‘I’m not sure’ is not the
same thing as saying ‘no’

[FEB. 23, 2001]  Say no to drugs loud and clear was the message given to children Wednesday at Northwest Elementary School in Lincoln. The high-energy interactive program called "Make That Choice" brought smiles and giggles to the faces of a gymnasium full of elementary school children. Heather Schultz, R.N., and Durand Farley, national motivational speakers based in Atlanta, Ga., used songs and comedy to "bombard" those in the audience with messages pertaining to being drug free.

The duo, dressed in black pants, white shirts, and yellow and red vests, created a circus-like atmosphere that the children quickly warmed to as they marched in to the sounds of loud music.

Schultz said, "Durand and I met in 1993 and discovered that there were not very many drug-free programs offered at the elementary level, so we designed one and have traveled throughout the country performing the program." She described their presentation as a fast-paced interactive program with a clear message that says no to drugs.

The unique design of the program afforded the children in the audience an opportunity to be contestants on their favorite game show in the land of movie stars: Hollywood, Calif. The contestants had to decide what to pack in their suitcase to take on their trip and to succeed at life. They packed the suitcase with what they called character traits, such as kindness, respect for oneself and others, self-esteem and the message that you don’t need drugs in your life for any reason. Schultz reiterated, "You don’t need them (drugs) to do or be anything."


Schultz and Farley talked about walking away from dangerous situations when you don’t know how to handle them, listening to your heart to determine if something feels wrong or right, using looking glasses to take a good look at what is going on around you and using a dictionary to help the children say what they were really thinking. They also took a rule book so they could keep a clear head and think clearly.

Children were shown through role-playing how to exhibit the desirable character traits in their everyday lives. The presentation also dealt with positive decision-making skills and talked about the importance of always doing the right thing. The leaders also illustrated ways to not succumb to peer pressure. They wanted the children to understand that saying "Well, I’m not sure" is not the same thing as saying "no." "No" must be said, loud and clear.


[to top of second column in this article]

[Heather Schultz, R.N. and Durand Farley prepare for "Make the Right Choice" program at Northwest School.]

[Children look on as they prepare for the game show.]

[Schultz and Farley pack their suitcase full of character traits for their trip to Hollywood.]

Their message should not have fallen on deaf ears, with its recurring theme that drugs are bad and have no place in their lives.

Eldon Broster, principal of Northwest and Jefferson Elementary Schools said, "We have sponsored this program for the past three years. The staff continues to feel that it’s a very worthwhile program with an excellent message."

The program’s coordinator, Marla Williams, said that when the school district began to request that the elementary schools do drug awareness training, she choose this program after area teachers recommended it as a quality program.

"The kids just love them," she said. "Our fourth, fifth and sixth graders think of them as celebrities.


"The program is generally offered in October during the drug awareness week, or Red Week, as it is now called. But, this year they weren’t in the area until now," she explained.

The speakers reinforced the character traits that are currently being taught as a part of School District 27’s curriculum, so the program was still very timely and appropriate.

The event was so well received that it will back next year, Williams added.

The presentation was sponsored by Northwest School and Jefferson School, and both performances were open to the public.

[Kym Ammons-Scott]

Lincoln Junior High band ready
to entertain you Friday night

[FEB. 22, 2001]  Students have rehearsal every day from 7:30 am to 8:15 a.m. in the band room of Lincoln Junior High. All year they have been practicing. Now they will be rewarding you with the fruits of their diligent efforts. Their annual winter concert will be Friday evening at 7 in the LJHS gymnasium. The wind ensemble and jazz band will perform.

This is new band director Chad Minier’s first year teaching at Lincoln Junior High. "The band director before me had been here for 33 years. I call Mr. Zimmerman from time to time to ask a little advice," says Minier. He’s trying not to make too many changes to what has always been considered a good program.

"All students do have private lessons each week during school hours," Minier is pleased to be able to say. "It’s not easy for students to find time for extra lessons, but the staff and teachers at Lincoln Junior High are just great to work with in helping the students find that time," he compliments.


The band members have been working very hard for this concert. "This year we have already played at one high school football game, 10 junior high basketball games, a holiday concert, IMEA district music festival and many rehearsals," recounts Mr. Minier. There is a marching band, wind ensemble, jazz band, pep band, rock ensemble and a Dixieland band. The wind ensemble and jazz band are performing at the concert this Friday.

If you think the evening is not for you, think again. "I like to jazz it up and have a good time. We’ll be doing some traditional and a wide variety of other types of music. We’ll throw a little culture out there," says an enthusiastic Mr. Minier.

