrison told the BenGil Post that he has a passion for instilling in his students a love of wisdom and the desire to learn
Harrison told the BenGil Post that he has a passion for instilling in his students a love of wisdom and the desire to learn. Through teaching, he said he hopes to help students develop the ability to think critically and expand their potential.
“Art education is an essential part of the school curriculum,” he said. “In our fast-paced society, every student to has the opportunity to learn more about the world than what they interpret through text and numbers. Through the visual arts, students learn more about the world about them and what it was like before their time. Art education builds students’ motor skills, confidence, focus, collaboration skills and problem-solving skills.”
In other action, the board approved a Title I district plan that was discussed during the board’s regular meeting last month. The plan switches the federally funded program from a “targeted” program to a school-wide program. Elementary Principal Angela Turcol told the board last month that the change will provide for more flexibility in using Title-funded resources to benefit students other than those directly enrolled in Title programs.
The regular monthly meeting of the board is set for Monday, Aug. 21, one week earlier than the normally scheduled meeting date.