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  • Fairbury News staff

Ifft honored by PC

Chandlar Ifft addresses the PC Board of Education.

Chandlar Ifft was recognized by members of the Prairie Central Board of Education during the group’s regular June meeting for his accomplishments as the Class 2A IHSA state pole vaulting champion.

A framed latter presented to Ifft from the board stated, “It was with great pride that we acknowledge and celebrate your earning an IHSA Class 2A state pole vaulting championship. We are proud of the hard work and dedication you showed in earning this.”

Chandlar’s dad, Mark, was also at the meeting to witness his son receive the honor.

The board talked about updating the district mascot, Huey the Hawk. They support the idea of forming a committee to explore options which does not include changing the Hawk mascot, but simply updating it.

“Nobody hardly ever uses Huey unless it’s the grade school,” noted Superintendent Paula Crane.

Crane pointed to an ongoing debate between the different schools and student age groups about what Huey should look like. This change could help brand the district better with a more modern look.

Board members received a Fiscal Year 18 budget review from Crane, who believes the district can paint a pretty good picture. The numbers look good if money put into working cash is taken out. Also, evidence-based funding has helped greatly.

“We can cautiously take a breath about where we are financially,” Crane explained.

During the superintendent’s report the board learned Prairie Central is at 72 percent adequacy for funding so it will get some state funds, but there are schools out there in worse shape. State Rep. Dan Brady is working to get capital funding for schools. Crane believes they will let legislators decide who to give money to when it is divided.

The board was introduced to the new transportation director, Charisse Price, who takes over for the retiring Pam Weeks in July. She was officially hired following the executive session. Price has been driving a bus since 2003 and has worked closely with Weeks with route planning and other jobs.

“I kind of know the ins and outs a little bit I think,” Price said.

“There’s more to it than people think,” Crane said of the transportation director position.

Board President Mark Slagel believes it is one of the tougher jobs in the district. Board member Tim McGreal told Price not to be afraid to come to the board when she needs something.

In a related matter, a discussion took place about the possibility of contracting with a company or individual to manage the vehicle and bus fleet. This person would be in charge of assigning maintenance, repair and inspections and help with maintaining a short and long-term plan. The group wants additional discussion before moving forward on this.

Following the executive session, the board accepted the resignation of Austin Donoho as JV baseball coach, Chris Harper as PCHS sophomore football coach, Taylor Lind as PCHS fall and winter cheer coach, Rhonda Lamberth as bus monitor, Heather King as social worker, Oktawia Brozda a recently hired science teacher, Scott McGuire as fifth grade teacher and Daun Grief as art teacher.

They appointed Amy Lewallen as Junior High scheduler, Allyn Krenz as varsity volleyball coach, Brittany Hari as high school auxiliary volleyball coach, Alan Dunahee as CTE teacher leader, Kaitlyn Battista as high school math teacher, Scott Ziller as high school PE teacher and assistant sophomore football coach, Joseph Walters as high school special education teacher and assistant varsity football coach, Renae Waldbeser as PCHS paraprofessional, Scott Peterson as high school cross country coach, Hillary Blackwell as fall cheer coach, Rhonda Lamberth as custodian, Morgan Schur as pre-kindergarten teacher, Patricia Martinez as Kindergarten teacher, Emery Wenger as PCUE paraprofessional and Tammy Pollard as fifth grade teacher. A leave of absence was also granted for an employee.

Also at the June meeting, the Prairie Central Board:

-Reviewed FY19 goals, with the intention of updating at the July meeting.

-Authorized Superintendent Crane to prepare the FY20 budget for review.

-Transferred $7,448.50 from bonds and interest to working cash.

-Approved a new STEAM elective at PCJH for the next school year.

-Renewed IASB membership.

-Purchased a 2012 71-passenger bus from Midwest Transit to replace a spare bus.

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