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ALAH District considers the possibility of solar energy in the future

Brad McGill presents $1,000 in memory of his son, Brandon

Staff Writer

Coach Brad McGill, who recently lost his son, Brandon McGill approached the school board to present a check for $1,000 in memory of. “There are no words that adequately express the love and appreciation from this district and community,” he quoted. Brad and his wife also wanted to publicly acknowledge their thankfulness and appreciation of everyone’s prayers, thoughts, support and donations. The $1,000 donation will be used as the #BeStrong and #BeKind Brandon Memorial Award. The $1,000 will be split into $250 awards to anyone who has received special services from the district.

Kyle Loyd of Future Green gave a presentation about the possibility of using solar energy in the school district later in the future. If the district were to move forward with the project, Future Green would lease the space (the roof), and they would give the school power which would be at a “X” discounted rate (15-20% estimate). The district would not have to provide a deposit or money upfront. The lease would be for 25 years, and after 20 years, the school would be given a choice to renew or not. After 15 years, the district can also decide if they would want to purchase depending on what the cost would be during that time. The condition of the roof where the system would be placed, would be very important before beginning the project. Presently at this time, there is still some more work that needs to be done to the roof.

The district’s Scholastic Bowl team started their matches last week. Presently, matches are done virtually and team members stay at the school. There are two matches per week. Last Monday, the region went from Tier 3 to Tier 1 in the COVID19 mitigations (since the school board meeting, our region has moved to phase 4). Students may now practice sports together as long as a waiver has been signed. Junior High Volleyball season is underway and since it is a medium-risk sport, they can have competitions. Games started last Friday. While students are getting to play most sports now, the district is following suggestions from the IHSA to not have fans at the Junior High volley-ball games. The Round Table is willing to broadcast the volleyball games and basketball scrimmages as well. Basketball is considered high-risk so they are unable to compete at this time.

The district is looking to fill the position for principal for Lovington Grade School. There were interviews last Tuesday and Thursday. At that time, there were eight individuals that were up for consideration and this week, there would be a second round of interviews. Depending on how well the second-round interviews went, there was hope to have a recommendation for the February board meeting.

Recently, there was a recommendation for an art teacher for next school year. An interview with Katy Agney was held in August, and after some changes this past December, Atwood-Hammond Grade School Principal, Kristen Nall, called her to come back for a visit. Nall gave her a tour of the grade schools and spent the entire day with her. Nall said Agney seemed very excited and made the comment that all the buildings were wonderful and could feel the excitement within all of them. Presently, Agney is teaching art for grades K-12 in Christian.

Agney is very familiar with going to different buildings/schools to teach. “She was a very positive person and it was exciting,” commented Nall. Amanda Romine (currently the interim principal at Lovington Grade School) also echoed Nall’s comment saying, “She was very positive and I think she will do a great job.”

Superintendent Shannon Cheek presented his report stating that “in-person” learning has increased since last semester. “There are not as many remote learners now. There are 8.5% that are remote. Some of our remote learners came back for second semester,” he informed. “In my opinion, we are trending in the right direction. Things are going well in the first weeks of second semester and I am sure we are on the right track. It was so much fun to see practices going on when I was walking down the hallways this afternoon,” he added.

Cheek also praised his thanks to the administration team at the district. “I’d like to give them credit as well. There are a lot of things that they take care of. They are in the trenches every day taking care of stuff,” he said.

A vaccine (COVID19) clinic was also hosted at the school last Wednesday. Ninety participants signed up ahead of time to receive the vaccine.

Personnel Report


• Recommend for hire, Katy Agney for the Art Position for AHGS/LGS buildings for the Fall 2021 school year.

• Recommend for hire, Katelyn Bright as the Counselor at AHGS for the Fall of 2021 school year.


• Accept Leslie Davis letter of resignation as an aide at AGS.


• Recommended for hire, Mr. Chris Stinebring as the Assistant Scholastic Bowl Coach for the 2020-2021 season.

• Accept the letter of resignation from Mr. Tim Likens as the Head Bass Fishing Coach.

• Recommend for hire, Ms. Sarah Bailey as the Junior Class Sponsor for the 2020-2021 school year.

• Accept the letter of resignation from Mr. Ryan Jefferson from JH Track

Atwood-Hammond Grade School Principal’s Report

2nd Quarter High Honor and Honor Roll: We had 13 students earn High Honors for the 2nd quarter and 16 earn Honor Roll. These students received a certificate and a coupon for a free pizza from Ittsa Pizza. We are very proud of the hard work the students have put in!

2nd Quarter Reward Celebration: We held a school-wide virtual Bingo game on Friday, January 6.

The students earned this reward by meeting the goal of being organized 2nd quarter.

Students worked on creating habits to be organized by keeping track of their belongings, keeping their desks cleaned, and keeping their work organized.

Preschool Round-up/Kindergarten Pre-registration: Will be held in Atwood on February 18

Currently taking appointments for screenings

Currently holding kindergarten pre-registration for 2021-2022 School year

PBIS: 3rd Quarter: School wide we will be working towards the goal of reading 3000 books.

The JH is doing a reading challenge to get students involved.

The library is promoting a challenge to get students to read state award books.

Students will be using AR and reading logs to count towards the reading goal.

