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By David Camphouse
At the Wednesday, April 20, meeting of the Griggsville-Perry school board, current Meredosia-Chambersburg Principal Jeff Abell was approved to serve as the district’s next superintendent.
According to current Superintendent Kent Hawley, Abell has several traits indicating his potential to successfully lead the district.
“I’ve known Mr. Abell for several years,” Hawley said. “I think he has the character and the ability to do a great job for Griggsville-Perry and to move the district forward.”
Hawley said that Abell’s upbringing makes him aware of the challenges facing the district.
“He’s originally from Bluffs, and he’s a principal at Meredosia-Chambersburg right now,” Hawley said.
Hawley went on to say that Abell’s coaching and military experience would serve him well as superintendent at Griggsville-Perry.
“He’s a veteran of the air national guard, and he served in active duty,” Hawley said. “He’s a longtime basketball coach. These types of leadership positions will serve him well as superintendent.”
Abell said he is looking forward to filling the role of superintendent, and he is thankful for the opportunity to move from principal to superintendent.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Abell said. “You go through the progression of a career, and you are excited to take that next step. I’m thankful that Griggsville-Perry has enough faith in me to give me this chance even though I don’t have any superintendent experience.”
Abell said that West-Central Illinois has a strong network of mentors for administrators to learn from.
“It’s a great environment in our area,” Abell said. “It’s a great place to be a new administrator with all the resources out there.”
In other business, the school board also listened to a proposal from the Middle School’s Ag Club request to utilize a recently burned residential property directly east of the school. The club would like to use the site for growing crops and doing Ag experiments.
“It’s right next door to the school,” Hawley said. “Right now the village has control of that property. We want to put a garden on it. We’re looking into the legal aspects of if we can do that.”
The Board directed the superintendent and Ashley Scranton, the Ag Club Advisor, to gather more details concerning the property and come back to the Board in May. Approximately 25 students are involved in the middle school ag club.
The board also approved letting bids to update the HVAC system at the Perry Middle School.
“We’re looking into putting in an HVAC system in the 7th and 8th grade hallway in Perry,” Hawley said. “There’s only heat right now. The AC is window units.”
The Board also:
■ Approved memberships in the IHSA and IESA for 2022-2023.
■ Approved the Consolidated District Plan for 2022-2023.
■ Approved the School Calendar for 2022-2023. Teachers report August 15. First day for students is August 17. Last student day is May 25, and the last teacher day is May 26.
■ Hired Marlee Schultz as Middle School Girls Basketball Coach for 2022-2023.
■ Hired Heath Wainman as Middle School Softball Coach for 2022-2023.
■ Accepted the resignation of Evan Sheppard as teacher.
■ Hired Keaton Wort as teacher.
■ Hired Shannon Butler as teacher.
■ Hired Galen Conkright as teacher.
■ Hired Pat Apps as Dean of Students and Special Education Coordinator for 2022-2023.
■ Approved a contract with Jillian Theis as Principal for 2023-2024.
■ Approved a salary increase of 3.5% for district administrative employees.