School board gathers for first meeting of 2023
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By Austin Andre
The Jersey Community Unit School District 100 (JCUSD) school board met on Thursday, Jan. 19, for its first meeting of the new year. The meeting followed its customary timeline as two Jersey Community High School (JCHS) students presented the student report. Students spoke about many successful achievements by sports teams and extracurricular groups. Examples included the poms team qualifying for the state competition in hip-hop, the JCHS girls basketball team’s impressive winning streak which puts them as a high seed for the Carrollton Tournament, and the JCHS construction class completing their first sidewalk project. Other positive updates included upcoming plays, school events, and preparations for spring activities.
Following the student report, the drainage project for the varsity softball field was discussed before the board. The need for the drainage system to be reworked stemmed from changes made to the field’s design. These changes included a new screen and backstop, which necessitated the need for a better drainage system. The council voted to approve the project and followed up with an approval of the seniority list and board policy list.
Administrative reports came next, with Grafton Elementary School principal, Michelle Brown, speaking first. Brown spoke positively about the situation at Grafton Elementary. Including the successes of the Panthers kids club.
“Things are going well at Grafton,” said Brown. “We really enjoyed having that extra time with kids after school. It’s fun seeing the kids in an informal kind of setting.”
East Elementary School principal, Kim Anderson, followed after Brown. Anderson described a cheerful atmosphere at the school, and positive reviews of the school following a traction review.
The first spring school concerts are also scheduled to begin in April.
“We had great reviews,” said Anderson. “It’s making our environment at East Elementary a better place.”
West Elementary School principal, Kristie Hurley, spoke next. Hurley detailed a school project on creating home grown faculty members. The project takes JCHS students with interests in becoming educators and gives them opportunities to work with students at West. These students read and interact with the younger students at the school, and also observe some of the aspects of teaching. This project had great success last year, hence its reintroduction in 2023.
“Some of our students come daily,” said Hurley. “It’s a great time for them to spend reading with our kiddos. It’s really nice to see it in action. It’s just been wonderful.”
Jersey Community Middle School (JCMS) principal, Thomas Leslie, was the next speaker in line. Leslie, like Brown, Anderson, and Hurley, gave optimistic and positive reports on the environment at JCMS. Leslie spoke about JCMS meeting social and emotional goals at the school regarding student-teacher relationships. The goal for teachers at JMCS was to give each student a personal positive contact by the end of the month. That required each teacher to contact 20 to 25 kids. However, the goal was met well ahead of schedule.
“All 500 of our students have received positive contact,” said Leslie. “This goes a long way for our kids and parents.”
The final report came from JCHS principal, Jason Brunaugh. Brunaugh touched on the successes of the JCHS pom team and cheerleading teams advancing to state competitions, the bowling team winning regionals, and the intense effort seen by the boys varsity basketball teams.
“It’s great to see our kids with all their success and have them be rewarded for their hard work,” said Brunaugh.
Before the adjournment of the meeting, Board President Greg Brown, gave his thoughts on the overall state of the district.
“Looking at all of your good news and your lists here,” said Brown. “If you aren’t excited with what we’re doing, I don’t know what else we can do to make you happy.”
The next meeting for the council is scheduled for Thursday, Feb.16 at 7 p.m.