Unit 40 Board Hires Architect, Construction Manager


Published on July 8 2024 8:19 pm
Last Updated on July 10 2024 1:34 pm
Written by Greg Sapp


Effingham Unit 40 school board members Monday hired an architetctural firm and a construction manager to assist the Board with a facility vision tentative plan.

BLDD Architects has assisted the Board in the earlier phases of the vision plan, including the community meetings where input was sought on what the district needs as far as facilities. Holland Construction will be the construction manager if a building project is pursued.

Unit 40 Superintendent Andy Johnson said the one-cent sales tax is a key ingredient in whether a building project is pursued, but he said the district should be ready to proceed if the sales tax is approved. More information should be shared at the regular monthly Board meeting on July 22.

Board Vice-President Chad Thompson reminded that a survey is live on the district website allowing district residents to share their thoughts on what Unit 40 should pursue as far as facilities.

In the meantime, the Board agreed to move a second grade class from South Side to Central. Johnson said, "I don't like second graders in two buildings, but South Side Principal Jessica Reeder shared that "I am not setting up students for success if we don't make this move", saying there isn't enough space to accommodate all of the grade level at South Side.

There was also a lot of attention paid to technology at Monday's meeting. Hired or reassigned were Rob Schottman as Information Technology Supervisor and Megan Adkins as Technology Integrationist for all grade levels below junior high and high school. Stephanie Mitchell was hired as Supervisor of Innovation and Instructional Technology. The Board also approved a job description for a Multi-Tiered Support Systems and Social Emotional Learning Director, and approved an updated Network Specialist job description with the goal of filling those vacancies at the regular monthly Board meeting on July 22. The Board also hired former administrator and technology assistant Rem Woodruff as interim Technology Director on a contracted as-needed basis.

Johnson said he understands that the additional hirings cost money, but said, "If I don't put people in place, we can't help staff and students."

Also Monday, the Board purchased a two-door cooler for the high school for just over $20,000; approved a newly-implemented junior high coaches handbook with junior high Vince Rohr to have the handbook ready for a coaches meeting on July 15. The high school coaches handbook is forthcoming. The Board also rescinded a vote from last month to award property/casualty insurance coverage for Little Hearts Early Childhood Center since the coverage is already included in other coverage.

In other personnel moves, the Unit 40 board employed Barbara Jamison and Savannah Morrissey as seasonal help at Little Hearts; Alli Brumleve as a flex teacher at the junior high school; Jill Feldhake as junior head cheer sponsor; Jordan Wagner as an instructor at Little Hearts; and Todd Venters as a high school DE/PE teacher and an assistant football coach. Approved as volunteers were Dustin Lustig and Matt Carpenter as high school assistant football coaches and Quenten Austin as high school assistant volleyball coach. Resignations were accepted from Halle Lewis as junior high cheer sponsor as of July 19 and from Laura Hodges as a midday driver.

The Board also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Effingham Classroom Teachers Association for several positions including B team boys basketball, B team girls basketball, B team volleyball, 6th grade boys basketball, 6th grade girls basketball, 6th grade volleyball, 5th grade boys basketball, and 5th grade girls basketball; 5th grade volleyball; bass fishing at the high school; and announcers pay for football and boys and girls basketball at varsity contests.