By Steve Robinson | May 23, 2019 - 10:14 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

NORMAL – Normal-based Unit 5 School District Board members heard about students participating in a program which turned them into young authors, and about how a community business is helping students with furthering their education in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM. Board members received these details during their regularly-scheduled meeting held May 22 at district headquarters.

“Good News” About Young Authors: Each year, Unit 5 is participates in the Young Authors Program. The purpose of the program is to encourage and recognize student authorship. The district program is part of the statewide effort supported and endorsed by the Illinois Reading Council. The authorship process begins in the classroom and many teachers begin the writing process with their students early in the year.

The process for the students involves brainstorming and information gathering followed by a rough draft version of their manuscript. After revision and editing, a final manuscript is published. Students write fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. In addition to their original writing, students illustrate their text to enhance their work.

Each elementary and middle school in the district is allowed to submit entries to be considered for district level judging. A panel of junior high school student judges selected the winners. The 2019 Unit 5 Young Author winners are: Lauren Brooks, Roman Felix, Joanna Gonzalez, Lacy Hefter, Ishaan Jha, Alina Johnson, Amy Kieser, Sushma Kota, Elleigh Lang, Grant Marvel, Samuel McCoy, Claudia O’Connor, McKenna Phillips, Jonathan Schuller, Justinne Walker, Amanda Warren, Avery Wodika, Mason Wood, and Khushi Singla.

“Good News” About STEM Mentors From State Farm: Board members also heard about the State Farm Enterprise Technology STEM Team. This team is a group dedicated to providing mentoring opportunities to high school students involved in Computer Science courses and the Freshman Computer Science Associate’s Degree Program at both Normal Community High School and Normal Community West High School. Students in these classes benefit from the involvement and commitment of State Farm Mentors.

STEM Engagement Coordinators from State Farm partner with teachers at each school to provide an opportunity for a STEM Challenge Project, whereby the students identify a problem in their school or community, then work throughout the school year in teams to solve the problem using technology. Each student team is assigned a State Farm mentor who volunteers their time during a class period once or twice a month for the school year, leading the students through various facets of the project such as planning, problem solving, and critical thinking.

Generally, this program typically runs mid-September through April, and is supported by State Farm Enterprise Technology leadership. The students then get an opportunity to showcase their work to State Farm leadership, parents, teachers, school administrators and the local community.

Additionally, the State Farm Enterprise Technology Leadership Team also helps to provide volunteers/mentors and subject matter experts needed to assist with STEM activities and events at Unit 5 schools and within the community. A few examples of roles include: Being an event volunteer at one or multiple STEM related events to interact with students from a variety of age groups at events such as “Stemposium” events at the middle schools. The State Farm Enterprise Technology Leadership Team members are: Kevin Reeves, Nancy Smith, Jami Becker, and Julie Smith-Marshall.

Growth At Towanda Elementary Will Require Portable Classrooms: Board members heard from Towanda Elementary Principal Scott Vogel that his school is a little cramp these days. The school, which has 191 students, is experiencing a closed-in feeling and will receive two portable classrooms to try to alleviate the crowding. Joe Adelman, operations manager for the district, explained each portable classroom unit has two classrooms divided by a wall. He added the district is leasing the units for three years at a cost of $26,000 from a company in southern Illinois and that the units will be located on the southwest corner of the property.

Adelman said the district will put out bids for contractors to have concrete laid where the portable units will go, which will be followed by the portables being put in place. Schumer said third grade classes will use one portable and fifth grade classes will use the other portable. Adelman said the new concrete foundation and portables will be in place by late July.

Infinite Campus Update Given: Board members received an update on the Infinite Campus information system the district will spend two years paying for, and will replace the system the district has used over the past decade known as Skyward.

Michelle Lamboley, director of special education for the district, informed Board members set-up took place in April allowing for Infinite Campus to be used to keep track of summer school attendance. In addition, she said, teachers and district administrators were trained that month on how to send and receive messages on the portal. In June, she said, enrollment set-up training will take place twice during the month, and later that month, a refresher on registration of students in the system and report card set-up are scheduled.

Marty Hickman, Business Manager for the district, told Board members parents received an email on May 14 about the district formally switching to Infinite Campus with a link to follow so parents could find it and set new passwords. Parents failing to do this, he said, received a note asking them to go to Infinite Campus so they would be able to reset a password. He added online registration information will be coming to parents in July.