Everyone is invited — parents, grandparents, siblings, community — everyone is encouraged to break that TV mode and do something different. It is rare to be able to get out and hear live music of this sort. Minier has planned a wide repertoire that is sure to entertain everyone.


[to top of second column in this article]

The band has been challenged with high quality. Minier says, "I usually try to pick very challenging music. Most of the pieces we play are high school pieces." He adds, "I am trying to teach many students how to play guitar and bass guitar. I have a big jazz and rock background, so I am trying to incorporate modern music with traditional band music. Our pep plays a few modern songs like Blink-182's ‘All the Small Things’ and Reel Big Fish's ‘Sell Out.’"

The band has two more concerts coming up soon. The band is going to organizational contest this year for the very first time ever. Next year the band will start going to solo and ensemble contest.

The program here does offer scholarships for band members to go to band camp, since most camps cost around $300. Donations are welcome from community members and groups. They can be sent to LJHS Band at 208 Broadway in Lincoln.

Minier, a recent college graduate, is from Biton in southern Illinois. He likes to travel in the summers with his wife, who works for Caterpillar. He brings a real enthusiasm for his profession to the students of Lincoln. Being new to the area, he looks forward to meeting lots of people at their concerts. He loves getting the positive comments that he so often hears about his students.

[Jan Youngquist]

Part 2

LCHS vocational programs prepare students for careers in a changing world

[FEB. 19, 2001]  Many people believe that when a student graduates from high school, the best route to a lucrative future is to enter college. Then it is expected that following four years of college the individual will begin a career that pays well. Lincoln Community High School (LCHS) has a different philosophy. LCHS is preparing all interested students for careers in fields that need only two years or less of post-high-school training.

[click here for Part 1]

Lincolnland Technical Education Center

LTEC is an advanced education program through the cooperation of Heartland Community College, Lincoln Community High School, Mount Pulaski High School, Hartsburg-Emden High School, Greenview High School and Illini Central High School. Presently, a total of 174 students from all of these schools are enrolled in the program. For two periods a day, students study specific fields at the vocational center: Automotive Technology, Building Trades, Cooperative Education, Electronics, Culinary Arts, Health Occupations, Advanced Computer Technology and Metal Trades.


Most of the titles are self-explanatory, except for Cooperative Education. Cooperative Education students learn about marketing for half of their time and practice their skills out in a local business for the rest of the time. They are paid for their part-time work, while they earn credits toward their program.

In all of these fields, the LTEC must stay current with industrial standards, curricula and technology. For example, at one time business students learned on typewriters and had to be familiar with mimeographs. Now each student has a personal computer that is attached to a mainframe, and instructors have laptops.

The automotive technology course now has a diagnostic computer. In the welding courses, the teachers are phasing out oxy-ace welding stations and moving to MIG arc welding. Housing and decorating styles are constantly changing, and the building trades department must teach their students the new styles. The agricultural department has begun hydroponics and aquaculture projects for the students.


Students in the culinary arts now learn how to use airbrushes in cake decorating. They are also taught more about dietary considerations in their cooking. According to Olmstead, the culinary arts is one field that is just booming, because more people are eating out.

Besides using new equipment, the health occupation fields must be a lot more careful with blood products than they used to be.

The fields are always changing, so Olmstead believes, "If you don’t like change, you’ll have a hard time in these industries or even teaching in them."




[to top of second column in this section]

Educational grants

Five different grants help fund the vocational programs at LCHS:  Education to Career, Technology Preparation, Work Place Learning, Adult Education, and miscellaneous education grants for purchasing equipment and curricula.

The Education to Career Grant (ETC) focuses on integrating academics and vocational classes. ETC’s purpose is to demonstrate to students excelling in individual academic courses how that course can be used in different careers.

The Technology Preparation Grant helps LCHS students in the career programs to attend community college and receive dual credit. The college courses fulfill high school graduation requirements but also give students advanced placement when they enroll in a local community college.

The Work Place Learning Grant helps teachers design their curriculum to match industry standards. Presently, students have internships with local businesses, but Olmstead hopes to make them paid internships next year. She hopes to pay students 10 to 12 hours a week for their work in an internship. These internships will differ from a typical part-time job in that students rotate among companies to experience many things.

The Adult Education Grant helps adults complete their education in the evenings or during the summer. Some of the adult programs are for computers, woodworking, electronics or nurse’s assistants (CNA).

