Washington School teacher named Illinois' top educator

CHAMPAIGN – As an elementary school art teacher, Shauna Carey doesn't just teach children to draw. Her students have made their own paper and clay pottery. They've learned about architecture and the art of other cultures. She's incorporated photography and storytelling into her classes, and taught knitting.

But Carey also doesn't just teach children how to do art. She gives them "an understanding that art is an expression of people's lives, not just being good at drawing. Shauna brings a depth that is far beyond what people think of as elementary artwork," said Cyndy Lammert, whose children attended Washington Elementary School, where Carey teaches.

As a matter of fact, it <I>is</I> Rocket Science

BISMARCK – Atlantis astronaut Joe Tanner took a walk in space on Tuesday morning.

More than 220 miles below, 21 first-graders at Bismarck-Henning Elementary School – Tanner's alma mater – undertook their own space shuttle mission.

Lakeview College of Nursing expanding with its enrollment

DANVILLE – Lakeview College of Nursing officials soon will launch a $450,000 building expansion, adding much-needed classroom space at the Danville campus.

Chief Executive Officer Dick Shockey said the project was prompted by the college's growing enrollment, which stands at 255 this fall.

Leal teacher gets a lot of help while building outdoor learning space

URBANA – Everything's coming up zinnias in the new garden at Leal Elementary School.

Starting this fall, the school has its first teaching garden, a classroom-sized plot of land that teacher Linda Zimmerman has cultivated all summer.

Danville custodian helps district cut back on utility costs

DANVILLE – For the last eight months, custodian Jack Harrier has been teaching Danville schools staff the ABCs of energy conservation.

His lessons already are paying off.

Foreign language curriculum expansion considered in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A group of Champaign teachers is studying how to expand the foreign language curriculum in the district, with the goal of establishing a K-12 language program.

The school district needs to sell its good points to compete with the area's private schools, said Stacy McAndrew, a Centennial Spanish teacher and content area chair for foreign language.

Subbie Retreat helps students get ready for Uni High

URBANA – On Wednesday afternoon, several University Laboratory High School students got egged, splashed with water balloons and tied to each other and made to walk quickly in a straight line.

And had a blast, judging from the shrieks and giggles surrounding each cluster of preteens.

Old Chanute USO will bustle with activity again

RANTOUL – A Rantoul building with a rich history has a new lease on life annexed to J.W. Eater Junior High School.

Workers this fall will put the finishing touches on the former Chanute Air Force Base USO, where soldiers met and danced with women from the area. The construction project includes a new entrance to the building and to Eater to improve the traffic flow. The addition also gives administrators more scheduling options.

Like mother, like daughter

URBANA – When Christy Simon joined the Urbana school district as an Urbana Middle School math and language arts teacher this fall, the position was new to her, but the district certainly wasn't.

Her mother, Cathy Simon, has been teaching at Leal Elementary School for 34 years. Education runs in the family; Cathy's father was a teacher as well.

District plans to boost biodiesel use in bus fleet

URBANA – Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses now run on a gasoline blend that includes 5 percent soy-based biodiesel.

But officials there hope to increase the blend soon to 20 percent.