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  • Fairbury News staff

FFA success celebrated

PC Board President Mark Slagel, right, presents a certificate to the FFA at Thursday's meeting of the PC school board.

Prairie Central FFA teams which competed successfully at the national level this year were honored during Thursday’s regular meeting of the Prairie Central Board of Education in Fairbury.

PC was the national champion in Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management and reserve national champion in Milk Quality and Products. The FFA received 10th in Meats Evaluation, 11th in Poultry Evaluation, 11th in Farm and Agribusiness Management and 21st in Ag Mechanics.

“I’m always just so proud of the job they do,” board president Mark Slagel told Fairbury News after the meeting. “They make Prairie Central very proud and I’d like to thank the advisors.”

Slagel admits it never gets old handing out certificates to the school’s successful FFA teams each year.

“With so many teams going to nationals every year, it’s just amazing. The FFA puts us on the map.”

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Superintendent Paula Crane provided project updates during her superintendent’s report. Finishing touches to the Upper Elementary metal work are finished and there are a few items to finish on the gym roof. Caissons are poured and ready for new poles at the high school football field. Poles will be set in January so concrete has time to cure.

Replacement of the high school gym floor is still planned for summer. They are working on getting specs together to open bidding. The high school ag addition is still scheduled for bidding during January or February. Excavating will need to be done to ensure the new addition will be on solid footings since borings in the south parking lot revealed parts of the old school. A sewer line will be dug up and re-run in a direct line to the city’s sewer.

In another matter, the group approved board policy updates and changes.

“Every five years, they recommend you review so many of your policies,” Crane explained to the board.

This is based on new legislation and some have very few changes.

Under new business, the board discussed fuel bids. The district typically uses 55,000 gallons in a usual year, according to Crane and is currently out of its contract. Prairie Central is back to normal fuel usage for the school year.

“I don’t think there is any real reason to get in a hurry,” said board member Tim McGreal, who suggested opening the fuel bids prior to a board meeting.

“You’d like to think it wouldn’t change unless there’s something drastic going on at the time,” board president Slagel stated.

It was decided to bid 50,000 gallons of fuel to be approved at the January board meeting on Jan. 19. A special 6 p.m. meeting will be held prior to the regular 7 p.m. time.

A few trip requests were authorized by the board. The Junior High band and choir plan to attend the “Music in the Parks” event in Gurnee, Illinois on May 20 for a full day of activities. The PCHS FFA National Poultry Judging Team will attend the U.S. Poultry Expo in Georgia next month with all expenses paid at the U.S. Poultry Association. Meanwhile, the PCHS winter cheer squad will participate in the ICCA Championship competition in Springfield Jan. 20-21.

Following an executive session, the board approved leaves for three employees. They appointed Samantha Buff as paraprofessional at PCP East, Patti Davis as math teacher at PCJH, Donald Hall as a bus driver and Jim Meister as PCJH softball coach effective with the 2023-24 school year.

The resignation of Dawn Hamilton was accepted, effective immediately. Board members accepted the resignation with intent to retire of Brad Kilcullen at the end of the 2025-26 school year and Rod Hodges, effective June 30, 2023.

In other action Thursday evening, the Prairie Central Board of Education:

-Appointed Cheryl Hoffman as District Treasurer and Paula Robinson as an authorized signer on bank accounts.

-Reviewed the absenteeism and truancy policy which was presented last month. With no additional requests, the group approved the policy.

-Approved the tax levy as presented.

-Authorized the consent agenda, including an activity fund report, bills, CSFT reports, cafeteria report, financial reports, investment schedule and treasurer’s report.

-Approved minutes of the regular Nov. 15 board meeting.

Members of the PC FFA listen to remarks by the board and administration during Thursday's school board meeting in Fairbury.

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