Cheek Gives Facilities Update
By ARIANA CHERRY
“May is a blur, it is hard to believe we are at the end of another year,” quoted Superintendent Shannon Cheek at the Arthur board of education meeting held on Wednesday evening, May 17.
After principals and a few teachers extensively presented and discussed new math curriculum’s for grades K-5 and 6-12 back in April, the board was ready to vote on their approval. Members of the pilot team for grade school math were Adrienne Seal, Rose Hollingsworth, Rhonda Rhodes , Erin Beck, Chris Forman, Andrew Peralta and Marla Graham. The junior high and high school members of the mathematics adoption/pilot team included Tricia Sluder, Guy Bates, Saylor Bower, Morgan Wendt, Melissa Hopkins, Amy Tighe, Samantha Binion and Bryton Ragon.
The board approved grades K-5 to adopt “Bridges,” which is a more hands on program for students. It also focuses on number sense and explains multiple ways for a student to come up with an answer. The cost of the curriculum had a one time fee of $68,000 which is to be paid up front. There are no required renewal fees, as they are all included in the adoption process.
Grades 6 -12 will be adopting “Reveal” as its new curriculum which also received board approval. Reveal requires more critical thinking and word questions. This curriculum allows students to do their assignments online which also offers instant feedback. Students can also download an app which enables them to have the math textbook on their phone, tablet and/or computer. Teachers can also go in and customize and edit assignment problems for the students. The cost for the “Reveal” math curriculum is $45,000 for a six year contract. While there is a renewal fee for each year, the district will be paying the entirety of the renewal fee upfront ($7,000 per year). The money to pay for these fees will be coming from the ESSER dollars.
Cheek also gave an update on the facilities in regards to some of the work that has been completed or will be done in the near future. “The new track, score board and field is starting to look great,” he commented. Cheek shared with board that the field goal posts will be centered and painted this summer before football season starts. He is also hoping to spruce up the concession stand “as it needs some attention,” he noted. The baseball field is in need of some drainage work and is hoping to do that work in July. Cheek also stated that he is looking to have some landscaping done around the grade schools.
Arthur Grade School Principal’s Report
End of Year Celebrations: As you can all guess, students and teachers alike are looking forward to summer. With the change of weather, it has only upped the ante on summer fever. Our students and teachers are still working very hard on academics, but also planning for end-of-the-year festivities. On the last day, we are planning on having bounce houses, Kona Ice truck, and games for students to play. A few of our parents are taking it upon themselves to help organize treats for the students for their classroom parties. We look forward to sending our students off for a safe and fun break.
Teacher Appreciation Week: Teacher Appreciation Week was the 2nd week of May and was celebrated within AGS. Staff received treats, lunch, cards, and enjoyed a staff bbq. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the AGS staff for their consistent effort and passion towards our community. They have been a pleasure to work with.
Promotion: Promotion was held on Thursday, May 25 at 7 pm. The promotion ceremony was held at Wilson Field (the Football Field) at Arthur Lovington Atwood-Hammond High School.
High School Service Day: For the second time this year, our friends from the High School came over to support and serve the grade school. This included cleaning, landscaping, reading, playing and a whole bunch of kickball (i.e. “Kicker”). It was wonderful to have them back and supportive of the school.
4th and 5th-grade Musical Performance: The Arthur Grade School 4th & 5th Grade Classes did a great job with their spring performance of “The Best Little Theatre in Town”. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Mr. McClarey, along with the teachers, students and community members that put this together.
Field Trip Season: This month has very busy for students at AGS in terms of field trips. Last week, our 4th-grade students went to park to meet with their pen pals from Dietrich. In the past weeks, our Kindergarten students went to the Children’s
Museum and Scovill Zoo. Our 1st-grade students traveled to the Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College and our 3rd-grade students attended the Children’s Museum in Decatur to work on different STEM activities.
Thank you: I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the board for allowing me to lead Arthur Grade School. It has been a wonderful experience and has allowed me to push myself professionally and personally. Thank you for the tireless work and dedication to the Arthur Grade School families, students, staff, and community. We look forward to doing it again next year.
