Danville school board to get new members

DANVILLE — Before the four recently elected Danville school board members are sworn into office on Monday, the board will say goodbye to two outgoing members.

Greg Hilleary and Dan Brown, who lost their bids for re-election on April 9, will step down after 16 years and eight years, respectively, on the board.

"It's been a pleasure and an honor to work for the district and be part of the educational process for eight years," Brown said. "But it's time for someone else to step in."

The Danville school board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville. A copy of the agenda is available online at http://bit.ly/109Xnt1.

Hilleary and Brown will be succeeded by Darlene Halloran and Lon Henderson. The two new members and incumbents Randal Ashton and Frank Young were the top vote-getters in a nine-way race that also included newcomers Johnnie Carey, Phyllis Roth and David Woodrow.

After the recently elected members take the oath of office, the new board — which includes current members Bill Dobbles, Gina McGuire and Steve Bragorgos — will elect a president, vice president, secretary and approve a meeting calendar for the next two years.

During his tenure, Brown said, he enjoyed getting to know the people in the district and seeing firsthand the administration, faculty and staff's commitment to students. He believes he helped the district obtain more control over its finances.

Though "it certainly wasn't me alone," he added.

Hilleary said he enjoyed his many years of service to the taxpayers and students.

"I think we were able to accomplish many, many things, including building a brand new elementary school (Southwest) and renovating our two middle schools and an elementary building (East Park)," he said. "The track project was also a huge thing."

Hilleary said he enjoyed working with administrators, staff and board members over the years and attending all types of school events, especially music functions and Meade Park's annual art auction. But his favorite part of the job — the one he'll miss most — has been attending high school graduation and "being able to shake the hands of the students as they crossed that milestone in their life."

Both men said they plan to continue to be involved in the community.

"When one door closes, others open, so we'll see if that happens," Hilleary said. "And if I'm ever needed to serve on school-related things, I'm sure I'll do that."

Also at the meeting, the board will vote on whether to start a pilot program on standards-based report cards for grades 3 through 5 in the upcoming school year. Adopting the new cards was recommended in the district's strategic plan.

Standards-based report cards replace letter grades in math and English/language arts with numeric ratings to indicate students' proficiency in specific learning standards — or skills that they should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level — in those subjects.

A "4" means the student exceeds the standard, a "3" means meets, a "2" means is approaching, and a "1" means is below.

The district introduced the report cards for K-2 students this year.

The board also will vote on whether to approve the district's Rising Star school improvement plan.

"It's kind of like a road map for our future," Superintendent Mark Denman said, adding administrators and a representative from the Vermilion County Regional Office of Education's have been working on it for a number of months.

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