Parkland leader ready to tackle priorities

CHAMPAIGN – Tom Ramage starts his new job as interim president of Parkland College with major projects on his agenda.

"I'm starting fresh," said Ramage, who was named interim president for the next year at a special board meeting Monday night. He replaces Robert Exley, who was president from July 1, 2006 to May 21, 2007.

DACC trustees OK adding medical coding program

DANVILLE – Starting in the fall, Danville Area Community College will offer a one-year certificate program that will train people to work in the growing field of medical coding and claims processing.

DACC trustees on Tuesday unanimously approved a health information technology coding certificate program. Now, college officials will send the curriculum to the Illinois Community College Board for approval.

Mahomet greenhouse expected to be done in September

MAHOMET – After discussions for more than a year and a bid delay of a month, Mahomet-Seymour school board members Monday accepted a revised low bid of $159,750 to build a new greenhouse at the high school.

The successful bidder was Urbana's Commercial Builders Inc., one of two firms that submitted bids for the project. The second, leading greenhouse contractor Hummert International, was eliminated because its original bid, $218,000, was far higher.

New Dr. Howard principal resigns after suspension surfaces

CHAMPAIGN – The new principal of Dr. Howard Elementary School has resigned after an investigation into a suspension at her last job.

Sheila Donis offered her resignation Friday afternoon, Assistant Superintendent Beth Shepperd said. Donis cited "personal reasons" in the resignation letter, Shepperd said.

Urbana school district builds on history of winning grants

URBANA – "One meeellion dollars" may not sound like much in Austin Powers' world, but it's still a huge sum in the world of public education.

And it's a sum that the Urbana school district received today for the third renewal of its Teaching American History grant.

Monticello district to help pay for security following threat

MONTICELLO – The Monticello school board voted to pay half the total cost for extra security following the discovery of a school shooting threat on a bathroom mirror at Monticello High School.

The city of Monticello paid almost $8,200 for security from April 19 through June 4.

Woman named to Ludlow board spot

LUDLOW – The Ludlow school board welcomed a seventh board member and approved personnel action at its monthly meeting last week.

Tharla Palumbo was appointed to the seventh seat on the board. The seat will come open for election in the April 2009 election.

Peoria woman picked to lead Bottenfield Elementary

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district hired a Peoria woman Thursday night as the new principal of Bottenfield Elementary School.

Jeanne Davis is currently principal of Holy Family School in Peoria, a parochial pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school with students from 16 different countries. She'll replace Barb Daly, who is leaving the Champaign school district to become assistant superintendent for the regional office of education in Rantoul.

Rantoul district set to hire three more social workers

RANTOUL – An Eater Junior High School social studies teacher Thursday told Rantoul City Schools board members why the district needs more social workers.

After listening to what Neil Parthun had to say, the board narrowly voted to hire three more social workers, for an estimated $140,000. The vote was 4-3, with Kevin Modglin, Jeff Seegmiller and Saundra Uhlott voting no because of the district's uncertain financial picture.

Building projects again part of Parkland funding request

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College trustees Wednesday renewed their request to the state for money to build two new buildings, including one that's been on the state's to-do list for 16 years.

Sharon Kristovich, associate vice president, said the request for an $18.8 million Student Services Center and a $14.1 million Applied Technology Addition would be included in the state's fiscal 2009 capital requests budget.