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June 27: School Board Meeting

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Gillespie School District #7 met for their monthly meeting last night. Everyone answered present to Kathy McDaniels roll call.

The members first approved the agenda and then went to executive session for a momentary amount of time to discuss personnel, legal issues, and students. The board then came back to public session and opened action after the Pledge of Allegiance.

First open action was to hire a math instructor to replace Kadie Benz who will be teaching in Staunton FSY 2012. With all “yeses”, the board hired Ashley Gibbs of Carlinville, Illinois under recommendation by Principal Joe Tieman. The board then hired Principal Joe Tieman’s next recommendation: Zach Simon of Glen Carbon, Illinois for the vacancy in the district band instructor after the resignation of Michael Sauerhage. The board then appointed all spring coaches for FSY 2012. Coaches are as follows:

  • Softball: Michele Tucker (Head Coach), Joe Kelly (Assistant Coach), & Jim Matesa (Volunteer)
  • Baseball: Jeremy Smith (Head Coach), Darrin Peterson (Assistant Coach) & Don Dobrino (Volunteer)
  • Girls’ Soccer: John Blank (Head Coach) & Todd Libbra (Assistant Coach)
  • Girls’ Track: Jack Burns (Head Coach) & Jeff Nehls (Assistant Coach)
  • Boys’ Track: Mike Bertagnolli (Head Coach)

The board accepted resignation of Gillespie scholar bowl sponsor Mrs. Connie Whitehead and authorized posting as Gillespie scholar bowl sponsor FSY 2012 vacant. The board also accepted resignation of high school prom sponsor, Mrs. Kadie Benz, and authorized the position as vacant. The board then hired Mr. Todd Libbra of Gillespie as Gillespie High School boy’s head soccer coach and Mr. Brett Allan as assistant soccer coach. Then the board accepted the retirement request of unit office staff FSY 2011 Denise Ditch.

The board then listened to Joe Dona, bus driver at CUSD #7. Joe complained on how the school handled his employee status over the situation when he brought a police officer on the school bus to calm students down.

Superintendent Paul Skeans then gave his report. Board training is set to take place July 20 at 6:00pm and Lighting the Way Conference for school board members is scheduled to take place November 18-20. The Lighting the Way Conference is usually provided to the school board members from CUSD #7 unless school board members opt to reimburse the school of the expense. Peyton Bernot has opted to reimburse the school of the expense if he plans on attending the conference. The 5 year plan meeting is scheduled to take place on July 13 which will be in executive session to discuss the direction of the school district.

In other business, the school board rejected all bids for grouting of the new school due to technical reasons and reauthorized Superintendent Paul Skeans to seek another round of bids for the excavation.The board approved the Cleveland/Chicago choir trip for FSY 2012 which is set for April 4-8, 2012. Mr. Tom Hyde then updated the the board on the current capital projects. School board member Peyton Bernot questioned Mr. Hyde during his shortsighted presentation. Bernot asked what percentage Hyde will be making of the total school cost and Mr. Hyde responded with the figure: 7.5%.

In new business, the board awarded fuel, milk, and bread bids. Also, the board amended the FSY 2011 budget and approved FSY 2012 employee insurance through Blue Cross/Blue Shield which is listed below. (All amounts are 2011-2012 premiums.)

  • Employee: $518.29 +1.05
  • Employee/Spouse: $1,234.17
  • Employee/Child(ren): $1,007.51
  • Family: $1,723.40

The board/employee costs for 2011-2012 are as follows:

  • Board Cost: $471.65+$1.05 (Life Insurance)
  • Employee: $46.64+$1.05
  • Employee/Spouse: $762.52+$1.05
  • Employee/Child(ren): $535.86+$1.05
  • Family: $1,251.75+$1.05

The next regular board meeting is set for Monday, August 15th at 7:00pm.

 

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Court News

Macoupin County Courthouse News

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Cases filed during July 7 through July 13. Visit the “Court News” category under the “Community News” tab for other editions.

FELONIES

Timothy D. Conlee, 29 of Gillespie, is charged with aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving in connection with a July 6 incident.

Dylan J. Arview, 25 of Benld, is charged with driving under the influence while license revoked or suspending, DUI, driving on a suspended license and driving 15-20 mph above the limit in connection with a July 5 incident.

Bobby L. Walker, 35 of Sorento, is charged with driving revoked/suspended with a DUI, driving on revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, displayed registration plate, and expired registration in connection with a June 27 incident.

