Tuscola names new middle school principal

TUSCOLA – Cathy Chaplin, a former speech and language pathologist for the Tuscola school district, will be the new principal for the middle school.

Chaplin is replacing Joe Yurko, who resigned last month to take a superintendent's job at Pope County.

Superintendent interviews under way in Arcola

ARCOLA – The district could have a new school superintendent as soon as tonight.

The Arcola school board planned to meet behind closed doors Tuesday night and tonight to interview four finalists for the position.

Rantoul board chooses replacements for two administrator positions

RANTOUL – Rantoul City Schools are getting two new principals this fall.

The Rantoul City Schools board voted last week to hire John Pickens as assistant principal at J. W. Eater Junior High School and Clifford Englishharden as principal at Pleasant Acres Elementary School. Both come from the Champaign Unit 4 school district.

Mahomet-Seymour's new telephone system will be all-in-one

The Mahomet-Seymour school district will soon be connected with a new districtwide phone system.

Board members voted 5-0 for Champaign Telephone Company to replace current phones and change to an all-in-one system for phones, bells and intercoms.

Georgetown officials complain about tardy state aid

GEORGETOWN – School officials said Monday they were frustrated that three state aid payments totaling almost $700,000 have been promised to the district by June 30 but have still not been received.

Superintendent Kevin Tate said that he developed the district's $10.05 million 2007-08 budget assuming the district would receive about $9.86 million during the same period – about half of which would come from the state in the form of general state aid.

Students learn about food prep and get paid, too

DANVILLE – Before there is taco salad, grilled veggies or Jamaican jerk chicken, there must be preparation.

The work can be repetitive, but the three students working in the Salvation Army kitchen preparing food for Cafe on the Lawn don't mind.

Early rain not enough to dampen arts festival opening day

DANVILLE – Despite a rainy start, the opening day of Arts in the Park at Lincoln Park was a huge success.

"The crowd was great and seemed to be making a lot of purchases," said board member Andrea Calamari.

New security cameras among this summer's school upgrades

URBANA – If students walking down the halls of Urbana Middle School in the fall feel as though they're being watched, they're probably right.

This summer, the school is getting a new security system, complete with cameras at high-traffic areas around the building. Administrators will be able to check the digital cameras from any district computer – just as they started doing at Urbana High School last year.

Students get another chance for graduation

URBANA – Cashanna Henderson has a dream: One day soon, maybe even this winter, she'll don a cap and gown and walk across a stage. Her baby daughter will be with her. The girl might play with the tassel on Henderson's cap, mussing her hair, but Henderson, who is 20, won't worry about it.

Instead, the Urbana woman will be thinking about how far she has come: a high school dropout several times over, getting a diploma at last.

Champaign school district's long-range plan taking shape

CHAMPAIGN – The first draft of a long-range plan for the Champaign school district should be finished by mid-July, and a final draft to the school board by early September.

Community members have been working on planning for the school district since late last year. Three working groups are looking at infrastructure, educational programs and community partnerships. They have held 10 community forums to find out what residents want.