Unit 40 Board Restores Six Extra-Curricular Positions, Adds Junior High Cross Country


Published on March 27 2017 9:08 pm
Last Updated on March 27 2017 9:10 pm
Written by Greg Sapp


The Effingham Unit 40 Board of Education Monday voted to restore six extra-curricular positions and voted to add junior high boys and girls cross country to the athletic offerings beginning this fall.

The votes on both motions were 6-1 with Carol Ruffner voting No on both items. Ruffner said after the meeting, "My vote was not against cross country, it was for a Study Hall teacher." The question of keeping Study Hall had been raised at last month's meeting, with no resolution on that issue yet.

The extra-curricular positions restored include an assistant track coach, an assistant junior high Scholar Bowl coach, an assistant high school Scholar Bowl coach, freshman coaches for both boys and girls basketball, and an assistant football coach.

As to cross country, Activities Director David Woltman and Assistant Junior High Principal Kurt Roberts met with interested sixth and seventh grade boys and girls and the Board judged the numbers were sufficient to add the programs. The programs will cost $4,000 with the Effingham Sportsbackers standing the cost of a coach.

The Board also awarded a contract to Effingham Asphalt to add parking spaces in front of Central Grade School. Superintendent Mark Doan said the $171,000 project would add 68 spaces. The work will also involve resurfacing the existing parking area and the lane in front of the building. Additional lighting cost just under $23,000 is also a part of the project.

It was agreed to amend the fee list for next year, allowing for the purchase of additional high school English textbooks. Assistant Principal Cody Lewis said the additional books will allow more interaction between the students. Currently, there are just enough books for one group to use them and another group to work on another task. The books will belong to the students who purchase them. The fee list also eliminates an Ag class that was offered through an educational co-op. Instead, students wanting to take an Ag class can take it through a neighboring school district at a cost more affordable to the student and to the district.

The Board approved two changes in the discipline code and the handbooks. One concerns guidelines regarding appropriate language, the other concerns rewards for right behavior at South Side School. An amendment to the superintendent's contract was approved concerning guidelines if the Board decides to terminate the contract. Doan said the change puts in writing what was already agreed to by both sides.

The Board heard from teachers Alyssa Nelson and Hilary Claar on work they did with parents at this year's Kindergarten Preview. The emphasis was on instruction as to how parents can help their children be ready for school.

In personnel moves, the Board dismissed Judy VanMatre as a three-hour cook at the high school, accepted Sherry Harmon's resignation as an ELC teacher at the end of the school year, transferred Peggy Manley to a six-hour cook at the high school, hired Debra Kirby as a three-hour cook at South Side, and approved a leave for Jenni Fritcher.