Atwood-Hammond Grade School Principal’s Report
Spring Concerts: On Wednesday, April 19 and Wednesday, May 3, AHGS hosted their Spring Concerts. Dr, Gobbo has been working hard since the return from Winter break preparing Disney songs for our littlest and biggest students to sing, along with selections from our 5th and 6th grade bands. Several highlights included songs from Moana, and the Kindergarten class wearing Hawaiian leis. The band students have been working so hard this year on several selections. The highlights for the band were the 6th graders Jazz individual improvisations with Dr. Gobbo and friends, and the 5th grade song, When the Saints Go Marching In. Both concerts hosted a reception for families before and after for cupcakes, cookies and punch as well as photo opportunities for Social Media with a beautiful spring backdrop prepared by Mrs. Fleming and Ms. Greger.
AHGS Book Fair: We held our Book Fair this year the night of the second spring concert. The week prior students had a chance to tour the book fair and make a wish list to take home for their parents and/or guardians to approve of purchases. The night of the concert the book fair was open from 6-8 pm. The fair was a huge success with profits exceeding one-thousand dollars. The line was almost the length of the cafeteria. Having it the night of the spring concert was definitely a great idea and Mrs. Brown and I plan on doing that in conjunction with Dr. Gobbo next year. What a wonderful collaborative success.
ALAH High School Day of Service: On Thursday, May 11, the High School students came to AHGS and the other schools as well, to serve in some capacity. I manned the crew working outside. I had about ten high school students move all of the heavy rocks away from the school and off of the parking lot islands, to one set location to be moved at a later time. We also took out all remaining decorative grass and flower clumps that were dead or dying. The district will remove the remaining tree stumps and bush stumps before work can be done on laying down landscaping tarp and installing rock.
Teacher Appreciation Week: A huge thank you to the AHGS PTO, ALAH Administration, First Baptist Church of Atwood and the VFW Women’s Auxiliary for providing meals, cupcakes, treats and desserts this week for Teacher’s Appreciation Week, The teachers week was capped off by Mr. Forman delivering a few of their “favorites” (we keep a book of each staff member’s favorite snacks, treats, etc. in the office) to their classrooms as well as special cookies and Casey’s gift cards from the PTO. Lunch was provided two days, once from Pauly’s and the other was Chicken and Noodles. Yum!
Lovington Grade School Principal’s Report
1. We hosted about 80 people for our Financial Fun Night on May 4. The theme was “LIFE” which stands for Lovington Informational Financial Event. The room was set up like the game of LIFE and students traveled through different stations learning about money. I think a quote from one of our students sums it up the best, “This is the best night of my whole life!”
2. Teacher appreciation week was such an encouragement to the staff in Lovington.
We celebrated all week long with a radio theme “WLGS the Knights” The staff had a lot of fun with the various contests and prizes, but overall the best part was the love shared from the community. One example of this was a “radio” ad sent in from Shawnee communication. It read:
“Shawnee Communications is a local, family-owned telecommunications company, so we understand the importance of community, connection, and growth. Without teachers, our communities would not succeed as well as they do. Teachers help guide our youth into a successful future while navigating many obstacles along the way. They care for our children and leave everlasting impressions. Four out of our nine Lovington office employees at Shawnee Communications attended Lovington Grade School. These four employees have countless happy memories of walking the halls of Lovington Grade School, and without a doubt, they can recall all the kindness each teacher showed them. We want every teacher to know that not just on Teacher Appreciation Week but every week, we are so incredibly thankful for all that you do for the children in our community. We hope you enjoy the assortment of cookies that we will be delivering to your breakroom this afternoon.
We want to end with a quote:
“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” – Mister Rogers
3. One final lunch on the lawn scheduled for the year. We ate lunch at the Lovington Park on May 24. Slow Spark BBQ was there for parents and community members to purchase lunch if they would like. Our students brought a picnic lunch from our cafeteria. We also be hosted Kona Ice once everyone was back at the school and the PTO is buying each student one drink!
