Connect with us

Community News

Class of 2012 graduates 68 students

Published

on

Either we will find a way, or we will make one.

In a ceremony long on tradition with a few moments of serendipity, Community Unit School District 7 awarded diplomas to 68 graduating seniors during commencement exercises on Sunday afternoon in the Gillespie High School gym.

Valedictorian Abbie Cline highlighted the ceremony as she delivered her valedictorian address.  “Take a second to remember everything that happened in this high school because this will be the last time we are all here together at once,” Cline opened. “It was a great four years. We are part of one of the best classes to pass through this high school.”

Her address described Cline’s emotions upon saying goodbye to high school and preparing for the future.  “We are like a family,” she explained.  “Girls sports have been phenomenal, but it isn’t all about sports. We all supported Dallas on his way to becoming number one in physics during the WYSE competition.”

Ben Parish carries Sam Wasylenko out of the gym in conclusion of the ceremony.

Cline went on to thank her class for making high school enjoyable. “You will always be remembered,” Cline added. “You were the best class. We were always supporting each other, we are sexy and we know it.” Cline offered advice to her classmates. Always set goals for yourself, she noted, and never forget what we had here.

Class members gave Cline a standing ovation at the conclusion of her address.  As grins and smiles were popular among the classmates, teachers offered their last congratulations to the students saying “good luck in the future, you were a great class.”

Others thanked the students.  “You’ve made my job fun,” Paine said. “I’m grateful for being able to be a part of your lives.”

Speaking to the class, Tiburzi noted that the class is already leaders.  “You have survived everything we have thrown at you,” Tiburzi said as he talked about the class moto.  “Now you will make a new path.”  He said the class already had demonstrated leadership in a number of areas, including academics, fine arts, vocational education and sports.

“Know we are very proud of you and wish the great of success in life,” Tiburzi said.  “Your class has survived everything from death of classmates to classmates in car accidents.”  Cline‘s co-valedictorians, Richard Mock, Adam Schmidt, and Michael Taylor, offered traditional valedictorian addresses.

“I want to thank everyone that has helped us get here this afternoon,” Mock told his classmates. “I want to thank my classmates, high school would have been boring without you guys. We are awesome.” Mock went on to share that the class needs to move forward and wish them best of luck.

Advertisement

Steven Wolf watches as the high school choir sings "2012".

In a speech laced with casual humor, Schmidt acknowledged the end of his and his classmates’ high school career.  “It’s hard for me to believe it is truly over,” he said.  “It was hard work and we are a great class. High school would not have been as fun without you guys.”  The class has always been close, according to Schmidt. Every day was a good day to him. “I honestly say I wish I could come back next year.”

Michael Taylor gave the final farewell and struggled realizing it is finally happening. “Not long ago, I was the young man in the back of the room playing in the band and wishing the ceremony would speed up so I could go home,” he opened. “Here it is now; I wish I was still back there.” Life must go on, he advised, we have a bright future ahead of us.

“We are prepared for the future,” Taylor added. “Our class moto truly describes us.” Taylor asked the class to thank everyone who has led them in the right direction. He offered God’s blessing on his classmates and America in closing.

Board President Mark Hayes presented diplomas as board member Weye Schmidt read the names of graduates.  Schmidt stepped forward to present his son, Adam Schmidt with his diploma.

To see more pictures from the ceremony, become a fan of our Facebook page and click here!

 

Share this story

Comments

comments

Community News

School board deals with personnel issues during special meeting

Published

on

By

Stephanie Bray

Meeting in special session Monday night, members of the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education accepted “with regrets” the resignation for purposes of retirement of Stephanie Bray, one of the district’s three technology integration specialists, effective June 4.

The board called a special session to deal with the apparently unexpected resignation before the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting later this month. However, board members tabled action on approving a revised job description for the Student Information System/Data Integration Specialist position, pending further discussion.

The board also tabled action on posting the newly created vacancy and tabled posting a district-level secretary’s position.

