Unit 4 board gives budget wish list, names vision committee

CHAMPAIGN – The wish list of what Champaign school board members would like to see the district pay for includes everything from expanded foreign language offerings to making buildings more energy-efficient to more library clerks.

Chief Financial Officer Gene Logas asked board members to give him their ideas of programs they'd like to see the district invest in, at Monday's school board meeting. By presenting their ideas early in the budget process, the initiatives they suggest stand a better chance of being included in the district's budget next year, he said.

No trick: Students need your donations

Some students from Danville High School and University Laboratory High School in Urbana will be out trick-or-treating on Wednesday evening, but they won't be asking for the typical mini-candy bars, candied apples and wax vampire teeth.

Instead, they're hoping to score canned goods, boxes of macaroni and cheese and jars of peanut butter.

DACC instructor nabs national honor

DANVILLE – Glenda Boling was thrilled to be named the top instructor in her region by the Association of Community College Trustees this summer. But, she thought, there's no way she would win the national instructing award two months later.

The awards usually go to science and math teachers, the Danville Area Community College speech and drama instructor thought. In fact, last year's national winner was DACC's own Kathy Sturgeon, a professor of – what else – science and math.

Champaign school board to name planning panelists

CHAMPAIGN – School board members will announce Monday the names of community leaders who will oversee the Champaign school district's planning for its building and program needs.

About 30 people will make up an umbrella, or "vision," committee to oversee the planning process and two working groups.

Rantoul schools make strides on state tests

RANTOUL – Looking at past state assessment scores, Bill Trankina and Rantoul City Schools officials saw clear trends – and they didn't like what they saw.

They made changes in reading programs, staff training and schools' populations. They offered incentives for good performance and added social services staff members. They test students more often so they know who needs help.

Students get living history lesson

DANVILLE – After reading Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan's memoir "Four Perfect Pebbles," a Danville High School student had to ask: Can you still picture the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps every day?

"I do not dwell on it," said Lazan, who shared the story of her family's imprisonment and survival with students Thursday.

Champaign woman part of 2007 homecoming court

The 2007 University of Illinois homecoming court includes a local resident.

Elaine Wah of Champaign, an electrical engineering major, was chosen to represent the student body along with 19 others.

Pen pal initiative helps kids and seniors

URBANA – They came to the gym from different generations, different towns, different backgrounds. Some had white hair. Some used canes. Some had brown hair and were learning cursive handwriting.

But no matter.

Teacher's trip almost Finn-ished

DANVILLE – Marja Luopa of Finland had wanted to study in the United States since 1980, when her sister was an exchange student in Texas and her family hosted a student from Colorado.

Luopa finally got to do that this month – as a teacher, through the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs' faculty exchange program.

Bremer Center allows DACC students to spread their wings

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College student Jessica Gulley still remembers when she danced in a cabaret show at the Bremer Conference and Workforce Development Center five years ago.

There were no dressing rooms, so she and other performers had to change costumes between acts wherever they could.