ALAH High School Principal’s Report
1. Senior Trip – The senior class and sponsors totally 78 people had a successful trip to Washington, DC.
2. Honors Night was held on Wednesday, May 10. Winners and their families received invitations and more than 70 community organizations, families and colleges awarded 37 seniors over $1.3 million for their future endeavors.
3. The Ag Mech class is working on frames for new weight-lifting platforms – FFA has adopted a portion of 133 to clean up (located east of town, signs are up!)
– Baby chicks are on their way (should start hatching this Thursday)
– Horticulture class has grown and cared for the thank you gifts for honors night (gerbera daisies in galvanized pots)
4. Mrs. Voegel attended the Illinois FCCLA State Conference and served as an Event Coordinator for 2 different competitive events while there. Because she is currently serving on the Board of Directors she also helped with recognition of the 2022-2023 IL FCCLA State Officer Team and handed out medals during the Awards Ceremony. Her term will continue for the next 2 years as part of the Board of Directors.
The FCS Classroom has a new washer & dryer courtesy of Perkins Funds available. These will be used for lessons specifically in Intro to FCS, Foods, Culinary Arts, Child Development & Parenting on teaching our students how to do laundry and take care of their clothes.
FCCLA held two teacher fundraiser lunches in April where funds will be used to help at least one FCCLA member attend IL FCCLA Summer Leadership Camp in July.
5. On April 28, thirteen art students attended the LPC Conference Love for the Arts Art Workshop at EIU. Students participated in a conference art show and attended hands-on workshops where they learned new processes and techniques. We had several students win awards in the art show. They are:
○ Advanced Drawing: 2nd Place, Charlie Condill for her colored pencil drawing, “Flags of Our Fathers”
○ Advanced Painting: 3rd Place, Bianca Corona for her acrylic portrait, “Jeon Jungkook”
○ Mixed Media: 2nd Place: Alisha Frederick for her collage portrait, “HoCo Lights”
○ Best of the Day: Cambree Brown for her scratch art drawing, “Buried Alive”
6. The ALAH Band and Chorus held their Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 9.
7. The Junior Class hosted Prom on Saturday, May 6 at Penn Station in Arthur. The theme was “A Whole New World.” Congratulations to our Prom Queen and King, Regann Bowles and Parker Dick.
Other members of the prom court were Bailey Bialeschki, Charley Condill, Alisha Frederick, Brady Moore, Clay Seal, and Jacob Adcock.
8. On Thursday, May 11 we had an afternoon of Service. Students worked at the high school as well as at all three grade schools. Projects included mulching in front of the high school, reading to grade schooler students, repainting the Knighthead outside the gym foyer, and working around the track and football field. FFA members worked on cleaning up their new highway adoption.
9. Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Class Officers which were recently elected Class Officers
Seniors – Class of 2024: Class Sponsors: Darcy Singer and Janelle Rafferty. President: Claire Seal; Vice President: Evanger Wiley; Secretary: Garrett Casteel; Treasurer: Jesus Corona.
Juniors – Class of 2025: Class Sponsors: Kylie Russell. President: Layla Deel; Vice President: Ryan Appleby; Secretary: Emmalee Nall; Treasurer: Mitiku Appleby.
Sophomores – Class of 2026: Class Sponsors: April Hart. President: Cruz Hale; Vice President: Will Hilligoss; Secretary: Kimberly Krutsinger; Treasurer: Cash Hale.
Freshmen – Class of 2027: Class Sponsors: Chantell Benedict. President: Morgan Casteel; Vice President: Brynlee Moore; Secretary: Leighton Poulos; Treasurer: Mckenna Blaudow.
Student Council Representatives
Seniors: Claire Seal, Kendall Burdick, Colton Taylor, Chloe Schable, Lucy Wilber.
Juniors: Layla Deel, Maggie Benedict, Mackenzie Condill, Maddix Stirrett, Skyler Vorck.
Sophomores: Cruz Hale, Olivia Binion, Lucas Butcher, Karaline Vanausdoll, Lily Vanda.
Freshmen: Morgan Casteel, Coye Grant, Nathan Rafferty, Embrey Reardon, Cooper Shoemaker, Joshua Taylor, Jaidyn Edwards..