August 26, 2019

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Unit 20 board reorganizes, accepts resignations
LAWRENCEVILLE - The Lawrence Unit 20 Board of Education reorganized at its meeting on Tuesday, and in executive session gave pay raises to top administrators, accepted a number of resignations and agreed to post a variety of jobs.

The meeting was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, but was postponed until results from the April 2 election could be certified.

Kyle Gray was sworn in as a new member of the board to represent District 1, replacing Steve Kocher, who chose not to seek reelection. Mike "Doodle" Seitzinger in District 2, T.J. Pargin in District 4 and Ron Waldrop in District 5 also took the oath of office, after all retained seats in the election earlier this month. Other members of the board are Shane Gray, Andy Shick and Kenny Waller, all of who will be up for reelection in 2021.

After the board was seated, an election of officers took place. Seitzinger retained his position as president, while Pargin was chosen as vice-president and Waldrop as secretary.

In executive session, the board approved 2.75 percent pay raises for all principals and assistant principals.

Also in executive session, the board accepted the retirement of first grade teacher Becky Pulleyblank, and of aide Barb Walls.

At the same time, the board accepted the following resignations:

• Brenna Keeler, as Parkview Junior High School eighth grade language arts teacher.

• Carla Hanks as Parkview Junior High School/Lawrenceville High School social worker.

• Dave Berry as LHS science teacher and golf coach.

• Shelby Howder as speech pathologist.

• Megan Negley as a kindergaten teacher a Parkside Elementary School.

• Samantha McClure as third grade teacher at PES and TAG sponsor.

• David Connor as second grade teacher at PES.

• Rachel Tewell as LHS senior class sponsor.

• Amber Newlin as PJHS aide.

Also in executive session the board approved the employment of Lacey Blankenbaker as a science teacher at LHS for the 2019-2020 school year, and agreed to post openings for elementary teachers, a junior high school language arts teacher, a speech pathologist, the LHS golf coach, the LHS senior class sponsor, the PES TAG coordinator, a social worker, summer workers and aides.

Superintendent Doug Daugherty, in his report to the board, noted that the state of Illinois is about $350,000 behind in payments to the transportation fund.

This is a problem, Daugherty said, because the corporation is planning to purchase some new buses and vans.

He plans on bringing bids for vehicles to the board at next month's meeting.

"We're going to have to buy some buses and vans," he said. "We have old ones, with a lot of miles on them and we need to do some replacing."

Daugherty hopes the funding from the state arrives in time.

"If not, we may have to move money from different funds to cover the cost," he said.

While still in regular session the board approved a motion to continue to meet on the third Wednesday of each month and approved a motion to adopt policies, procedures and agreements of the previous board.

The board gave approval to spending $855 to maintain membership in the Illinois Elementary School Association, and approved the first reading of press policies. It also approved waiving a fee for the Class of 2023 to host a post-graduation celebration in the PES gym, approved a waiver fee for Lawrence County Memorial Hospital to host an event in June and approved a three-year cooperative agreement with Red Hill to compete in junior high school wrestling.

Brooke Ray, who recently started a "volley tots" program in the school corporation, spoke to the board along with LHS head volleyball coach Trinity Britton. Ray termed the eight-week program successful, and noted that by the end more than 80 girls were involved.

The board heard from a group of citizens, who attended the meeting in an effort to start a color guard at Parkview Junior High School. The board later tabled discussion on the subject until a further date.

The next meeting of the Unit20 Board of Education is set for 7 p.m., May 15.


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