New Bottenfield principal finalists address public at forum

CHAMPAIGN – After a round of interviews last month failed to produce a principal for Bottenfield Elementary School, parents and teachers heard from three more candidates Tuesday night.

Connie Kimmell has served as principal of Southwest Elementary School in Danville. Jennifer Heinhorst-Busby manages the teacher education programs for the College of Education at the University of Illinois. Jeanne Davis is principal of Holy Family School, a pre-K through eighth grade parochial school in Peoria.

ACT ace offering an edge

CHAMPAIGN – In his high school days, Daniel Thies got a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. Now the Yale University graduate is back in Champaign preparing to teach students how to do well on similar tests.

Thies, who graduated from Champaign Central High School in 2003, is offering test-preparation classes this summer as an instructor for Ivy Insiders, an organization formed by Ivy League graduates.

School's in for summer

CHAMPAIGN – When Jessie Knight and Ian Tatum go back in the classroom today, they'll be teaching students who haven't done well during the regular school year.

They may be behind a grade or two in reading, and some may be retained in the same grade if they don't improve their academic performance during the six weeks of summer school. That's a lot of pressure on Knight, Tatum and the other teachers to make a difference for their students.

At Unity and SJ-O, life-saving measures start to click

TOLONO – Last November on her way to school, Unity High senior Melanie Newberry drove off the side of the road and into the gravel. She overcompensated, swerved and hit a ditch, flipping her car.

The car remained on its top, its windows smashed. Her book bag, which had been beside her on the passenger's seat, landed 15 feet from the car.

Police charge boyfriend with battering infant

CLINTON – Police have arrested a 21-year-old Clinton man who is charged with battering a baby.

On Friday, Clinton and Illinois State Police arrested Richard Heuermann, who is charged with five counts of aggravated battery. The charges are related to injuries June 1 to a 10-month-old girl who was brought to John Warner Hospital about 9 p.m. that day with severe injuries.

Thomas Paine school getting face-lift

URBANA – It's not getting tucked or tightened, but Thomas Paine Elementary School is getting one major face-lift.

The majority of the 40-year-old Urbana elementary school is getting new flooring, new paint, air conditioning, new pavement for the parking lot and new sink bases.

North side school upgrades on Champaign panel's agenda

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board is considering reiterating the district's commitment to putting more elementary seats in north Champaign and to addressing its building needs.

The board will consider such a resolution when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

Illini pilot says he'll wear hockey jersey on space shuttle

Col. Lee Archambault is wearing an Illini hockey game jersey, circling the globe aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis.

The astronaut spent six years at the University of Illinois, playing hockey, dating Kelly Raup and earning two engineering degrees.

New Unity East principal ready to begin

PHILO – When Laura Fitzgerald starts her job as principal of Unity East Elementary School on Aug. 1, it will mark her first time as a building principal.

But she said the core values she has learned after more than 20 years in the education field will remain the same.

Villa Grove student handbook changes OK'd

VILLA GROVE – In a special meeting, the Villa Grove school board voted 5-1 to approve proposed changes to the student handbook – but more changes may be coming next year.

In response to concerns raised at the last regular meeting about current discipline structure in the athletic training code, the board requested that a special committee be formed to give it further study.