LCHS board honors state golfers; last semester's school report card reviewed; and home ec department will get capital improvement funds

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[October 25, 2012]  The Lincoln Community High School Board of Education met on Oct. 15 to discuss current events taking place in District 404. Most of the meeting consisted of several smaller reports that delved into various aspects of school administration.

State golf qualifiers

Jim Mammen, board president, began the meeting by presenting certificates of recognition to the state qualifiers from the golf teams. Among the girls, Katlyn Hasprey was a state qualifier, and coach Christine Randall was presented a certificate as well. Among the boys there were two qualifiers, Collin Antoine and Jordan Perry. Both students were given certificates, as was the coach, Chris Ciaccio.

School report card

Principal Todd Poelker presented the school report card from the previous semester. This report provides information on ACT and PSAE scores from tests taken in April. There were 188 students who took the tests last spring, including 28 alternative education students.

Poelker began by saying that in the areas of math and science, students are improving in test scores. He attributes part of this improvement to the quality of course work LCHS presents the students. "Not only taking enough years of a particular subject, the rigor of the course work is really going to play a bigger part in how well you do on the ACT," said Poelker.

The composite ACT score for the school, minus those students who receive significant accommodations, is 20.6. "That is the score that is actually reported," Poelker said. He further explained that if you remove the scores of the alternative education students, the composite score would be a whole point higher at 21.6.

The score of 20.6 is below the state average by three-tenths of a point.

Poelker also said that while students are improving in math, English and most areas of science, biology results indicate room for improvement.

Insurance renewal

Superintendent Robert Bagby reported that WRM America will be the new liability insurance provider for LCHS. WRM was quoted at a price of $49,724, which is $8,000 less than the next lowest bid offered to the school.

Bagby explained that the school will be receiving full coverage from this plan. The new coverage period began Oct. 1.

Administrative reports

Vice Principal Rhonda Hyde reported that enrollment as of Sept. 30 was 849 students. Hyde also reported that the number of disciplinary reports for August and September has been lower this year than last year.

Bret Hitchings, LTEC director, reported that it appears progress has been made concerning the creation of cosmetology classes as part of LTEC. Hitchings reported that LTEC has experienced a lot of tribulation in trying to find a partner to work with the school. Illinois law requires that LTEC partner with someone who is independent from both LTEC and LCHS. Furthermore, the classes would have to be located within five miles of the school grounds.

Hitchings has been working with Hairmasters out of Bloomington, and he reported that a representative of that company is working on receiving certification from the state but would like to see written assurance from the school beforehand. While the LTEC board has approved such an assurance, the LCHS school board still has to vote on the approval next month.

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Board member Marianne Krusz reported that there is still roughly $392,000 left that can be spent to improve the school building and related grounds. Krusz asked the board for direction on what the district should label as the next priority for grounds improvement. Krusz presented several possible ideas:

  • The home economics classroom would benefit greatly from new cabinets and countertops.

  • The fencing around the tennis courts could stand to be replaced; however, replacing the fencing would likely result in replacing all of the fencing around athletic fields for aesthetic reasons.

  • A school oven that was purchased in 1959 no longer works, and a replacement will be necessary.

  • The ceiling in the back gym needs to be re-examined, and insulation is exposed in parts of it.

  • A new concession stand for athletic events could be built to replace the old one.

  • Finally, the sound system in the auditorium could be replaced.

Krusz said she would like to see improvement in the appearance of the school come first. "We'd (the building and grounds committee) like to do outside to start with because of the 1 percent sales tax. It's the community's money. We'd like them to see it, whether it was building something, moving something, freshening up," said Krusz.

Board member Burgandy Henderson said she believes the first priority should be the students, and what they need for a better education should come first.

It was agreed upon by the board that replacing the dead oven and having new cabinets and countertops installed in the home economics room will come first. The board is currently looking into gathering bids from carpenters for the home economics improvements.

Those present at the meeting included Jim Mammen, board president; Reatha Owen; Jim Allen; Mark Aughton; Burgandy Henderson; Marianne Krusz; Robert Bagby, LCHS superintendent; Todd Poelker, principal; Rhonda Hyde, vice principal; Bret Hitchings, LTEC director; and Sam Knox, activities director.



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