In February of 2022, the board accepted “with regrets” Bray’s announcement of her retirement “no later than the end of the 2025-26 school year.” There was no indication of why Bray moved her retirement date up by two years.

On a motion by Weye Schmidt, seconded by Amanda Ross, the board voted unanimously to accept Bray’s resignation. The action followed a 50-minute executive session to discuss personnel issues behind closed doors. The public portion of the meeting lasted less than 10 minutes.

In other action, the board voted to renew the district’s One Room contract to offer a remotely taught Spanish class to fulfill the district’s foreign language requirement for the 2024-25 school year. This will be the second year an off-site teacher will teach foreign language at GHS, using remote communication technology. Supt. Shane Owsley said the district had no applications for the vacant teaching position last year. This year, an applicant from Brazil explored the possibility of teaching in Gillespie but ultimately accepted a tutoring position at Greenville University. Owsley said hiring the applicant could have become cumbersome because she was not yet certificated to teach high school Spanish. He said he recently changed the job description from Spanish to foreign language to expand the pool of potential applicants.

In other personnel action, the board approved the maternity leave request of Amber Allan, BenGil Elementary physical education teacher, effective Aug. 28 through Jan. 20.

In separate actions, the board accepted Nathan Henrichs resignation as Gillespie High School freshman football coach, posted the position as vacant, and appointed Henrichs as a varsity assistant football coach. The board also voted unanimously to appoint Alex Jasper as an assistant freshman football coach. The board unanimously accepted Wayne Ireland’s resignation as a volunteer assistant football coach, and voted unanimously to appoint Jarrod Herron and hire Trenton Cleveland as volunteer assistant football coaches.

Advertisement

The board voted unanimously to hire Michael Rodriguez as a high school volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach.

On a motion by Schmidt, seconded by Kelli Vesper, the board hired Alexis Ollis as a head cook and kitchen staff member, pending documentation of certification and a background check. The board also Brittany Hughes as a district kitchen staff worker, pending documentation of certification and background check.

On a motion by Vesper, the board voted unanimously to post a vacancy for a one-on-one paraprofessional aide.

Board members voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Jessica Kelly as a middle school assistant track and field coach and voted unanimously to hire Jay Weber as the high school head track and field coach.

The regular monthly meeting of the board is set for 6 p.m., Monday, June 24, at the district’s administrative office.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

Americana festival set for July 4 at Benld Park

Published

on

Jess Barker, The Lodge Brothers, and The New Prairie Drifters are set to take the stage at Benld City Park on Thursday, July 4 as part of the Americana Festival.

The music festival intends to celebrate the birthday and spirit of America with thriving local culture of music, food, and art. It is scheduled to begin at 12 noon and end at 6 pm.

Food will be available for purchase from The Barracks American Table, a new Gillespie restaurant, and skincare products will be available from Nature’s Bliss, a Benld gift shop.

The park is located at 305 North Main Street in Benld. Admission is free.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

Macoupin County Fair underway until Sunday

Published

on

Rides, tents, food trucks, music, animals, and plenty of other offerings fill the grounds at the Macoupin County Fair for the 172nd year. The fair is held June 4 through June 9 at the Macoupin County Fairground north of Carlinville.

The oldest county fair in Illinois, the Macoupin County Fair welcomes thousands of guests to the area and unites agriculture, family, and community. The fair continues through Sunday with highlights every evening.

The fair also meets the needs of families on a budget, for just $10 per person you get parking and all-access to the carnival rides. The cost-friendly fun draws in visitors and locals who get to embrace the county’s namesakes.

Tracy Lawrence and Walker Montgomery are set to take the stage Thursday evening, June 6, at 7:30pm. Friday evening features the tractor and truck pull, and Saturday evening is the crowd-favorite demolition derby.

The fair opens every morning at 8am and closes at 12 midnight. For a full list of schedule of events or to pre-pay for entry, visit the fair’s website here.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Trending

×

We need your support. If you value having timely, accurate news about your community, please become one of our subscribers. Subscribe