Connect with us

Community News

School Board hires teachers for 2022-23, posts positions for summer school

Published

on

Some of the art projects created by high school students that won Gold Key awards at the Mid-Central Illinois Regional Scholastic Art Show

In a meeting heavy on personnel action, the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education on Monday night rehired tenured and non-tenured teachers for the 2022-23 school year, and voted to post vacant teaching positions for summer school classes set to begin in a few weeks.

On a motion by Jennie Alepra, seconded by Jack Burns, the board voted unanimously to rehire the district’s entire roster of tenured teachers for next school year. In separate actions, the board rehired and offered to tenure to nine teachers who will be teaching their fifth year in the district next year, and voted unanimously to rehire 13 non-tenured teachers.

Tenured teachers re-employed for the upcoming school year are: Tracy Petersen, Lorraine Strutner, Jody Dunn, Leanna Sawyer, Melissa Bussmann, Tracy Hostettler, Darrick Oran, Kara Saracco, Kelly Lons, Holly Nejmanowski, Jennifer Parker, Anastasia Henderson, Cate Plovich, Amy Price, Nice Barrett, Jessi Luketich, Mindy Savant, Karissa Smith, Beth Sees, Valerie Jubelt, Carrie Scott, Dana Tie-in, Sharon Wernle, Marcia Johns, Colleen Favre, Celia Jubelt, Jami Schmid, Nancy Schmidt, Lori Emmons, Vanessa Barrett, Amy Gerdes, Beth Roll, Kim Henderson, Christina Blevins, Jacob Bilbruck, Casey Edgerton, Kyle Lamore, Stephanie Wilson, Tammy Garde, Matt Brawner, Jeremy Smith Jarrod Herron, Rachelle Prough, Stephanie Bray, Kaitie Prange, Robert Macias, Casey Sholtis, Jennifer Brown, Jeff Nehls, Mark Goldasich, Troy Barker, Michelle Smith, Holley McFarland, Michael Bertagnolli, Mary Kirk, Nichole Stoecker, Amy Goldasich, Daniel Edgerton, Ashlee Gibbs, Zachary Simon, Stuart Ringer, Kelly Bulla and Whitney Page.

The following teachers were rehired as fifth-year teachers and placed on tenure for the 2022-23 school year: Nathan Henrichs, elementary teacher; Allison McElroy, elementary teacher; Shanna Conner, middle school English and language arts teacher; Elizabeth Thackery, middle school math teacher; Kayla Wills, high school agriculture teacher; Eric Bogle, business education teacher; Amanda Dugger, special education teacher; Nikki Brawner, art teacher; and Kevin McNicholas, district social worker.

Non-tenured teachers rehired for the 2022-23 school year are: Amber Allan, fourth-year elementary teacher; Lisa Ballinger, fourth year; Nikki Zenner, second year; Katie Lieveers, second year; Alex Plovich, second year; Pete Visintin, second year; Jay Weber, second year; Madi Whittington, second year; Jacob West, third year physical education teacher; Chase Peterson, fourth year middle school math; Jessica Kelly, fourth year middle school resource teacher; Korben Clark, fourth year high school science teacher; and Jill Strole, fourth year school counselor.

In other personnel action, the board accepted the resignation of Alex Weinberg, middle school/high school choir instructor and sound technician, effective at the end of the current school year and posted a vacancy for the position. Board members also accepted the resignation of Gillespie Middle School paraprofessional Emily Barylske and posted the position as vacant.

Board members voted unanimously to post vacant summer school positions for high school English, math and behind-the-wheel drivers’ education; middle school math and English; and six elementary teaching positions. Also in preparation for the summer school program, the board voted to post vacancies for two food service workers.

The board accepted the resignations of Korben Clark and Jarrod Herron as volunteer assistant high school football coaches. The board also voted to hire Cory Bonstead, Nathan Wise and Sam Mount as assistant high school football coaches for the coming season.

