North Greene honors Haskell as Illinois State Scholar
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By Carmen Ensinger
In a bit of good news for the North Greene School District, board members paused from regular board business to honor high school senior Jacob Haskell for being named an Illinois State Scholar for the 2022-23 school year. Jacob is the son of Jeff and Jody Haskell.
“This award is given to high school seniors who possess superior academic potential,” High School Superintendent Mark Scott said. “Students in nearly every high school in Illinois compete in the program.”
Students selected for the honor are commended for their exemplary college entrance exam score. This, along with their record high school achievement scores indicate an especially high potential success in college.
“To be named an Illinois State Scholar is an outstanding accomplishment that will be a highlight of Jacob’s academic record,” Scott said. “The Board and I would like to congratulate Jacob for being named an Illinois State scholar for North Greene.”
The Illinois State Scholar program is awarded to high school seniors based on their ACT and SAT scores along with class rank and their grade point average.
Now onto some bad news. The bout of severely cold weather resulted in some damage at the district office in the multi-purpose room. Scott explained what happened.
“After we were warming back up, Vance (Dirksmeyer, Buildings and Grounds Director) was in here putting a desk together and he heard something come from the multipurpose room,” Scott said. “Apparently, a line that had fed one of the heating units had busted. It didn’t bust in the extreme cold – it was when it was trying to warm back up, and it just dumped water everywhere.”
The result was water damage to the floor and ceiling.
“We got ahold of our insurance company and they had an appraiser out and we already have a bid,” Scott said. “It is going to be $66,000 to replace the floor, ceiling and the heating unit, which of course doesn’t work anymore because of the break. The appraiser is currently working on it.”
In his principal’s report, Berry said that there has been a big spike in social/emotional issues at the junior/senior high after the Christmas break.
“There have been a lot of calls to Cares and outside resources for support for our students,” he said. “I think our mental health staff are on high alert recently and they are doing a really good job trying to meet our kids’ needs. We have had a lot of extreme cases pop up recently”
In the areas of curriculum and instruction, Berry said they are in deep discussion on curriculum, schedule needs and graduate path alignment for next year.
“We have purchased curriculum needs resources for the business and history departments,” he said. “We are also in the process of getting things squared away for our science and geography classes as well.”
Thanks to a grant from the Tracy Family Foundation, the district staff will have the opportunity to take part in a program on curriculum alignment.
“Lori Hopkins helped us procure that grant and Kate Sievers is going to liaison with us,” Berry said. “We have got stipends put in place for staff to work five days after school during the second semester and five days during which will hopefully give us some much needed alignment.”
Berry said he is in the midst of his second round of formal evaluations. However, the informal evaluations have been very positive.
“The informal evaluations have displayed some really strong teaching techniques for a lot of our staff – a lot of effective classroom management skills,” he said. “I see some really good things coming from our staff members, especially the ones in the process of learning and being trained as a teacher. Those are some really positives for our staff.”