The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 6, 2013

New members join D118 board


DANVILLE — Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman administered the oath of office to two new members and two incumbent members of the Danville District 118 school board during a special meeting Monday night.

Incumbents Dr. Randal Ashton and Frank Young returned to their posts for four more years, while newcomers Darlene Halloran and Lon Henderson will fill four-year vacancies after their wins in April. They defeated incumbents Dan Brown and Greg Hilleary.

Outgoing board members Brown and Hilleary were recognized for their years of service with an engraved clock and a golden key pass to all of the district’s activities.

Superintendent Mark Denman called Brown “a reliable watchdog for the district” and the only board member who would send him e-mails at 3 a.m.

“I’ve had the pleasure of sitting here for eight years,” Brown said. “I’ve learned a great deal. Everyone who works for the district does remarkable things every day.”

At 16 years, Denman said Hilleary’s term on the school board wasn’t the longest, but Hilleary has had many relatives serve on the school board during the years.

“He’s been very loyal to the district,” Denman said.

Hilleary said, “It has been a pleasurable 16 years to serve the students.”

Bill Dobbles was re-elected as board president, Gina McGuire was re-elected as board vice president and Martha See was re-elected as school board secretary.

The newly seated board set the new board meeting calendar for a two-year period from May 22 through April 29, 2015. The meetings will continue to start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Also on Monday, the school board:

All schools received a 100 percent except for a 99 percent at Kenneth D. Bailey Academy for a hole in an interior wall to a storage room, which has since been sealed and repaired; and a 98 percent at Southwest Elementary School for a trash receptacle in a staff restroom that did not have a cover on it, which was corrected during the inspection.

Diane Hampel, director of educational support, told the board that the district has had “very positive feedback” after it rolled out the K-2 standards-based report card this year.

She said the new report card “tells you a lot more than a C in a subject. It’s more specific on what they (children) need to work on.”

The Rising Star program has been implemented already at four schools in the district, including Meade Park Elementary School.

“The program guides the schools through continuous improvement,” Hampel said.

Some of the goals of the program is establishing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in which teachers meet, collaborate and share data on students; communicating to stakeholders; and implementing Common Core Standards.

“Each goal has multiple tasks,” Hampel said.

What’s Next

District 118 school board members will meet in regular session at 6:30 p.m. May 22 in the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St.