He said parents who had difficulty setting up a password should either call the district at (309) 557-4333 or email to campusquestions@unit5.org.

Social Emotional Learning Discussed: Board members heard from members of a district committee working to help staff as they help students with social-emotional learning skills. Board members heard from three teams of educators working with students, parents, and teachers on this matter.

Schedule B Committee Reports To Board: Until before this meeting, an internal group within the district, known as the Schedule B Committee, which looked at processes within the district, hadn’t met since 2014. But with teacher Gina Tenuta, an 8th grade language arts teacher, and Julie Hagler, vice president of Unit Five Education Association, or UFEA, spearheading its revival, the group is looking to get back to work to help the district.

Among the group’s recommendations were: Add 11 elementary school music teachers to the district payroll. In addition, the group would like to see a consolidation of 22 district chair positions into 11. Hagler said such a move would save the district money. Hagler and Tenuta also recommended the district consider a track coach at each of the district’s four junior high schools. They said there would be a savings in doing both of those for the district.

Board Votes To Abate Fund: Board members unanimously voted to adopt a resolution to abate the district’s working cash fund.

Executive Session Held: Roughly midway through the 3 ½ hour meeting, Board members adjourned to executive session for an administrative matter. That meeting lasted 27 minutes.

At a Normal Town Council meeting before he was elected a member of the Council in April, Stan Nord was a citizen refusing to pay a fee of $11,900 on land he owns at 2012 W. College Ave. Nord bought the property in 2017 and contends he won’t pay a fee that otherwise would have already been taken care of before now when sewer service was activated for that area.

At Monday’s Normal Town Council session held in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station, and with Nord recusing himself from the discussion as a Council member, Council members voted 5-0 to conditionally approve the final plat of a subdivision property Nord owns at 2012 W. College Ave.

The central concern in this matter is needing to pay sewer “tap-on” fee, which the Town imposes for properties where there are additional structures added to properties. The Town does this as a means to recoup costs. Both sides in this matter admit the fee in question should have been paid to the Town by a previous owner of the property Nord now owns.

Council members unanimously decided not to waive the fee Nord said shouldn’t be assessed to his property and is refusing to pay it. Nord bought the property in 2017 and contends he won’t pay a fee that otherwise would have already been handled before now when sewer service was activated for that area.

In addition to Nord excusing himself from the Council dais for the conversation on the matter, Mayor Chris Koos was away on business.

Council Member Karyn Smith, newly-elected with Nord in April, made a motion to have the Town waive the fee, but no other Council member seconded her motion.

Nord’s Pekin-based attorney, Ryan Powers, reasoned with Council members that prior owners of the land were allowed to use the property without the need to have it platted. He called the fee “burdensome.”

Media reports following the meeting indicated Powers informed reporters he and Nord will discuss considering whether to file suit in McLean County Circuit Court over the fee for his 2012 W. College Ave. land that both sides admit should have been paid by a previous owner.

Council Member Chemberly Cummings took issue with Nord’s approach in handling the matter with the Town. Smith then questioned whether Town Corporation Counsel Brian Day wasn’t tangled in a conflict of interest by representing the Town in a potential legal disagreement with a Council member. Day told Smith he represents “the corporate entity that is the Town.”

The land in question was developed without being platted in the 1970s, Day told Council members. He added tap on fees are not charged until the land is platted.

Council Approves Rezoning: Council members unanimously approved an ordinance which rezoned two properties for which the owner of the structures sought rezoned from B-1 General Business to R-3A Medium Density. The properties, whose owner is not identified in Town paperwork, are located at 803 Kern and 910 Kingsley. The rezoning was sought so that be used for multifamily use extensively rather than having to have a B-1 zoning designation for first floor occupants.

The owner sought more flexibility in use of the property granted by the zoning change, according to the report prepared for Council members by Town Planner Mercy Davison. The property at 803 Kern is a three-story structure while 910 Kingsley is a 2 ½ story structure with residents living on the upper floors.

Nussbaum Transportation Granted Expansion: Council members unanimously approved a pair of resolutions which will allow Nussbaum Transportation to expand their operations. The first resolution gives the okay for the business, located at 19336 N. 1425 East Rd., approving execution of a pre-annexation agreement with the Town. Nussbaum recently purchased 29 acres directly south of the current headquarters and 20 acres north of that facility. There are residences near that end of the expanding property.