Dustin W. Gooch, 34 of Beecher City, is charged with aggravated fleeing/bodily injury, unlawful display of a title, improper use of registration/title, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and registration light in connection with a June 17 incident.

MISDEMEANORS

Jordan A. Black, 24 of Gillespie, is charged with battery/causing bodily harm in connection with a July 8 incident.

Dustin R. Stieglitz, 37 of Shipman, is charged with aggravated assault/use of a deadly weapon in connection to a June 29 incident.

Steven A. Kroll, 33 of Eagarville, is charged with resisting a peace officer, fire fighter, or corrections employee in connection with a June 26 incident.

TRAFFIC

David B. Brown, 58 of Virden, is charged with cancelled/revoked/suspended registration in connection with a July 3 incident.

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Jennifer L. Roberts, 47 of Worden, is charged with driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle in connection with July 5 incident.

Andrew L. Connoyer, 31 of Bethalto, is charged with improper use of registration, driving 15-20 mph above the limit, and no valid registration in connection with July 7 incident.

Megan E. Bertoldi, 37 of Gillespie, is charged with leaving the scene in connection with July 11 incident.

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE FILED

  • Tasha McQuay versus David McQuay

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Community News

School board disciplines staff member; hires AD and Student Services Coordinator

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In a relatively brief meeting Monday night, the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education approved a “resolution of remedial warning” against an unidentified district teacher, and hired a new Student Services Coordinator and Athletic Director.

The actions followed an 80-minute executive session during which board members presumably primarily discussed personnel issues. The regular monthly meeting of the board was moved up by one week to fill key positions, such as the Athletic Director and Student Services Coordinator, prior to the start of the school year next month. The district was taken by surprise when former Student Services Coordinator Stephanie Bray and Athletic Director Mike Bertagnolli both announced their retirements within days of each other.

Supt. Shane Owsley said the resolution of remedial warning is a disciplinary action representing “a second strike, so to speak.” Neither the teacher or the nature of the infraction was disclosed in open session.

In other action, the board, voted unanimously to hire Shelsie Timmermeier as the district’s Student Services Coordinator for the 2024-25 school year, stepping into the vacancy created by Bray’s retirement, pending confirmation of certification and a background check. In a separate action, the board also appointed Timmermeier as an assistant high school women’s volleyball coach.

Jeremy Smith was hired, also by a unanimous vote, as the district’s Athletic Director for the 2024-25 school year. In a related matter, Smith’s resignation as middle school head baseball coach was accepted. Additionally, the board posted the coaching position as vacant for the coming school year.

On a motion by Weye Schmidt, seconded by Dennis Tiburzi, the board hired Alex Jasper as a high school social science teacher for the coming school year. The board also voted unanimously to hire Tate Wargo as a first-year, non-tenured physical education instructor, pending confirmation of certification. Both positions were vacated as a result of the sudden resignation of Dalton Barnes in April as head football coach, physical education teacher and social science teacher. 

In related matters, the board also hired Wargo Monday night as an eighth grade boy’s basketball coach, and accepted Jasper’s resignation as a district paraprofessional and posted the position as vacant.

In other personnel action, the board:

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  • Hired Amanda Ewin as a one-on-one aide.
  • Hired Anthony Kravanya as a freshman men’s basketball coach.
  • Appointed Melissa Heigert as a volunteer assistant high school softball coach.

In other action, the board gave routine approval to a list of policies provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Supt. Owsley also provided a brief update on the progress being made on safety projects expected to be completed before the start of the school year, including installation of a new intercom system, a card-reader entry system and shatter-proof protective film on exterior windows.

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Community News

Gillespie Library, United Community Bank to host Fraud and Scam Prevention seminar on July 22

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Gillespie Public Library (Photo by Gillespie Public Library)

Friends of the Gillespie Public Library and United Community Bank are hosting a joint “Fraud and Scam Prevention” seminar at on Monday, July 22 starting at 6 p.m. at the Gillespie Public Library.

The seminar will focus on today’s common scams and frauds, which includes imposter and check scams, money mule fraud and those that target seniors. Presenters will be Jenni Alepra of Gillespie UCB and Kennen Bertolis of Carlinville UCB.

The seminar is open to the public and is free of charge. For additional questions, call the Gillespie Public Library at 217-839-3614.

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