By Dominik Stallings
The Villa Grove board of education discussed the upcoming election for five members. The election will take place April 4, 2023, and candidates may start collecting signatures to be put on the ballot Sept. 21.
There will be five positions because of mid-term additions instead of three or four. Jim Clark, Jerrad Zimmerman, Kristen White and Tom Lillar will be up for re-election for the upcoming vote. Bill Faulk will not be running, said Carol Munson, Villa Grove school superintendent. That means there will be at least one new candidate. The candidates must decide if they want to run for a two- or four-year term.
The Board approved the budget for the fiscal year 2023. Munson said the budget increased by $10,200 because two students from out of the district are paying tuition.
The Board approved the preparation for the school maintenance project grant. The grant would be $50,000 and the school district would match that amount. Munson said the school is looking to repair two doors in the school and potentially the bathrooms as well.
The superintendent reported that going forward, they will use the local copier service provided by Bill Northum, who’s with Advanced Digital in Matton, instead of Xerox Corporate. Munson said the schools would get brand new copiers without drastically increasing the service costs. “He’s a local and he’s served the district in the past, so we know what we’re getting,” said Munson.
The Board discussed the Egyptian trust, which provides health insurance for staff and faculty. Munson said that claims made exceed the amounts that premiums are making. According to Munson, the Egyptian Trust Board will have to asses a 13th payment and is considering a 14th payment. Munson said they will talk more in detail on the subject later.
The project to install acoustic paneling for the new gym was pushed back. Munson speculated that it could be the end of the month, with the fabrication being nearly complete.
Principal Sara Jones said that Robert Niles, high school math teacher, is going to Texas for a national math conference. Niles wasn’t the only teacher recognized in the Board meeting. According to Munson, seven Villa Grove teachers will present at the regional teacher institute along with other teachers in Douglas County.
After a closed session, the Board approved the hiring of several coaches; Kim Jones as head coach for girls track; Jordyn Ray as volunteer assistant coach for high school softball; Wendy Brown as coach for the junior high scholastic bowl, Sarah Sappenfield for junior high head coach for track; Lindesy Dowler as assistant coach for junior high track; Amy Vann as assistant junior high volleyball coach.
Agriculture teacher Callie Parr, shared two videos created by students in her class. Parr said the students put together the videos in iMovie after capturing drone footage of the school. The promotional videos showed off the school, its amenities and awards. The students edited them in the style of action movie trailers. Parr said the project helped introduce students to precision agriculture, which uses UAVs, similar to commercial drones.