The remainder of the grants Olmstead oversees help to replace worn-out equipment and buy newly developed technology to give students the most up-to-date training.


As a member of the Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council, Olmstead can help underprivileged youth in the community to get an education. The council works with youths who have dropped out of school to help them complete some type of skilled training. It offers specific support services to help make an education feasible. Students with children can get day-care assistance. Also, the council pays for LCHS adult education courses for those who meet income requirements.

Obstacles and results

The vocational programs at LCHS have had to combat common misconceptions, but the results have been promising: Seventy percent of the students at LCHS are involved in some type of vocational program. As stated earlier, most students and parents believe that college is the best route for one to take. Olmstead and other vocational teachers work hard to show students and parents that jobs requiring only two years of training can be just as fulfilling and lucrative.

Olmstead believes that most of the vocational studies are going well, and, in her opinion, the students who like hands-on learning are really enjoying their studies.

[Jean Ann Carnley]

Part 1

LCHS vocational programs prepare students for careers in a changing world

[FEB. 17, 2001]  Many people believe that when a student graduates from high school, the best route to a lucrative future is to enter college. Then it is expected that following four years of college the individual will begin a career that pays well. Lincoln Community High School (LCHS) has a different philosophy. LCHS is preparing all interested students for careers in fields that need only two years or less of post-high-school training.

Cindy Olmstead was hired seven years ago to be the director of career and technical education at LCHS. The vocational program has been in existence for at least 30 years, but recently the program has been changing to keep up with industrial developments.

Career and technical education

According to Olmstead, only 20 percent of jobs require a four-year degree. Sixty-five percent of all jobs require some training — from on-the-job training to two years of study. These are the types of careers on which the career and technical education program focuses. Only 15 percent of jobs are for unskilled workers. Currently LCHS has 700 students enrolled in its career and technical education classes.


LCHS advertises the career and technical education program via flyers, word of mouth, and guidance counselors. During students’ English classes, counselors explain the different vocational tracks to students. After discussing the options with their parents, students may sign up with their guidance counselors for different types of classes: business, family and consumer science, health occupations, industrial technology, and agricultural technology.

In the business courses, students acquire accounting skills, learn how to be an administrative assistant, study computer technology, or learn the basics of marketing and managing.

The family and consumer science courses study fashion and fabric, food and nutrition, culinary arts, and child development, just to name a few. The health occupation branch gives participants basic training in the fields of nursing and nurse assisting.



[to top of second column in this section]

[Cindy Olmstead was hired seven years ago to be the director of career and technical education at LCHS.]

[Orientation to Technology is an introductory course for all of the business sequences in the vocational program. Students learn basic computer skills, such as keyboarding, e-mail, Power Point and Internet searching.]

Industrial technology education includes topics such as automotive training, building trades, drafting, metal trades, woodworking, computer repair and electronics. The agricultural technology training covers agricultural business management and agricultural science.

Each of the career and technical education tracks lasts two years. Late deciders can complete only one year of a program, because certificates are awarded at the end of each year of courses.

Olmstead believes that all students at LCHS can benefit from vocational training, because even those looking toward a four-year degree need career education. These classes require critical thinking and problem-solving skills and offer hands-on education.

Olmstead directs more than the career and technical education. She works with the Lincolnland Technology Education Center (LTEC), she is in charge of five main grants and she is a member of the Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council.

(To be continued)

[Jean Ann Carnley]

[click here for Part 2]

Fun in physics

Egg drop soup

[FEB. 10, 2001]  Betty Harberts’ physics classes are dropping garbage from the school balcony. But Ms. Harberts does not allow her students to drop just any garbage; it has to meet specific guidelines.

[click here for pictures]

For the past 10 days, physics students have been building cushioned containers which will protect a raw egg from a 30-foot drop. Students must use five different recycled or used materials — that is, garbage — to create their protective packages. Besides the building materials, there are a few guidelines for developing a container: It must be the student’s original design; bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts are not permitted; its mass may not exceed 500 grams; and it cannot be larger than 10 inches wide, 10 inches long and 10 inches high.


Along with each package, students are required to prepare an oral and written presentation on their design. Students are graded on their originality, the quality of their project, the completion of the two reports and the container, the package’s performance, and their ability to stay under the mass limit. Each student whose egg survives the drop receives a score on the drop. The score is calculated by multiplying the mass of the empty container by the square of the time it takes to fall [(falling time)2 × (mass without egg)]. The lower the score is, the better.

