SJ-O board hires familiar face to lead district

ST. JOSEPH – When the St. Joseph-Ogden High School board hired a superintendent, board members decided to go with an experienced candidate.

The man they chose started as a superintendent only four years ago, but he has been in education long enough to teach or coach more than half the members of the board or their children.

Unit 4 school board welcomes new members

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board on Monday said goodbye to four members, including board President Margie Skirvin, and welcomed new members to replace them.

Newly elected members include Greg Novak, Susan Grey, Kristine Chalifoux and Scott MacAdam. Re-elected unopposed to a two-year term was Nathaniel Banks.

Bement officials discuss possible school co-op

BEMENT – Bement school board members Wednesday are expected to take a first step toward consideration of a cooperative high school that could involve at least five rural districts and could evolve into reorganization.

"I'm going to ask the board if they want to direct me to look into a proposal for a cooperative high school," said Superintendent Darrell Stevens. He said other districts informally involved in the exploration would likely include Cerro Gordo, Atwood-Hammond and Arthur. Planners would also approach Lovington to see if its board members show interest in the idea.

Replacement principal sought for Sidell elementary school

SIDELL – Jamaica schools officials have launched a statewide search for an elementary school principal.

Current Principal Kevin Lipke resigned earlier this spring, Superintendent Mark Janesky said.

Educators praise outgoing Urbana superintendent

URBANA – Retiring Urbana schools Superintendent Gene Amberg got a warm sendoff Sunday afternoon, as more than 100 parents, colleagues and community leaders payed tribute to his nearly 15 years of leadership in the school district.

"It's just been a wonderful community," said Amberg afterward. "It's been a terrific job. I had great people along the way."

Danville board to greet, send off members

DANVILLE – On the evening that Danville School Board members will welcome a new member, they will also say goodbye to another.

Board member Leon Parker will step down on Tuesday after five years of service. He chose not to run for a second term in the April 17 election.

First class graduates from program for adults bound for college

CHAMPAIGN – Shawnika Lucks of Urbana didn't know quite what to expect when she signed up last year for the Odyssey Project.

The Odyssey Project, in its first year in Champaign-Urbana, is a college-accredited course in the humanities offered at no cost to people in the Champaign-Urbana area living below 150 percent of the poverty level. Students attend class for two hours each evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an entire school year and get six hours of college credit.

Parkland greenhouse dedication scheduled for Tuesday

CHAMPAIGN – After Shandy Wilsey's most recent hospitalization, he was confined to a wheelchair and had some big questions about his future.

"I was scared," said Wilsey, 26, a Sidney resident who worked this week to get his "enabling" garden at the entrance to the new Prairie Gardens Plant Laboratory at Parkland College ready for the greenhouse dedication and open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Principal helps raise money by shaving head

OGDEN – As a swath of principal Jeff Isenhower's hair fluttered to the gym floor Friday afternoon, the collective-held breath of about 130 students at the Prairieview-Ogden South grade school building in Ogden came out in an excited burst.

Over the next few minutes, five students and one teacher took a swipe at Isenhower's head with electric clippers, leaving him with a barely-there buzz cut.

New faces, incumbents take seats on Rantoul City School board

RANTOUL – Two new Rantoul City School board members and two incumbents were seated at a special meeting Thursday night.

John Brotherton, a retired school teacher and top vote-getter in the recent election, and Teresa Turner, mother of two in the district, will serve four-year terms.