Champaign school board president plans to step down

Champaign school board president plans to step down

CHAMPAIGN – Scott Anderson will step down as president of the Champaign school board next month and won't run again when his term expires next year.

Anderson is expected to announce the decision at Monday's board meeting.

"I've been president for five years, and knowing that five seats will be open in the 2007 spring election, it really doesn't seem healthy for me to continue," Anderson said. "This will give someone a complete year of experience as president before the 2007 election."

Anderson said he won't run for re-election that year.

"Twelve years is enough," he said.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at 703 S. New St., C.

Anderson's tenure as president has been eventful. In 2002, the board hired Arthur Culver as superintendent, precipitating sweeping changes at district headquarters and in building principals.

Today, only four of the district's 17 principals are in the same jobs they had in December 2001, and two of them are at different schools. All but two of about 12 key administrators at the Mellon Building have joined the district since December 2001, although three of the four off-site directors are in the same jobs they held at the end of 2001.

During Anderson's tenure as president, board members opened a new Early Childhood Center, restructured foundering Stratton School and an alternative school program, implemented a middle school choice plan and complicated busing issues that accompanied it, and made major financial changes to address a $4 million budget deficit.

And while Anderson presided, two board members, Norman Lambert and Nicole Storch, died within weeks of each other, in July and August 2005.

Anderson, a Champaign dentist, said he made his decision after careful thought.

"It's for the health and continuity of the board," he said.

In the 2007 election, seats of Anderson, Nathaniel Banks and Margie Skirvin will be on the ballot. So will those of Minosca Alcantara, who's filling Mrs. Storch's seat until the next election, and Reginald Alston, who was appointed to serve out Mr. Lambert's term.

Only the seats of Dave Tomlinson and Arlene Blank, both elected in 2005, will not be on the ballot.

Also Monday, district administrators hope to announce potential locations for a new school to be built north of University Avenue if voters approve a $66 million building bond proposal March 21. Officials have been looking for a site since board members approved the building bond plans in January.

The location of a second school already on the ballot for approval has been determined – the intersection of Prairie Rose Lane and Sunflower Drive in Savoy. A third school on the ballot would replace Dr. Howard School, one of the oldest in the district.

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