A second resolution unanimously passed by Council members conditionally approved the final plat for his second subdivision to complete the expansion. Nussbaum’s plan went before a Normal Planning Commission public hearing on May 9 where only the applicant and his engineer addressed Commission members, after which the Commission voted 6-0 to approve the plan, which sent it on to Normal Town Council.

With regard to the annexation, subdivision, and development of the property, Nussbaum would receive reimbursement from the Town of the lesser between actual costs or $50,000, under the terms of the agreement between Nussbaum and the Town.

Public Comments Center On Connect Transit: During the public comments section of the meeting, citizens representing Citizens To Ensure Fair Transit, addressed Council members. Citizens To Ensure Fair Transit is a group looking for representation on the Board of the company which runs in-town bus service, Connect Transit. There is currently an open seat on the board for a Normal resident.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of the minutes of the Council’s regular meeting held May 6, 2019.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of May 15, 2019.

• A resolution accepting the low bid and awarding a contract to Astoria, Ill.-based K. K. Stevens Publishing Co. for the printing of the Parks and Recreation Department’s fall, winter/spring, and summer activity guides in the amount of $30,423.61.

• A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with Naperville-based Hitchcock Design Group for professional design services for Maxwell Park Renovations in the amount of $91,700.

• A resolution waiving bids and authorizing the purchase of five Otterbine industrial aerators from Berkeley, Mo.-based MTI Distributing in the amount of $39,121.03.

• A resolution approving a memorandum of understanding with Illinois State University providing for audible/accessible traffic signal improvements at the intersection of College Ave. and University St.

By Steve Robinson | May 9, 2019 - 10:53 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

Longer days and impatience on the part of students itching to get their summers started are but two signs the school year is coming to a close. For Normal-based Unit 5 School Board members, hearing an update on the current school year budget from the district’s budget manager can qualify as a sign summer and the end of another school year is fast approaching.

Marty Hickman, business manager for the district, explained earned assessed value of area real estate is being projected to increase .5 percent for levy year 2018. He added the anticipated three fiscal year payments for transportation from the State have been received. However, Hickman said when anticipated Federal starts to come in, it likely will be slightly less than what the district is accustomed to receiving.

The district’s education budget, however, is nearly $6 million overdrawn, Hickman said. The district anticipated spending around $100 million in fiscal year 2019 only to find they spent close to $106 million.

Hickman said the district’s education fund has a structural deficit of nearly $6.5 million. That, he indicated, was the result of a number of factors including increases in salary and benefits to be more competitive with other districts; adding positions to meet multiple needs; and an increase by the school board to the district’s insurance fund.

Hickman did say he anticipated a balanced budget of roughly $12.7 million to the district’s operations and maintenance budget.

First Student Introduces New Location Manager: A new person will be overseeing to it that buses operated by Cincinnati-based First Student Bus Co. will run on time to the satisfaction of the district. Robert Pawlik was introduced as the new location manager for the company, replacing Mark Bohl, who recently resigned. Chris Coyle, area general manager for First Student, introduced Pawlik to Board members.

Like Bohl, Pawlik has a military background. As a member of the United States Air Force while serving in Afghanistan, part of his job being in charge of logistics was to help shuttle Department of Defense personnel to various locations.

With 200 sq. miles to work with, Board Member Mike Trask told Pawlik during the meeting, the communication between First Student, district personnel, and the families whose children attend school in the district and are served by First Student needed to be “rock solid.”

NCHS & Normal West Combined “Good News”: From time to time, Normal Community High School and Normal Community West High School, although rivals in many competitions normally, get to find themselves honored for each contributing to the community in some small way. Board members were informed by NCHS Principal Trevor Chapman and Normal West Principal Dave Johnson that the schools have received national recognition for excellence in global education from Boston-based Education First High School Exchange. The schools each received EF High School Exchange Year Global Education Excellence Award. The award is presented annually to high schools that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to international understanding and global awareness.

Jayme Corcoran, a representative for EF High School Exchange, explained 15 students from Europe and parts of Asia are currently participating in the exchange this year. Corcoran said a total of 1,600 schools nationwide were nominated to receive the award. NCHS and Normal West were among 370 schools who are being awarded the honor as a result of the nomination, Corcoran explained. She further explained the program has students from France, Japan, Austria, Sweden, and Norway, Thailand, and South Korea.

