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By Carmen Ensinger
As always, the Greenfield School Board began their May school board meeting with the district highlights. This month they had a lot to be proud of.
“Our Ag Issue Team, who is going to be presenting at State did the presentation that they will do at the Ag FFA State Competition on their research project which is climate change and how agriculture affects it,” Superintendent Kevin Bowman said. “The debate moderator asked each FFA student questions and they provided researched information to support their findings.”
Members on that Ag Issue Team are Kellen Bowman, Allie Burrow and Joelle Ford.
Also mentioned during district highlights was the junior high track team who did an awesome job at state.
“We had Hayden McGowen who was a State Champion placing first in the 200-meter dash and second place in the 100-meter dash,” Bowman said. “Then Grayson Costello was fifth in the hurdles and the 4×200 team of Grayson Costello, Adeline Lansaw, London Lamb and Leah Wood. So, we had a good showing at the State track meet which was pretty exciting.”
The board passed the risk management plan with no changes. The registration fees were approved with very few changes.
Each year the district is required to raise lunch fees a little bit, but Bowman says they are applying for the Community Eligibility Program option for the school lunches.
“Maybe we will get approved for that program again this year,” he said. “And, if that is the canse, we can continue like we are now with lunches for everyone for free.”
The district is looking for a family consumer science teacher for both Greenfield and Northwestern, possibly to share, or if they are able to find two, each district will have their own.
“We did hire our own, Darby Jenkins Tepen, but we also passed an intergovernmental agreement to share that person with Northwestern,” Bowman said. “Our person who retired was only half-time so we are used to that right now, so that is why we hired this person and agreed to share them, but Northwestern is still on the hunt and has some options so maybe we will both have full-time which will be awesome.”
The district is participating in the Teacher Residency Grant Program and hired two teacher aides through this program.
“These two teachers are going to be able to becomes special education teachers in three semesters,” Bowman said. “They will start this summer and then they will work as teacher aides in the Greenfield school district and also take classes. In the end we will have two more special education teachers.”
The Teacher Residency Grant Program is a program that has several other schools participating, in addition to Greenfield, including Northwestern, Carlinville, Raymond-Lincolnwood and Southwestern. The goal of the program is to build up the teaching profession again and it is a partnership with Blackburn College.
“The only thing it costs the teachers going through this program who are going to work for us is $67.50,” Bowman said. “They already have their Bachelor’s degree and they are going back just to get the education stuff and the Greenfield and Northwestern districts both covered that fee for those people as well because we thought we needed some skin in the game to help improve the teaching profession and get some more teachers. I was proud of our school and community for supporting that as well. We are trying to get a “grow your own teacher program” started as well because it is hard to find teachers.”
The two teachers hired were Tristan Gilbert from Greenfield and Tonya Elliott from White Hall.
Maddie Nichols was hired as the kindergarten teacher and Sarah Johnson was the new Pre-K teacher. Leah Jones was hired as well as a regular teacher for the district.
“We have just a few more positions left to fill,” Bowman said. “Hopefully we don’t’ have a whole bunch more coming. But, you never know – just like anything else, that kind of happens these days.”