By JANE HENRICKS
The Cerro Gordo School Board held their regular meeting on Wednesday, January 18 in the auditorium.
After roll call, Principal Brandon Willard introduced the January Students of the Month: Maddie Willard, 6th grade; Maddy Callaway, 7th grade; Jack Hentz, 8th grade; Tyson Moore, High School.
After returning from executive session, the board accepted the resignations of track coaches Frankie Martin and Megan Howell. The board approved the hiring of Jarod Schonert as assistant football coach and the acceptance of volunteer football coaches Chad Corum, Don Ridgeway, Carter Davenport, Brady Greenwood, and Caleb Chenoweth.
After approving the minutes, financial reports and bill payments, Mr. Willard gave his principal report. On February 1, students from Deland-Willard and Bement will come to join Cerro Gordo students to hear a survivor of the Holocaust.
Mr. Navratil received a virtual teaching trunk that he is sharing with Mrs. Lovin. Physical Education teacher Charlene Rose brought in the National Guard to present students with physical drills.
Current students in the CEO program presented to the junior class to recruit for next year’s session.
Elementary Principal Jodi Neaveill began her report. Elementary teachers are examining new curricula in math and reading. Teachers have also participated in Smart Board training. Paraprofessionals Heather Skelley and Chris Perry have been trained to handle students safely who may be trying to hurt themselves or others.
Following these reports, Superintendent Robinson announced the approval of the Federal Emergency Connectivity Grant. The amount of $30,552.25 will be used to buy 75 laptops and 10 Chromebooks.
Tuesday, January 17, was a very busy night for Cerro Gordo facilities. The Richland Community College held its trustee meeting in the auditorium. The trustees were very appreciative of Cerro Gordo’s partnership with academy, tech and dual credit programs.
Cerro Gordo students Josie Gentry from the vet tech program and Reese Peters from the academy answered questions from the trustees concerning their experiences. The trustees consider Cerro Gordo’s participation as a role model for other schools.
While the trustee meeting was being held in the auditorium, ‘73 and ‘74 state basketball teams enjoyed a private meal and tour of the changes to the school, all organized by Athletic Director Diann Durbin. The team members were then recognized at halftime of the Cerro Gordo-Arcola game with last year’s members who tied the state team’s record.
Moving into the Unfinished Business of the agenda, the school board shared information and ideas from the November school board convention sessions. Most board members felt fewer options were available overall and most sessions did not relate to smaller districts’ needs.
Board member Angie Miller asked the district to make staff and students aware of safe2helpil.com in order to report destructive behavior of self or others without punitive measures. She also mentioned that Heritage Behavioral Health Center in Decatur offers Mental Health First Aid training for all grade levels. Rodd Runyen learned of online opportunities for districts to encourage certification or masters programs.
In New Business, the board approved an overnight trip to the Illinois FFA Convention, an asbestos abatement bid of $57,770.00 from AbateCo, Inc.,and the purchase of a new mower from Sloan Implement in Atwood. In other business, the newly acquired property connected to the football field will be managed with the purpose of covering costs, but not to profit in order to not jeopardize the district’s non-profit status. Board member Dustin Curran introduced the idea of expanding the front lawn parking lot to accomodate tournament parking.
The meeting was then adjorned.