On an evening in late July, Greg Williams drove to Sunset cemetery alone. He pulled a journal and camp stool from his car, then walked to a grave near the children's section.
In the cool shade of nearby trees, Greg sat down and wrote in the journal below the lyrics of the song "For Good" from the Broadway musical "Wicked."
URBANA – The challenge: You're on the third floor on the west side of school and need to get to the physical education facilities downstairs and over on the east side of the long building.
Your mission, with no choice but to accept it: Leave class, grab books from your locker and make it to your next class.
CHAMPAIGN – It would have been easy not to expect much from a boy growing up in Charles Hogue's rough Joliet neighborhood, where alcoholism, drug abuse and violence by both residents and police were commonplace.
It would have been easy for Hogue not to expect much from himself, growing up the fifth of nine children in a poor family.
CHAMPAIGN – Armed with phone books and a list of community organizations to visit, three dozen Westview Elementary School teachers and staff set off Friday morning in the pouring rain for the Amazing Westview Race.
The event, based on the Amazing Race TV show, was to help build rapport among the teachers and staff and give them more information about organizations in town that have something to offer children and families. The race was part of a Westview Summer Institute on Thursday and Friday.
RANTOUL – Rantoul Township High School officials and teachers made no progress on contract talks during a meeting Thursday with a mediator that lasted more than four hours.
Union leaders will meet with members at 11 a.m. Monday – the day before school starts – to talk about their options and find out what actions the teachers support, said Gene Vanderport, Illinois Education Association area representative.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district should try again during this school year to get the money to put additional seats in north Champaign, said Superintendent Arthur Culver.
He said although the timing of a spring 2007 referendum is not ideal, the district shouldn't wait because of the deadline imposed by the district's federal consent decree. The district was to have added two strands of elementary seats north of University Avenue by the 2005-06 school year.
CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College President Robert Exley challenged faculty members to dream big dreams and to focus on excellence in their work with students and in the community.
"Imagine the ability of each of us to see the possible," said Exley, who's been head of the college since July 1, in a speech Monday to kick off a week of development activities for faculty members.
CHAMPAIGN – Central High School students facing suspension for certain rule violations this fall could instead be given an alternative form of discipline by fellow students.
The Champaign school district is proposing to try a "peer jury" at Central. The goal is to decrease suspensions, lessen the likelihood that offenders will receive another suspension and give students an active role in the disciplinary process.
RANTOUL – School board members Monday approved minor revisions to a 12-step conduct code for Rantoul Township High School.
District officials brought the plan to the board for "tweaks" and to review statistics from the past year with board members, according to Superintendent David Requa.
URBANA – Miguel Lucio doesn't need an Illinois driver's license to prove that he lives in Urbana and that his son, Miguel Jr., 10, should attend Urbana schools.
With his national ID card from Mexico, local bank statement and a letter from his son's school, he said at registration on Friday at Urbana Middle School, Lucio was able to register his son for another year at King Elementary School.