DANVILLE – For the last eight months, custodian Jack Harrier has been teaching Danville schools staff the ABCs of energy conservation.
His lessons already are paying off.
HUME – When area superintendents worked on their budgets in 2005 for the 2005-06 school year, everyone was complaining about gas prices in the $2 range.
That was before Katrina laid waste to the Gulf Coast, petroleum facilities there and, eventually, to superintendents' best-laid plans.
CHAMPAIGN – A group of Champaign teachers is studying how to expand the foreign language curriculum in the district, with the goal of establishing a K-12 language program.
The school district needs to sell its good points to compete with the area's private schools, said Stacy McAndrew, a Centennial Spanish teacher and content area chair for foreign language.
URBANA – On Wednesday afternoon, several University Laboratory High School students got egged, splashed with water balloons and tied to each other and made to walk quickly in a straight line.
And had a blast, judging from the shrieks and giggles surrounding each cluster of preteens.
RANTOUL – A Rantoul building with a rich history has a new lease on life annexed to J.W. Eater Junior High School.
Workers this fall will put the finishing touches on the former Chanute Air Force Base USO, where soldiers met and danced with women from the area. The construction project includes a new entrance to the building and to Eater to improve the traffic flow. The addition also gives administrators more scheduling options.
URBANA – When Christy Simon joined the Urbana school district as an Urbana Middle School math and language arts teacher this fall, the position was new to her, but the district certainly wasn't.
Her mother, Cathy Simon, has been teaching at Leal Elementary School for 34 years. Education runs in the family; Cathy's father was a teacher as well.
URBANA – Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses now run on a gasoline blend that includes 5 percent soy-based biodiesel.
But officials there hope to increase the blend soon to 20 percent.
CHAMPAIGN – First day of kindergarten for students at Robeson Elementary School: One little girl cried. One father with a video camera got choked up.
It's a big day for children and an emotional one for parents. But the teachers skillfully get the children settled, and by 8 a.m. Friday, they sit quietly at their tables, ready to get to know each other and learn what school is all about.
PAXTON – Jerry Zimmerman probably was looking down wondering why everybody was making such a fuss over him.
The late Paxton-Buckley-Loda football coach never liked attention drawn to himself, but Friday they could have gone on all night about the coach and man the Panther community has sorely missed since he died last November.
RANTOUL – Board members Thursday approved a three-year contract that gives 105 Rantoul City Schools teachers 4.75 percent raises this year.
Raises for the next two years of the contract will be 5.8 percent next year and 4.6 percent the following year, said Superintendent Bill Trankina.