First, each container is dropped from the ceiling of the classroom to the floor, which is approximately 10 feet. Survivors receive three of the five performance points. The second drop is about 20 feet, from the second story railing to ground level. Survivors receive all five performance points and qualify to enter the 30-foot competition drop. The final drop is begun at the ceiling of the second story and halts at ground level. All the students receive a grade. The winning student or pair of students gets a small prize and certificate.


[to top of second column in this article]

As far as Thursday’s egg drop is concerned, students were pleased and amused with their results. Brett believed the best part of the project was "figuring out a way to keep the egg from breaking." He enjoyed the challenge because it was complicated.

Ms. Harberts asked her class what they would like to change about the project if they were to try it again. Some suggested changing the parameters of the container by making minimum mass and volume sizes instead of maximums, or requiring everyone to use the same materials. Others believed that the object of the drop should be altered by requiring students to protect two eggs in the same package, or competing for the longest fall-time.


This year’s results of the egg drop are as follows: Bree Ann Kelly 92.0, Adam Wessbecher and Michelle Roche 122.8, Kirsten Knutilla and Sarah Priest 204.1, Chris Fuiten 212.9, Matt Aper 213.8, John Davison 222.6, Nick Shaw 390.0 and Adam Freeman 407.

[Click here for pictures]

[Jean Ann Carnley]


School Spirit Days!

[FEB. 21, 2001]  Ho-hum-drum winter doldrums got you down? Not if you're a Lincoln Community High School student, teacher or staff member. Students at Lincoln Community High School are celebrating Spirit Week all this week. The week represents the wind-down of a season of boys and girls basketball just before state playoffs. This year’s theme: Salad Dressings!

During Salad Dressings Week students will dress in special attire representing salad dressing themes. Special activities and awards for the most spirit occur all week long.

Monday was Casual Dressing Day. Everyone wore pajamas.

Tuesday was French-Italian Tourist Day. Students wore hats and were allowed to bring cameras to school and take pictures in every class.

Wednesday is Thousand Island Day. Hawaiian clothes will be the theme.


Thursday is Ranch Day, with cowboy attire, and Friday is Vinegar and Oil Day, which translates to Green and Red Day.

This past Monday, representatives from each class stayed after school and created Spirit Week banners.

Wednesday, there will be a schoolwide volleyball tournament in the morning, beginning about 9 a.m., and a school assembly at 2 p.m., featuring a student lip sync contest in the auditorium.

Friday there will be a pep assembly at 2 p.m., with male cheerleaders representing each class, a pie-eating contest and who knows what else! The Pep Club will announce which class wins the Spirit Week award, based on points from the week's activities.

[News release]


[to top of second column in this article]

[Three students participate in Hat and Camera Day.]

[Students work on Spirit Week banners.]

[Student draws Railer man in chef's hat for
senior class Spirit Week banner.]

[Senior class Spirit Week hall decoration]


Junior high band concert is Friday night

[FEB. 20, 2001]  The Lincoln Junior High School Band will have their annual winter concert this Friday at 7 p.m. in the LJHS gymnasium. The wind ensemble and jazz band will perform.

Health career scholarship applications available

[FEB. 15, 2001]  Applications for the Dwight F. Zimmerman Scholarship, sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation, are currently available.

Applicants must be a graduating senior from Lincoln Community High School, Mount Pulaski High School, Olympia High School, Hartsburg-Emden High School or Illini Central High School, or a student currently attending Lincoln College.

All applicants who are chosen as finalists to interview with the scholarship selection committee will receive an award to be applied directly toward tuition, fees and books. The two top applicants will receive scholarships of $1,500. Other finalists will be awarded $500 scholarships.

Applications are available in the guidance offices of the above-listed schools. Applications are to be submitted to the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation, 315 Eighth St., Lincoln, IL 62656. The deadline to submit an application for the Zimmerman scholarship is April 6. For more information, call the foundation office at 217-732-2161, Ext. 405.

People who wish to contribute to the scholarship fund may send their contributions to the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation, 315 Eighth St., Lincoln, IL 62656.

Kindergarten registration starts in Mount Pulaski, Elkhart

[FEB. 8, 2001]  Parents in the Mount Pulaski-Elkhart area who have a child who will be 5 before Sept. 1, 2001, should call the Mount Pulaski Grade School, (217) 792-7220, or Elkhart Grade School, (217) 947-2451, to register their child for kindergarten. This year the registration will be a phone-in process. After pertinent information has been submitted by telephone, parents will receive a packet of information and registration materials in the mail. Registration began Feb. 7 and continues through March 16. If you have any further questions, call the school where your child will attend.

