New Unit 4 board sworn in; Kloeppel elected president

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New Unit 4 board sworn in; Kloeppel elected president

CHAMPAIGN — The Unit 4 school board not only welcomed five new faces to its ranks on Monday evening, it also voted to shake up board leadership.

Savoy resident Chris Kloeppel was unanimously selected as the new president, replacing Laurie Bonnett, who served in that role for two years.

Three other newcomers were also voted to top spots — Amy Armstrong as vice president, Kathy Shannon as secretary and Jonathan Westfield as parliamentarian. All elections were unanimous, except parliamentarian: Bonnett nominated Lynn Stuckey, the only other returning member, to keep the position, but Westfield was elected in a 5-2 vote.

Kloeppel, a plumber/pipefitter and Carey Busey Elementary parent, said he knew going into Monday night that he'd be nominated for president. So there was no shock when it happened.

"I'm honored, first of all, that the six other board members felt inclined to put their responsibility unanimously in my hands," he said. "With it, I hope to just bring us together, the seven of us as a board. We'll be stronger and able to do more things if we work together.

"We don't need to agree on everything, but I think through respect and working together, we can do a lot of good and keep the students at the center of the focus. I think that's really important and I feel confident the other board members have that desire as well."

While Bonnett said she was sad to say goodbye to the five outgoing members, she remains optimistic about the changeover in leadership and the new blood.

"There's a lot of work to do and we have a lot of new people with some new ideas," she said. "New ideas, new energy — always good to the conversation moving forward."

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787 wrote on May 04, 2015 at 9:05 pm

GOOD.  They're making improvements on the school board already.  Another improvement would be to sell Laurie Bonnett's 80 acres of ground.

It is time to start looking for Wiegand's replacement as well.  That can't happen soon enough.

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