Greg Suits

Suits

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RANTOUL — Rantoul Township High School board members approved selection of a new board member, adopted an anti-racism resolution and approved its tax levy.

Members approved Greg Suits as their newest colleague at this week’s monthly meeting.

A resident of Ludlow, Suits graduated from RTHS in the late ’90s.

“He will provide some rural representation to our board that we haven’t had for a while,” Superintendent Scott Amerio said. “I think that was a good choice.”

He said Suits farms in the Thomasboro area. His father, Mitch, is a former RTHS board member.

Suits succeeds Kelly Foster and will serve until at least April, after which he would have to seek election to retain the seat. Foster, a former board president, resigned in September because he is moving outside the district.

The board also adopted an anti-racism resolution that pledges that the district will establish a “safe, welcoming and unbiased environment” for all students.

It pledges to implement several goals as a result, including committing to the recruitment and retention of a diverse and culturally responsive workforce; provide and develop an inclusive and factual historic curriculum that uses works by Black and a variety of ethnic authors; dismantle institutional and racialized practices and policies; and form alliances with other school, civic and governmental agencies and organizations to support ongoing efforts to reform and improve social institutions and the school.

A committee of community and board members worked on wording for the resolution. They included Monica Hall, Janet Brotherton, Debbra Sweat, Tracy Brown and Amy Richardson.

The board also heard from resident John Hayes, who talked about the need for a Black history program.

The board passed an annual tax levy of $5.48 million — a 2.98 percent increase over last year’s extension. However, Amerio said because the equalized assessed valuation shows an $11 million increase, the tax rate will drop by about 5 cents, from 2.44 to 2.39 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Three couples — Pat and Christie Fiedler, Dave and Gayle Pforr and Keith and Marsha Harms — were present to make a donation of $300 to the music department in memory of Matthew Correll, who died while bicycling on U.S. 136 east of Gifford in August.

Principal Todd Wilson and Assistant Principal Megan Anderson presented figures on how students are faring depending on which model of instruction they are using — fully remote or blended.

“Our staff has been very flexible in adapting to the changing situation,” Amerio said. “We’ve been able to get tech out to all students — either Chromebooks or hot spots if they are having connectivity issues.

“Some kids are doing really well in remote (learning), and others are having a hard time getting engaged.”

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