NCHS Reports “Good News” About Student Reporters: Chapman informed Board members that NCHS junior Evie Snoeyink was named to the All-State Journalism Team by Illinois High School Association – a distinction that placing her among the top 17 student journalists in the state. The All-State Team is the highest recognition for Scholastic Journalism in the State of Illinois, Chapman explained. Snoeyink serves as editor-in-chief of The Inkspot, NCHS’ student newspaper. This is the second consecutive year that the Inkspot has had a writer on the All-State team. Chapman told Board members the majority of students on the All-State are seniors making the honor noteworthy. He added Snoeyink was also awarded Honorable Mention for her reporting at the National Journalism Convention earlier this year.

“Good News” From NCHS’ “Not In Our School” Program: Chapman finished up with a report about progress made in the school’s “Not In Our School” program which is used to combat hate and address bullying, while build safe, inclusive communities within the schools. It is based on the Not In Our Town program. He spoke to Board members about NCHS seniors Ajitesh Muppuru and Kavya Sudhir. Muppuru and Sudhir are the co-founders and co-presidents NCHS’ Not In Our School program.

“I have worked with Aji and Kavya on various projects and am continually impressed by their maturity and dedication to fellow classmates and to the building,” Chapman told Board members. Recently, Chapman explained, among many projects Muppuru and Sudhir have taken on as part of their effort, they and other NOIS members worked to recognize 43 school employees from across Unit 5, District 87 and U-High for their work in making their schools more inclusive during an event held at Illinois Wesleyan University.

“Good News” From NAACP’s ACT-SO Program: Board members were informed by Chapman about the winners in the Bloomington-Normal NAACP’s Academic Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) Program. ACT-SO is a yearlong enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among high school students, which was developed in 1978. The 9th Annual Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO Competition took place Saturday, April 27 at Illinois State University’s Schroeder Hall. Eleven medals were awarded during the awards ceremony April 28. Five gold medalists will travel to Detroit, Michigan, to compete in the 41st National NAACP ACT-SO Competition July 18 – 21.

Students named Unit 5 2019 Bloomington-Normal NAACP ACT-SO Olympians (The categories they were entered in and how they placed) are: Jess Bynum, NCHS Gold medal in Filmmaking); Aniya Thompson, NCHS (Gold medal in Music Vocal Contemporary); Keajia Hardin, NCHS and BACC (Bronze in Culinary Arts); and Aniya Thompson, NCHS (Bronze in Dramatic Arts: Acting).

“Good News” From Bloomington Area Career Center: Board members were introduced to a group of students from the Bloomington Area Career Center (BACC) who recently participated in the SkillsUSA Conference in Springfield. A total of 80 BACC students participated in 22 different competition categories, some of the students taking part in more than one kind of competition.

Nicole Meyer, Business Community Coordinator for BACC, introduced Board members to students who placed in their respective categories. The students (and the schools they attend), their competitions, and how they finished are: Nalley Ortiz (Normal Community High School), Silver medal in Cosmetology; Matthew Kennedy (NCHS), Brooke Porter (Normal Community West High School), and Macie McGinnis (Bloomington High School), Silver medal in Crime Scene Investigation. In that same competition, Haylee Jones (Normal West) and Claire Martens (Heyworth High School) earned a Bronze medal.

In the Health Knowledge Bowl, a team of students from a mix of area schools took home the Bronze medal. Those students (and their schools) are: Matty Wenger (El Paso Gridley), Kylie Cox and Anthony Mason (Bloomington Central Catholic), and Christian Shaffer (Bloomington High School). A quartet of Bloomington High School students teamed up to claim the Gold medal in this event, as well. Those students were Madeline Novotny, Faith Wieland, Piper Seglem and McKenna Groth.

In the T-Shirt Design category, LeRoy High School student Hadley McKenzie took the Gold medal while BHS’ Cindy Phung took the Bronze medal. In the Teamworks competition, a team comprised of Caleb Jacob (NCHS), Zac Nichols (El Paso Gridley), and Chase Ditchen and Wyatt Cotton (both Heyworth High School) won the Silver medal.