Advertisement

John Q. Halteman and Ryan Bussmann were hired as assistant coaches for the district’s newly created bass fishing program. Jake Killebrew was hired as an assistant varsity boys basketball coach. Darian Gill was hired as the high school cheerleading coach for the 2022-23 school year. Jacob West was hired as an assistant high school track and field coach. Matt Brawner was hired as a high school volunteer assistant girls basketball coach. Andrea Williamson was hired as a prom sponsor.

DISTRICT FOCUS

High School Principal Jill Rosentreter presented a brief District Focus segment focusing on the accomplishments and future plans of outstanding Gillespie High School seniors. Rosentreter had brought into the board room several art projects created by Brynn Baker, Zoe Lewis and Candace Borror, all of whom won Gold Key awards at the Mid-Central Illinois Regional Scholastic Art Show. Both Lewis and Borror were American Vision nominees invited to participate in the next level of competition.

Baker also was recognized for being selected for a national safe driving public service announcement competition. Board members viewed a professionally produced video of Baker’s commercial concept. In it a Safe Driving Superhero patrolled traffic and corrected dangerous situations and practices. Baker was one of three students nationwide whose concepts were selected for production. Baker participated vicariously in the production process via the internet. Producers in California found a young actor who resembled Baker to play the part of the Superhero.

Board members also viewed an audition video Alex Pelt, who has been accepted to attend SIU-Edwardsville, prepared as an audition for the Bi-State Music Competition. For the audition, Pelt played a flute solo.

Also during the presentation, Rosentreter showed the board photos of construction trades students with projects completed this year. She said most of the projects went to the students’ homes, some were donated to local institutions such as the Gillespie Police Department, and some are available for sale to members of the public.

Rosentreter summarized the number of seniors who have committed to joining military branches after graduation, the number of seniors who have been accepted to universities, colleges and trade schools and listed the institutions Gillespie High School graduates will attend next year.

MOUNT OLIVE COOP

Without taking formal action, the board declined to consider a proposal from the Mount Olive School District to create a cooperative athletic program for golf. Supt. Shane Owsley reported that Mount Olive wanted to be the host school, meaning CUSD 7 golfers would have to be bused to Mount Olive for practices.

Owsley said CUSD 7 identified 16 students from 8th grade to seniors who were interested in pursuing golf as a sport. “All of them said they would prefer to remain Miners,” Owsley said.

Advertisement

Mount Olive currently has only two students participating in golf.

Given the disparity in the numbers of student golfers and other factors, the board declined to consider the proposal.

“My recommendation would be to continue with the status quo and continue to field our own team,” Owsley said.

FUEL BIDS

On a motion by Alepra, seconded by Hayes, the board voted unanimously to accept the bid of M & M Service Co. to supply fuel for the fiscal year. M & M provided a locked-in price of $3.57 per gallon for diesel and $3.35 for gasoline.

EARLY GRADUATION REQUESTS

On a motion by Weye Schmidt, seconded by Burns, the board voted unanimously to approve early graduation requests submitted by Alicia Albers, Kyleigh Blankley, Hunter Blevins, Ian Brown, Hailey Rhodes, Julie Jackson, Makayla Kirby, Emma Livengood, Emmarie Moutin, Mary Parkins, Dawson Royer, Mya Stewart, Devon Williams, Loralei Clark and Evan Webb providing all graduation credits and requirements are met.

OTHER ACTION

In other action, the board:

  • Adopted a schedule for regular meetings of the board for May of this year through April 2023. Generally, the board will meet in executive session at 6 p.m. with open session beginning at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month, except for December when the board will meet on the third Monday to accommodate the winter break.
  • Voted to renew the district’s membership in the Illinois High School Association, the governing body for high school athletics. Earlier in the meeting, Owsley reported that IHSA planned to refund dues high schools paid during the COVID-19 pandemic. Membership normally is free of charge but the organization imposed dues during the pandemic because state and regional championships were canceled.
  • Voted to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Lewis and Clark Community College to offer dual credit courses, permitting students to earn college credits recognized by LCCC while still in high school.

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