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GMS Recently Finish ISAT Testing

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Gillespie Middle School recently finished a week of ISATs (Illinois Standard Achievement Test). This year was a little different than any of the previous years. The faculty created an incentive program with a goal of improving the students’ attitudes and effort during the exams.

During the testing period, if the student was on task and using appropriate behavior, they were given a “ticket”. The tickets that the student received were then put in different prize boxes to win various prizes such as: $5 for GMS School Store, $5 for Dairy Queen, $5 for Subway, $10 for iTunes,  a Miner’s duffel bag, sport passes, lunch line passes, homework passes, sundae at lunch, Six Flags tickets, Raging Rivers tickets, and a chance to throw out the first pitch at a home baseball game.

Overall both the students and faculty were extremely happy with the results of the new “incentive-based” program.  It’s just another example of the innovative nature at CUSD #7.

GMS Yearbook also gave away 2 bicycles in a random drawing. The students that were eligible for this prize were students who met or exceed in last year’s ISAT test.

Bike winners were Jeremy Ucthman and Aubree Borror along with Ms. Lori Emmons (Principal), Ms. Steph Bray (Yearbook Advisor), & Mrs. Jill Rosentreter (8th Grade Science Teacher)

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GMS

Link wins All-Star Classic dunk contest, Four athletes represent Gillespie

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Kam Link (photo/Carlinville Rotary Club)

The top 59 boys’ and girls’ basketball seniors from South Central Illinois played in the 19th Annual Carlinville Rotary Club All-Star Basketball Classic on Sunday, March 26 in Carlinville which was presented by Prairie Farms Diary and CNB Bank & Trust.

Representing Gillespie High School among the athletes on the West teams included Emily Schoen, Jenna Clark, Kam Link, and Bryan Jubelt. Clark posted 2 points in the girls’ contest while Link posted 15 and Jubelt helped with 5 points in the boys’ game. Link also put on a show in the dunk contest scoring 48 out of the possible 50 points to win first place.

The Girls East beat the West 68-51 behind 14 points from MVP Layne Rupert of Hillsboro. The 3-point shootout was won by Paige Henson of Carrollton in a corner shootoff with Natalie Engelman of Nokomis. Staunton coach Corrie Allan was selected as the Rotary Club’s Girls’ Coach of the Year.

Devon Peebles of Pana took MVP honors in the boys’ Carlinville Rotary Club All-Star Basketball Classic. Peebles scored 25 points to lead the East to a 108-97 win over the West. Elijah Aumann of Nokomis won the 3-point contest hitting 10 treys and edging out Ryan Eisenbarth of Nokomis, Peebles and Jubelt of Gillespie who all had 9. In the Slam Dunk contest, Link scored 48 out of the possible 50 points for his routine with Peebles finishing second with a score of 41. Nokomis coach Dan DeWerff was named the Rotary Club’s Boys’ Coach of the Year.

With the East winning both the girls and boys match-ups this year, the all-time series record for boys moves to 12-7 with the West holding the lead and the girls record extends to 13-5 with the East holding strong.

The All-Star Classic serves as a fundraiser for the Carlinville Rotary Club who help with community projects throughout the year.

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CUSD 7 News

Kelly recognized by Illinois Principals Association

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The Kaskaskia Region of the Illinois Principals Association hosted its 27th annual Student Recognition Breakfast on Friday, March 17 at Greenville University.

Honored at the event included Olivia Kelly of Gillespie Middle School. Kelly is an eighth-grade student of GMS and is the daughter of J.O. and Jill Kelly of Gillespie. She attended the event with GMS Principal Patrick McGinthy.

The annual Student Recognition Breakfast event recognizes a student from each school in the Kaskaskia region for outstanding achievements in and out of the classroom. Over 50 students were honored at the event.

Students were individually recognized in front of the audience and enjoyed a buffet-style breakfast followed by a motivational speech by Dr. Lori Franke-Hopkins.

The Kaskaskia Region includes schools in the Bond, Clinton, Fayette, Macoupin, Marion and Montgomery Counties. The Illinois Principals Association is a professional organization of building and district level school administrators.

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Community News

CUSD 7 board hires Highland educator as GMS principal

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Members of the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education voted 4-1 Wednesday night to hire Patrick McGinthy, O’Fallon, as Gillespie Middle School Principal for the 2022-23 school year. McGinthy steps into a vacancy created when the board hired form GMS Principal Tara Cooper for a newly-created assistant principal’s position last week.

The board met in executive session for about 15 minutes before voting in open session to hire McGinthy, pending confirmation of certification and a background check.

Without offering explanation, board member Dennis Tiburzi voted against the hire. Last week, Tiburzi also cast the sole negative votes against accepting Cooper’s resignation, hiring Cooper as the assistant principal and posting the Middle School principal’s job as vacant. Board members Bill Carter and Weye Schmidt were absent.

Supt. Shane Owsley said McGinthy was selected from six finalists who had initially applied for the assistant principal’s job.

McGinthy reportedly was teaching general music to sixth and seventh graders at Highland Middle School prior to accepting the position at Gillespie Middle School. He also taught fifth-grade beginning band at Highland Elementary School and classroom music at Highland Middle School. Owsley said McGinthy also taught language arts and served as a substitute administrator when Highland administrators were absent. He reportedly earned his administrative certification from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Additionally, McGinthy has been a private music instructor, served as guest conductor for local bands and orchestras, and served on the staff of the Highland Marching Bulldogs. According to his Linked-In page, he is a self-described fitness enthusiast who has served as a private trainer.

He holds a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in performance from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and a Master of Music, also with an emphasis in performance, from the University of Louisville.

He lives in his hometown of O’Fallon, with his wife, daughter and son.

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Wednesday night’s action completes the administrative staff prior to the start of the school year. A speech and language pathologist’s position remains unfilled at this time, but otherwise the district is fully staffed for the new academic year.

The board is scheduled to meet in regular session at 6 p.m., Monday.

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