School board names control booth in theater for longtime director

School board names control booth in theater for longtime director

URBANA — The school board Monday unanimously approved naming the control booth in the newly renovated high school theater after retired teacher and longtime drama program director Greg Chew.

Board President John Dimit said Chew's influence has led Urbana alums to work in show business in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as community theater productions all over the country.

"This is a great moment for us," Dimit said.

Board member Elaine Gehrmann said she felt fortunate that her children participated in drama under Chew's direction.

"It's the least we could do is name this after you," Gehrmann told Chew.

The board presented Chew with a replica of the plaque that will be placed on the control booth, and members shook his hand and hugged him after they voted.

Chew said his work was a joy and called the renovated auditorium "thrilling."

"It's been a joy, it really has," Chew said.

He said in his years working high school plays, he found the control booth a "refuge," where he could watch the show and see what it looked like during performances.

"It feels very appropriate that that's now my home at the auditorium," he said.

Also Monday, Superintendent Don Owen announced that Prairie Elementary made adequate yearly progress under federal No Child Left Behind standards last year.

The state raised the performance goals and introduced questions based on the new Common Core state standards last year.

Prairie made adequate yearly progress under the Safe Harbor clause, the only Urbana school to do so.

Owen said the Urbana school district believes that the standardized tests that students take to determine whether their schools made adequate yearly progress is just one measure. The school district is interested in other ways of measuring student growth in learning.

However, Owen said Prairie deserves recognition.

"Very few schools in the state of Illinois made AYP this year," Owen said.

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