Arthur School District hires Chris Forman as the new Atwood-Hammond Grade School Principal
Athletic Department looking to raise money for new scoreboards
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
There were a few visitors at the most recent school board meeting of the Arthur Community School District which was held Wednesday, April 20 in the high school cafeteria.
Amish representatives Richard Hostetler and Daniel Gingerich were present, as well as the new recommendation for the Atwood-Hammond Grade School principal, Chris Forman and his family. Superintendent Shannon Cheek introduced him to the board and gave a brief statement of his background and work history. Following the closed session, the board recommended to hire him as the new Atwood-Hammond Grade School principal starting the 2022-2023 school year.
Ed Coller, Economic Director for Simply Arthur, was also present at the beginning of the meeting. He invited the school board members and administration to their annual dinner on Tuesday, May 10.
Mac Condill, the facilitator of the Illini Prairie CEO Program and two students gave a short presentation about the upcoming trade show which was held on Tuesday, April 26 at the Tuscola Community Building. Condill also announced that this would be his last year as the facilitator and would be stepping down. There are currently two strong candidates who have applied for the job.
After speaking with the visitors, the board moved onwards to other business of the school district.
The district has received a total of $7,050 just in donations for a variety of items for the district, some which included donations for prom and the athletic department. “Our communities are outstanding. I couldn’t be more grateful for what we get from our communities every year. It is just amazing to me,” Cheek said. The total of all funds were reported at $8,835,437.21. The most recent bank statement reported $3,493,816.44 and the checkbook balance was $3,442,806.64.
The membership with the IHSA/IESA was renewed. The IHSA had waived their fees but the IESA membership was increased by $300. “They were in a bind during COVID and they are a benefit to us,” noted Cheek.
An intergovernmental agreement was approved with the Mattoon LIFT program. The Mattoon School District will be moving the program to the old Consolidated Communications building. LIFT stands for Leaders Innovating for Tomorrow. They will be offering a variety of hands-on educational opportunities for students from multiple school districts. These opportunities will help them learn job skills. “I think having an opportunity for us to send our students there is important,” Cheek stated.
Technology Director Amanda Romine reported information on some of the recent grant information for the school district. The district won a 2022 Illinois Heart Rescue Community AED Grant and also won an AED unit for each building as well as training mannequins. There will be CPR and AED training with staff in August. She also reported more about the ISBE 2022 Community Partnership Grant. For FY22, the district will receive $323,529 and will have until September 2023 to spend it. For FY23, the district will be awarded $311,471 and will have until September 2024 to spend.
In order to update the district’s technology, they will be replacing all of the older Smart Boards and Promethean boards in all four buildings using ESSR II funds. All of the new boards have been ordered and there are plans to install them during the summer as long as supply is available.
The U-Knighted in Learning Community Partnership Grant which was awarded to the district will build the capacity of all staff, families and community partners and will include professional development on mental health literacy ensuring all staff and families know what interventions are available across the continuum and how to nominate a student they have concerns about, and build a shared understanding of social-emotional behavioral challenges to reduce stigma and establish an approach that builds a culture of wellness for all.
Athletic Director Nathan Seal announced that he had been doing some research and is looking into the possibility of purchasing new scoreboards for the school district with the help of sponsorships from area businesses. “They are out of date and we need some that are more up to date with newer technology,” he said. “Starting next week, I will be reaching out and setting up appointments with local businesses. I will be sending out about 30 letters which invite them to come in and discuss whether they would be interested in partnering with the school. The partnership is a three year commitment with it costing about $3,000/year. The business can choose to have a football or gym presence. The cost for two new scoreboards would be about $30,000, although it depends on which company the school would choose and which “bells and whistles” would be added,” Seal explained.
During his Superintendent’s report, Cheek gave an update on filling positions in the school district. “We are in a pretty good spot with staffing. We’ve made some recent hires that I am proud of,” he said. Positions that are still in need of filling include Junior High Science at Lovington Grade School, District’s School Psychologist, high school band director, substitute teachers, bus aides, Lovington Grade School Aide and substitute teacher’s aides.
An update of the facilities was also given. “Now that the language is on the ballot we will be planning for the implementation of a purely informational communications Program. We are working with both BLDD and Creative Entourage to determine timeline related to sharing information to make sure families are well informed. With early voting to begin May 19 and the election on June 28 will make sure our families are informed about our Proposal,” Cheek informed.
April 20, 2022
Consider approval of a petition letter submitted by a certified staff member related to tuition reimbursement.
Consider approval of Kelsey Knopp for the Special Education teacher at Lovington JH
Consider approval of Tracy Garmon to serve in the role of Social Worker at LGS for the upcoming school year
Consider approval of Faith Rund as Spanish teacher
Consider approval of Keeley Houser as the Speech and Language Pathologist for the district
Consider approval of Chris Forman as the next Principal at AHGS for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year
Consider approval of Morgan Wendt for High School Math for the 2022-2023 school year
Consider approval of Kayla Huckelby for Summer School English
Consider Caty Harshman for Summer School Credit Recovery
Consider approval of Tiffany Reedy as the Secretary at LGS
Consider approval of Keith Wood as janitor at LGS replacing Mr. Kingery
Consider accepting letter of resignation from Phil Kingery as janitor at LGS
Consider accepting letter of resignation from Anna Bright as LGS Aide
Consider accepting the resignation from Jill Wulff as the Science Department Chair effective at the end of the school year.
Consider accepting the resignation of Jill Wulff from the position of student council sponsor effective at the end of the school year.
Consider accepting the resignation of Jennifer Schrock from JH Volleyball
Consider approving Misty Appleby for High School Cheer Coach