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  • Fairbury News staff

Hoffman addresses school board

Course offerings at the Livingston Area Career Center took center stage at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Prairie Central Board of Education in Fairbury.

Parent Rebecca Hoffman addressed the board about having more vocational choices available to students. Her son wanted to take an EMT course but was not able to.

“He could not sign up for EMT classes,” Hoffman said.

She suggested the possibility of fundraisers or even grants to help with the situation.

“It’s not just about the non-college kids. The college kids are seeing a benefit out of it too.”

Prairie Central Superintendent Paula Crane said she met with career and technical education teachers this month along with the LACC director. When the PC board originally made cuts several years ago, they cut LACC but then brought back a few offerings based on jobs needed in the area. Crane noted some courses aren’t offered year to year, they have trouble finding instructors and there are scheduling conflicts with PC’s class times.

“I think there are tweaks we can do to make it better,” Crane stated.

PC had nine students attend LACC last year and that number is at 12 this year. Curriculum and Instruction director Tonya Dieken suggested getting together with Hoffman to see what the options are.

“I’m a free resource if you want me to do something,” Hoffman said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Crane reviewed the recent Veteran’s Day programs held at the different schools. Students at PCPE made patriotic crafts to send to the nursing home while PCPW students heard from Air Force National Guardsman Kyle Steidinger. A “Walk of Heroes” was hosted by PCE while the PCUE had a student-led assembly at PCJH featured a student council prepared program for local veterans.

The Prairie Central High School Military Club hosted an ice cream social for veterans and Gold Star Mother Vonda Rodgers was the speaker of the day there.

In other action, the group approved several new course offerings, including: Geometry in Construction, Jazz Studies/Jazz Band, Restaurant Management, dual credit science courses and Success Education.

“The high school is trying to find a way to make that senior year more valuable,” explained Dieken.

Under new business, the board approved the health insurance proposal for 2020 from Blue Cross Blue Shield. There are no changes to the plans but a slight increase in premiums.

During her superintendent report, Crane updated the board on House and Senate bills impacting education.

Following an executive session, the board:

-Accepted the resignation of Sharon McGuire, PCHS paraprofessional, effective Nov. 27.

-Appointed William Casner head Junior High wresting coach.

-Appointed Aaron Grant as Junior High co-scholastic bowl coach.

-Hired Crystal Greenwell as district substitute custodian/maintenance assistance effective Nov. 21.

-Hired Matthew French as custodian at PCP East, effective Nov. 21.

-Appointed Shannon Brown eighth grade volleyball coach and Allison Wilson seventh grade coach.

-Named Wendi Zimmerman to the position of Unit Office secretary effective Nov. 18.

-Approved a non-renewal of contract for Deb Chapman, Junior High café worker, effective immediately.

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