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.

Thomasboro school board seeking applicants for vacant position

THOMASBORO – Deb Simmons has resigned her seat on the Thomasboro school board after serving for 5 1/2 years. She is moving to St. Joseph.

The school board must fill the board seat within 45 days and has begun seeking applicants for the position. The appointment will run for two years until April 2009 – the date of the next school election.

New Urbana school board officers, principals seated

URBANA – At times, it looked like a game of musical chairs at Tuesday night's Urbana school board meeting.

In about an hour-and-a-half, the board said goodbye to an old member, hello to a new member, elected new officers and approved two new elementary school principals.

Parkland gives aid to 3 minority students if they return to teach

CHAMPAIGN Antwanette Newton signed up for classes at Parkland College to learn how to use e-mail.

But her experience there launched her in a new career direction.

Meeting to focus on redevelopment of Orchard Downs

The University of Illinois invites people to the Beckman Institute on Wednesday evening for an open house about the redevelopment of Orchard Downs.

Developers will present their plans to the public from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the institute's auditorium, 405 N. Mathews Ave., U. Each developer candidate will show and discuss plans, then members of the audience may ask questions.

Educator named new principal at Centennial

CHAMPAIGN – Ronald Bode of Lake Villa will be the new principal at Centennial High School.

At a special meeting Monday at Central High School, school board members said Bode will replace Judy Wiegand as principal July 1. Wiegand was earlier named director of secondary curriculum for the district.

Community agency gets $770,600

DANVILLE – The East Central Illinois Community Action Agency plans to help returning veterans with this year's Educational Talent Search grant.

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, announced Monday that the nonprofit organization was awarded the grant, from the U.S. Department of Education, that totals $770,600 over the next four years. This will be the fourth time it has gotten the grant.

Rain forest animals to be showcased at event

DANVILLE – People can see alligators, jungle cats, monkeys and colorful birds that live in the rain forest without having to leave town.

Understanding Wildlife, a nonprofit organization, will present "Live on Stage, the Rain Forest" at Edison Elementary School on May 8.

Visit to UI exposes students to job opportunities

CHAMPAIGN – Fourth-grader Virtuous Thomas pulled a lever on a machine about a half-dozen times and soon had a new key made.

She and 20 classmates from Washington Elementary School made their own keys Thursday morning in the locksmith shop at the University of Illinois Division of Facilities & Services. Then they tried them in a lock to see if they worked.

Students learn of different cultures from art

DANVILLE – Fiber artist Charlotte Main has fermented mud with a Yoruba tribesman in Nigeria, made paper with a Japanese Living National Treasure and dyed cloth with a "blue man of the desert" in Morocco.

This month, she has been at Liberty Elementary School in Danville, teaching pupils about the different countries she has visited, people she has met and cultures she has experienced through art.