Monticello makes list of top 500 U.S. high schools

MONTICELLO — Monticello High has been named to Newsweek's list of America's top 500 high schools.

Out of 16,000 high schools in the United States, Monticello checked in at No. 470. Only three of the 30 Illinois schools to make the cut were from downstate: Morton, Dunlap and Monticello.

Location, zoning change could boost sale prospects for Mahomet school

MAHOMET — Mahomet-Seymour officials are looking at putting a price tag on Sangamon School.

This week, commercial appraiser Steve Whitsitt presented the school board with a 96-page appraisal of the 480,000 square foot building and 3.6-acre property.

PBL board weighs debt capacity

PAXTON — Anticipating that Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to implement property tax caps will be signed into law, the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district is looking to increase its borrowing capacity so it can have enough funds to complete an estimated $10 million in mandated work on its buildings.

Thomasboro school official: Bond sale should be in October

THOMASBORO — Thomasboro Grade School will sell bonds in October to offset a shortfall in state funding.

Superintendent Bonnie McArthur told the school board at its monthly meeting that the district has two years left to sell the bonds, but said she felt "we need to sell them this October in case the legislators pass a property tax freeze."

Bement board member cites 'resistance to change' in resignation letter

BEMENT — Bement's school board is looking for a new member after the resignation of Jodi Wright, who had served since 2011.

Board President Jeff Funk told fellow members at last week's meeting that the decision was made "for personal reasons." But Wright's resignation letter, shared with the Piatt County Journal-Republican, told a different story.

Four C-U teachers to share $2,700 grant

A $2,700 grant from the CU Schools Foundation is making cross-district art collaboration possible for 100 students and four teachers in Champaign and Urbana high schools this year.

Get to know Ryan Cowell, new BTW principal

Eight years after kicking off his Unit 4 career as a high school instructional coach, Ryan Cowell debuts today as an elementary principal.

The new boss at Champaign's Booker T. Washington STEM Academy beat out a field of eight candidates the district interviewed for one of its four principal openings.

Area graduates from ISU

Illinois State University has announced the following students graduated in the spring with bachelor's degrees.

Argenta — Rachel Joy Bruckner

Arthur — Kelsey Jordan Birch

Bismarck — Lauren Elizabeth Hous

Bondville — Nicholas Alan Johnson

Buckley — Meghan Marie Foss

Catlin — Joel Benjamin Learnard

PBL reaches 3-year contract with union

PAXTON — The PBL school board has a new three-year collective bargaining agreement in place between the district and its employees.

UI opens railroad-focused laboratory

Coming at 1:30 p.m. today on campus: a ceremony marking the opening of the UI's railroad-focused Research and Innovation Laboratory. A few things you ought to know about RAIL: