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URBANA – It's no surprise that students in Susan Gleason's photography classes take pictures.
What's surprising is that, this week, they're inside the camera when they're getting the shots.
CHAMPAIGN – Voters will choose from at least a half-dozen candidates for five open Champaign school board seats, and other potential candidates have until the first of next week to get on the ballot.
Six candidates filed their nominating petitions and other required materials Monday morning at the Mellon Administrative Center. They are: Kristine Chalifoux, John Bambenek, Susan Grey, Greg Novak, Scott MacAdam and Melodye Rosales.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school board President Margie Skirvin will not be on the ballot for April's school board election.
Skirvin announced this weekend she has decided not to run for re-election because of health reasons, but she will finish her term on the board.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign high school students who aren't attending school or doing well could have another option for completing classes this fall.
Champaign school district officials are hoping to begin a pilot alternative high school program for the next school year.
DANVILLE – Greg Hilleary said he understands both sides of a debate to eliminate eighth-grade graduation exercises at North Ridge and South View middle schools.
"It's a hard one," Hilleary said of the decision he and other Danville School Board member will be asked to make this week. "The one extreme is canceling it completely, and the other is leaving it as it is. I'm hoping we can reach some type of middle ground here, but I'm not sure exactly what that will be."
CATLIN – Three Vermilion County school districts want to join forces to battle shrinking class sizes, aging schools and rising costs.
But school officials in Catlin, Jamaica and Oakwood have their hopes pinned on a construction grant from the state to pay for the construction of a new, centrally located high school.
TOLONO – There will be no new sports at Unity Junior High School for the 2007-08 season.
The Unit 7 school board has decided to wait until May to make a decision on whether to offer baseball, softball and wrestling at the junior high. If approved, Unity could start the programs through the Illinois Elementary School Association by the 2008-2009 season.
MAHOMET – On Tuesday, Sangamon School's Wee Deliver mail service will open for business, to help the school's first- and second-graders practice the fine art of snail mail.
On Friday, Principal Mark Cabutti launched the mail service program, revived at Sangamon after an absence of several years, by accepting a special letter delivered by second-grader Kaitlin Lewis, who marched up on stage wearing a carrier's vest and a mail bag.
URBANA – Though the Thursday lunch crowd dispersed, Courier Cafe still hopped with customers at half past one, with nearly everyone at the front tables enjoying one of the restaurant's decadent milkshakes.
"It's a vanilla malt," Ann Corey said. "I love it."
The Hoopeston Area School Board plans to have a new superintendent hired by mid-April.
The district is seeking to hire a new superintendent after the loss of Mark Conolly, who died on Dec. 16 from a heart attack at the age of 53. Mr. Conolly started working in the school district as a history teacher in 1978.