Students in health careers 
can apply for Zonta scholarships

[JAN. 20, 2001]  Zonta Club of Lincoln will again sponsor health career scholarships. Residents of Logan County who are enrolled in or accepted into a health care professional curriculum are eligible to apply. Scholarships totaling $4,500 will be awarded. The number of scholarships will be determined by the scholarship committee.

Each award is for one academic year and is contingent upon the student's sustained academic achievement. Former recipients are encouraged to reapply. Application forms are available from county high schools and colleges, several health care facilities and pharmacies in the county, and by request.

We encourage students to make application if they are considering any health career field, including veterinary medicine, sports medicine, physical therapy or pharmacy. Zonta Club of Lincoln has awarded health career scholarships since 1981, assisting 36 students from Logan County with 49 scholarships with a total value of $51,750. Last year Zonta awarded four recipients $1,125 each.

All completed applications, including references, are due to the scholarship committee by March 5. Applications and information are available by contacting Marilyn Weingarz, 1425 1307th St., Lincoln, IL 62656 or by calling (217) 735-1840.

[Zonta news release]

School menus


Breakfast menus

(Milk is served with all meals)

Monday, Feb. 26 — Muffin, fruit

Tuesday, Feb. 27 — Pancake and sausage breakfast stick, juice

Wednesday, Feb. 28 — Egg patty on biscuit, hash browns

Lunch menus

(Milk is served with all meals)

Monday, Feb. 26 — Ham patty on bun, baked beans, fruit crisp

Tuesday, Feb. 27 — Fish fillet, cheesy potatoes, broccoli, pineapple

Wednesday, Feb. 28 — Tacos with lettuce, cheese and salsa; pears; cookie

Lincoln Elementary Schools

Breakfast menus

(Milk is served with all meals)

Monday, Feb. 26 — Cereal, pop tart, juice

Tuesday, Feb. 27 — Oatmeal, toast, fruit

Wednesday, Feb. 28 — Cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, juice

Thursday, Mar. 1 — Fruit pies, toast

Friday, Mar. 2 — Cereal, toast with jelly, juice

National School Breakfast Week

Monday, Mar. 5 — Cereal, cinnamon toast, juice

Tuesday, Mar. 6 — Scrambled eggs, happy faces, fruit

Wednesday, Mar. 7 — Cereal, oatmeal muffin square, juice

Thursday, Mar. 8 — Apple wedges with peanut butter, toast

Friday, Mar. 9 — Cereal, cinnamon toast, juice


Lunch menus

(Milk is served with all meals)

"Oh the Places You’ll Go" Dr. Seuss Week

Monday, Feb. 26 — Smokies in barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, bread and butter, peas

Tuesday, Feb. 27 — Spaghetti with meat sauce, lettuce salad, garlic bread, fruit cocktail

Wednesday, Feb. 28 — Max cheese sticks with sauce, green beans, celery stick, applesauce

Thursday, Mar. 1 — Sloppy Joes, cole slaw, french fries, jello

Friday, Mar. 2Dr. Seuss' birthday!

Pancakes with syrup does not need a frown. 

Be happy while you eat your healthy hash brown.

Eat all your sausage links while you think of beaches.

Eat all your precious, healthy peaches.

Drink all your milk before it gets to the sneetches.

[Poem written by Daniel Parson
of Northwest School, sixth grade]

Monday, Mar. 5 — Hamburger on bun with cheese, corn, snack crackers, strawberries

Tuesday, Mar. 6 — Chicken tenders with sauce, mashed potatoes, bread and butter, green beans

Wednesday, Mar. 7 — Sausage pizza, lettuce salad, carrot stick, fruit cocktail

Thursday, Mar. 8 — Barbecue rib on bun, french fries, peas, peaches

Friday, Mar. 9 — Shrimp shapes with sauce, green beans, corn bread, pears


Mount Pulaski Grade School

Monday, Feb. 26 — Chicken noodle soup, cheese, crackers, carrots, celery, apple crisp, ice cream, bread, oleo

Tuesday, Feb. 27 Hamburger, bun, cheese, pickle, corn, tri-tators, cherry pie

Wednesday, Feb. 28 Chicken nuggets, carrots, pears, yogurt, bread, oleo



  • Students in grades three through eight may choose hot dog and bun, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich in place of main entree.

  • Students in grades six through eight may choose chef salad in place of main entree.

  • Condiments are served with meals.

  • Milk is served with all meals.

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