CHAMPAIGN – To find the institutional memory of the Champaign school district, look no further than Greg Novak.
The Jefferson Middle School librarian is retiring this week after 31 years with the school district. During most of that time, he's been active in the teachers' union, and he's been president of the Champaign Federation of Teachers since 2001.
CHAMPAIGN – Alice Fletcher says that the Dr. Howard Elementary School is a priceless part of her neighborhood.
Fletcher remembers walking to Dr. Howard School when she was a child back in the 1940s.
CHAMPAIGN – Last fall, Centennial High School math teacher Jason Franklin warned his students to stay focused during the last three weeks of class before Christmas break.
He told them stories about past students who slacked off and saw their semester grades drop. He nagged parents via progress reports and parent-teacher conferences to stay on top of their children.
URBANA – Hang out in Melanie Traxler's combined third- and fourth-grade class at King Elementary School in Urbana, and you might start humming "It's a Small World."
Because there's a lot of world represented within these four walls.
CHAMPAIGN – Residents who live near Dr. Howard Elementary School made a strong showing at a special school board meeting last month to talk about their concerns for the school.
This weekend, the West Park Neighborhood Association will pick up where the board discussions left off. The neighborhood association will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday at 1110 W. Park Ave., C, to talk about what should be done with the school.
URBANA – The Urbana school board meeting Tuesday night hit a high note, a low note and several in between when students from the combined Urbana High School choruses sang to a packed house at the Burkholder Administrative Service Center in Urbana.
Performing three songs, the students got hands clapping and toes tapping with their last number, a rendition of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."
URBANA – When it comes to regulating when and how to talk to kids about sex in schools, lengthy discussion is practically a mandate.
Such is the case in Urbana public schools, where a committee has been working for four years to draft a curriculum guide for physical development and health education for kindergartners through high school seniors.
ATWOOD – Superintendents from several school districts in Douglas, Moultrie and Piatt counties have begun informal talks over the possibility of forming a cooperative high school.
On the heels of legislation allowing the formation of cooperative high schools, representives from Atwood-Hammond, Bement, Cerro Gordo and Lovington have begun considering the possibility of some or all of the school districts creating a cooperative high school.
URBANA – Elizabeth Jockusch's students know their calculus, and their performance on national tests has earned a top citation for their teacher.
Jockusch, a mathematics teacher for 26 years at University Laboratory High School, was named a winner of the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished High School Mathematics Teaching, one of 24 teachers in the country to earn the commendation from the Mathematical Association of America.
CHAMPAIGN – Parkland students faced a few obstacles when they decided to spruce up the main entrance to the college.
The area around the sign at the entrance was barren with few features to inspire them. And it's very, very visible, so their work had to convey the message they wanted to send about Parkland. And it's far from water so they had to pick their foliage carefully.