Urbana school district one of four new literacy grant winners

URBANA – A program in which parents and their young children learn together has gotten state support in the form of a $125,000 grant that, depending on federal funding, is renewable for the next four years – potentially, a half-million-dollar boost.

The Urbana school district was one of 23 new applicants – and one of four new winners – of the Illinois Even Start family literacy program grants, said Debbie McDermott, literacy coordinator for Urbana Adult Education.

Danville school superintendent Mellen to retire in 2009

DANVILLE – With mixed emotions, Danville schools Superintendent Nanette Mellen announced Wednesday that she will retire next June at the end of the upcoming school year.

"Having been connected to District 118 for more than 45 years, it is difficult to imagine my life without it," said Mellen, who was educated in the district and has worked there as a teacher and administrator for 30-plus years, the last four as its chief.

Franklin dean to lead two schools in Bement

BEMENT – Matthew Jokisch, who spent last school year as the dean of students at Franklin Middle School in Champaign, will be the new elementary and middle school principal at Bement.

"I couldn't be more excited," Jokisch said. "I always felt I belonged in the elementary and middle school administrator level. I'm happy to be working in a small-town community. It is where I'm from and what I'm used to.

Rantoul to expand summer migrant-education program

RANTOUL – With more migrant families than ever spending the summer living, working and going to school in Rantoul, Rantoul Township High School has needed to expand its summer migrant-education program.

The high school board voted 7-0 on Monday to create four additional instructors (two teachers and two teacher's aides) to handle all the students who have enrolled in the Rantoul migrant school.

Danville school officials hope study will lead to building options

DANVILLE – School officials want to bring in an architectural and engineering firm to study and make recommendations on the former Walgreens Accounting building and three outdated school buildings.

School board members on Wednesday will vote on hiring Schmidt Associates Inc. of Indianapolis to do a facility study for the old Walgreens building – which the district is considering accepting as a donation – and another for North Ridge and South View middle schools and East Park Elementary.

Arcola school district hires new superintendent

ARCOLA – The Arcola school board voted unanimously Wednesday night to hire Jean Chrostoski as its next superintendent.

Chrostoski has served as school superintendent for the Nokomis, Ill., school district since July 2003.

Register children now to attend Rantoul classes in the fall

RANTOUL – Parents of children who have not yet registered but are planning to enroll at Rantoul City Schools this year are asked to call 893-4171 sometime between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The superintendent's office at 400 E. Wabash Ave, Rantoul, will also be open from 3:30 to 7 p.m. July 24 for evening registration.

Parkland's science academy injects fun into learning

CHAMPAIGN – Clorisa Mainor never liked science. She thought her middle school science classes were boring, even though she enjoyed the labs.

She's learning a lot of science this summer, though, and having fun with it. She has even developed an appreciation for bees.

Students get leg up on ladder to success

URBANA – Marcel Grant could have been flipping burgers, taking tickets or doing any of those other jobs teens get to tide them through the summer months or pad their college savings.

Instead, he's getting on-the-job experience at a whole different type of workplace.

Area educator hired as principal

PAXTON – Barry Wright, the former assistant principal at Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School, will be the new principal at Eastlawn Elementary.

After the school board boiled down the list from 30 candidates, board members held interviews with three finalists, and Wright separated himself from the others, according to Superintendent Cliff McClure. The board approved the appointment in a special meeting earlier this week.