In the Technical Computer Applications competition, Normal West student Ethan Ficek claim the Gold medal with EPG student Aiden Mann claiming the Bronze medal. In the Promotional Bulletin Board competition, LeRoy High students Hadley McKenzie, Sarah Welander, and Eli Carroll earned a Silver medal. BHS students Rowan Dzik, Mattea Fry and Grace Marcy took the Gold medal in that same competition.

Two BHS students – Maimoonah Bush and Christian Shaffer – finished earning Gold and Bronze, respectfully, in the Medical Terminology competition.

“Those Who Excel” Award Nominees Announced: In his comments to the Board, Dr. Mark Daniel, district superintendent, announced Unit 5’s “Those Who Excel” Award nominees. The “Those Who Excel” awards are presented in October at a dinner at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Carol A. Reitan Conference Center in Uptown. The award recognizes both educators and non-educators who have made contributions to public and non-public secondary education.

The nominees for classroom teacher is April Schuermann, Normal Community West High School; Administrator nominee is Leslie Davenport, Fox Creek Elementary; Early Educator nominee is Brock Keller, NCHS; Education Service Personnel – Unlicensed nominee is Beth Kelly, Brigham Elementary. The volunteer nominee for Unit 5 is the late Charlie Crabtree.

Other Topics Covered: A first phase of a consolidated district plan and a few public comments surrounding the issue of disciplining children of color were also part of the session.

NORMAL – Two first-time Normal Town Council members and a third who won a second term in April 2’s general election were sworn in to begin the regularly-scheduled session of the governing body’s meeting Monday night in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station.

The evening began with Council Member Kathleen Lorenz being sworn in for her second term, with newcomers Stan Nord and Karyn Smith being sworn in for their first terms. But from the outset, the session slowed due to a number of items brought about in public comments and a discussion about a related item to be paid by the Town.

Among five people who spoke in public comments were members of an organized group who are advocating prevention of possible changes proposed by the local public transportation service, Connect Transit.

Connect Transit has proposed ending the Olive Route, which, in part, serves residents on low incomes. That route is slated to cease running July 1. Christopher Calhoun, speaking on behalf of Bloomington-based Life Center For Independent Living, or LIFE-CIL, stated the organization has been made aware of barriers which keep disabled persons from having access to Connect Transit’s service. He said the disabled in the community “are facing increased barriers. He stated the organization does not support an increase in fares and route reductions as proposed by Connect Transit. The transportation company has proposed raising its initial boarding fare from $1 to $1.25 effective Oct. 1.

Calhoun asked Council members to work to see to it routes aren’t eliminated and fares aren’t increased until barriers disabled face to use the service are eliminated. He was joined by three other speakers who shared similar views.

As the omnibus vote agenda was presented for votes by the Council at one time, Nord asked to pull the budget to discuss an item related to transportation – a payment to Connect Transit of $75,158.33 for what the line item called “capital and operation subsidy.”

Nord said the funds should go to those who are helped by subsidized transit. “The focus needs to go back to those who need the service who can’t afford to or have no regular means of transportation,” he said. He recommended the Council withhold the funding until Connect Transit representatives address the Council.

City Manager Pam Reece explained to Nord that the amount in question was helpful to Connect Transit during two years of former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration when the State failed to produce an annual budget. That took place from July 1, 2015 to August 31, 2017, through fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and part of FY 2018.

Reece reminded the Twin Cities split what they pay Connect Transit for its efforts in a 60 percent-40 percent split, with Normal contributing the smaller percentage. When the Council voted on the overall budget, the tally was 6-1 in favor with Nord casting the lone opposing vote.

CDBG Action Plan Approved: There were questions concerning another omnibus item relating to the Town filing its Community Development Block Grant Action Plan for program year 2019. That item, after a brief discussion, was approved unanimously.

Ordinance Adds Brandt Enterprises To Enterprise Zone: Council members unanimously approved the expansion of an enterprise zone to include property on which Brandt Industries is planning an expansion of its manufacturing facility. Doing that would expand the enterprise zone bordered by Bloomington-Normal, McLean County, Gibson City, and Ford County. Brandt has estimated the cost of the constructed expansion to the facility will cost $35 million.

Brandt Industries purchased the property formerly owned by Kongskilde Industries in 2018.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of the minutes of the regular Council meeting of April 15, 2019.