We will track the totals every Friday and put it on a thermometer in the hallway so they can see their progress.

Classroom News

Mrs. Strack, 1st grade, received a $1000 grant from the Illinois Digital Education Association

Arthur Grade School Principal’s Report

1. SIP Goals Update – We completed our STAR winter benchmark just prior to winter break. Here is an update in the areas of reading and math.

Mathematics Goal: 32%

Fall Benchmark: 9%. Winter Benchmark: 20%

Reading Goal: 34%

Fall Benchmark: 20%. Winter Benchmark: 33%

2. Remote-Learner Updates – AGS began the school year with 37 remote learners PreK-8th grade. Through Semester 1 and coming into this semester, we now have 20 full remote learners. Preschool is capped at the state recommendations of only 10 students per session so we have to have the others be remote. This is determined by EIASE Project Help guidelines. Here are the following numbers and grade levels.

Preschool – 5

Kindergarten – 3

1st Grade – 1 (returning in Feb)

2nd Grade – none

3rd Grade – 1

4th Grade – 1

5th Grade – none

6th Grade – 3

7th Grade – 3

8th Grade – 3

3. Spotlight On – This month’s “Spotlight On” we are recognizing are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers. This is displayed out in our hallway outside the office for students to see.

Becca Beachy – 1st Grade Teacher

Lisa Feriozzi – 1st Grade Teacher

Pam Checkley – 2nd Grade Teacher

Vanessa Davis – 2nd Grade Teacher

Michaela Ponstein – 3rd Grade Teacher

Rhonda Rhodes – 3rd Grade Teacher

1. PBIS Update – Our PBIS Team has been meeting monthly to continue to discuss improvement in the building. They will continue their goal of each teaching filling 4 “B” Jars each quarter. After each filled “B” jar is filled they will receive a whole class incentive. Once they hit their 5th jar they will earn a “special” incentive from the “incentive shop.” Here are a few new prizes for our students to choose from.

2.Preschool Round-up – Round up this year will be held February 16 from 9 am-2 pm at the First Baptist Church of Arthur. Parents should contact AGS Secretary, Lisa Ray at 543-2109 for an appointment.

3. Kindergarten Pre-registration – We will be doing Kindergarten Pre-Registration from now through February 16th. Parents can call our office and speak with Lisa Ray, secretary to be added to our list.

4. Congratulations to our “Top Knights” – Our Top Knights for December are students who were nominated by their teacher who was a role model as a good “citizen” amongst their peers.

Mrs. Crossman – Briseida Briseno; Mrs. Massey – Austin Kauffman; Mrs. Beachy- Mia Oye; Mrs. Feriozzi – Ashley Yoder; Ms. Checkley – Chloe Lawson; Ms. Davis – Kylan Salle; Miss Ponstein – Vianney Briseno; Mrs. Rhodes – Jennifer Plank; Mrs. Eads – Eden Gutierrez; Mrs. Cohan – Ruben Diaz; Mr. Punches -Ella Oye; Mrs. Kauffman – Kolleen Gingerich; Mrs. Taylor – Sophie Monts; Mr. Ragon – Allen Collins; 7th Grade – Brayan Martinez; 8th Grade – Alayna Plank

5. AGS Yearbooks – Yearbooks are on sale now for $16 until February! You can stop by the office or order online.


February 11: SIP Day 1:15 pm dismissal

February 15: President’s Day – NO SCHOOL

Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond High School January 2021 Report

1)We currently have 21 permanent remote learners at the high school. We started the school year with 44 remote learners and 26 students returned to in-person over the course of 1 semester. We had only 3 students choose to from in-person learning to remote learning at the semester break.

2)Kaiden Morfey and Maleah Roberts were selected to participate in ILMEA All State. This is a huge honor. Kaiden was selected to play tuba in the orchestra and Maleah to sing alto II in the chorus. The top students in each district perform at All State.

3)Planning has started for our high school spring play. Our plan is to film it and premier it like a television show. We will follow our social distancing and mask wearing guidelines all the way from try-outs through our performances. Our goal is to include as many students as possible. There will be an interest meeting the third week of January followed by auditions and the premier in April. Stay tuned for more details.

4)The Student Council is planning their traditional Winter Follies in February. A spirit week will lead up to the big event with prizes being given to be able to watch it live in the gym. We are looking forward to being able to keep up this tradition.

5)Our FFA Officers and Mrs. Beckmeir have taken on the Annual FFA Foundation Drive. In years past, the local Alumni group has taken care of this. The Foundation Drive is a statewide collection to support FFA members at all levels. It helps to support the state officer team, provide awards, as well as contests and events. The Ag Business Class drafted a letter and all officers signed it. Our officers then went out and delivered these letters, along with plaques and certificates presented to donors from 2019-2020 as a token of our appreciation. Our goal this year is $2,000.

6)In spite of the difficulties brought on by social distancing requirements, the Student of the Month Program, sponsored by ALAH National Honor Society and the Arthur Rotary Club has continued. The winner each month embodies the highest standards of academic and ethical excellence as recognized by a vote for the faculty. Finishing out our fall semester Student of the Month winners were Max Allen for October, Claire Seal for November and Michaela Powell for December.

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