• A resolution authorizing procurement and fiscal management authority for the 2018 Transportation & Land Use Connection Grant to the Town Staff in the amount of $40,340 and authorizing an appropriate budget adjustment.

By Steve Robinson | April 27, 2019 - 10:45 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

NORMAL – Three members of Normal-based Unit 5 School Board who were appointed to their seats to replace three members who had left the community took their oaths of office to begin the Board’s regularly-scheduled session on April 24. Alan Kalitzky, Amy Roser, and Dr. Kelly Pyle recited their oaths to begin the session, although Pyle did so from home via phone due to being ill. State law allows for Board members to participate remotely provided prior approval is granted by the district.

Following the swearing-in, officer elections took place, with Barry Hitchins being elected Board President. He had been vice president when Jim Hayek, Jr. resigned from the Board last year due his employer, State Farm, transferring him to Phoenix, Ariz. last spring. Roser was elected Board vice president, and Kalitzky was elected Board secretary. All three were elected by acclamation. All three will serve four year terms.

Roser assumed a seat on the Board last July filling a seat following Hayek’s exit. Roser works in the office of Illinois State University’s University College division. Kalitzky assumed a seat on the Board replacing David W. Fortner resigned last spring to take a job in Chicago. Pyle assumed a seat on the Board last August, filling a vacancy left by Joe Cleary, who departed for a new job in California last summer.

Two other Board members, Meta Mickens-Baker and Mike Trask, were sworn in to serve two-year terms. Mickens-Baker has been a Board member since being appointed to the Board in 2004 and winning election in 2005. Trask has been a Board member since winning election in 2011. Board Member Taunia Leffler in the midst of a four-year term which began in 2017.

Lunch Price Increases Approved: Using an unanimous vote concerning an omnibus agenda item, Board members approved increases in lunch prices beginning this next school year. Elementary and middle school breakfast and lunches will cost a nickel more, going up to $2.20 at the elementary schools and $2.25 at the middle schools. High School breakfast and lunches will go from $2.20 to $2.25. Adult lunches at the schools will all go up a nickel, too at the schools, to $2.70 at the elementary school, $2.75 at the middle school, and ranging between $2.75 and $3.40 at the high schools.

Board Receives Updates On Infinite Campus And Tyler Visions: Board members received updates on how the district’s new district-wide student information system, known as Infinite Campus, and new financial, human resources, payroll, and reporting system, Tyler Visions, were working out since the district began using them. Michelle Lamboley, executive director for special services for the district, and Marty Hickman, business manager and treasurer for the district presented the brief overview.

Lamboley said training for teachers began on Infinite Campus just before spring break in March. She said the online registration components of the program are being worked on currently so they will be ready for online registration which takes place in July. She said parents will be receiving information in May with details on how they will be able to log into the system.

Lamboley added certified staff were trained by the District coaches on basic navigation, attendance, and grade books. She said more training from coaches will occur at the end of May. Training for special education teachers and district administrators will take place in May and June.

“I think we have seen from both companies that heavily invested in their product,” Hickman said. “It’s in their best interest for us to be successful.”

Heather Rogers Named Assistant Principal At Cedar Ridge Elementary: Heather Rogers was introduced as the new assistant principal at Cedar Ridge Elementary School by Dr. Ray Epperson, deputy district superintendent. She started her career with the district as a 2nd grade teacher at Cedar Ridge in 2012. At the end of the spring semester, she will earn her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Illinois State University. Rogers has served as interim assistant principal at the school this semester.

Melinda Miethe Named Associate Principal At EJHS: Epperson also introduced Board members to Melinda Miethe, who will become associate principal at George L. Evans Junior High School where she had been serving in that post on an interim basis.

Public Hearing Held: Board members held a public hearing to determine the need to undertake repairs to the bus lane and parking lot at Hudson Elementary School. No members of the public addressed the hearing.

Energy Efficiency Project For Kingsley Jr. High Approved: Board members unanimously approved awarding a contract to Urbana-based A & R Mechanical for work to be done on an energy efficiency project at Kingsley Junior High School. A & R Mechanical was one of three companies which bid to do the project, and submitted a winning bid of $792,000.

Video Highlighting Technology Lab Shown: For his comments section of the meeting, Dr. Mark Daniel, district superintendent, showed a video produced by Sean Mullins, technology coach at Normal Community West High School, highlighting uses of the school’s video technology lab.