One of the seats on the District 8 School Board sat vacant during the board meeting on Monday. Now the remaining board members are searching for a person to serve on the board for the remainder of Barb Arner’s term.
Arner recently resigned to take a job in the school cafeteria. Fairbury Superintendent Stephen Grizzle explained that policies prohibit people who are employed by Fairbury Public Schools to serve on the school board.
On Monday, the remaining board members voted to approve Arner’s resignation and appointed members to a selection committee to find a new board member. The people appointed to serve on the committee include School Board Members Jody Starr, Jacie Milius and Angie Judd.
People who are interested in the position are encouraged to submit a letter of interest. Additional information about the position can be found here. Letters of interest are due no later than 12 p.m. on November 22.
Also during the meeting on Monday, Aaron Leibel, who teaches at Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School, addressed the board, asking them to focus on what the next three to five years have in store for the district.
“I’d like to talk about vision for the next three to five years of our school,” said Leibel. “We’re going through a lot of changes at this time, especially at the high school. Some have said this is positive, some said this is negative. I’m moving past that and I’m trying to figure out what I can do to better serve our students. I have 95 kids that come into my room every day. They rely on me to be an A-plus teacher to get the best education they deserve, regardless if that’s in block, period schedule, 40 minute schedule, 30 minute schedule. You name it, we just do it. That’s our job.”
Leibel continued by asking the board to continue developing goals and plans for the future to ensure that Fairbury’s students are getting the highest-quality education possible.
“We’re at a point where we need to do something, because what we’re doing for our kids is not working, in my opinion,” Leibel said. “I think there are different visions that are competing against each other. The reason I bring this up at this point is to talk with the schedule changing, with the teachers changing, with things moving around as much as they are, I’m curious to know, not just from the board, but also from administration and other teachers, what’s our plan now? What do we want our kids to be able to do?”
Nick Kroon, Principal at Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School, addressed some of the changes at the high school, noting that they plan to continue making improvements.
“As I was listening to Mr. Leibel talk, some of the things at the high school that we’re doing with academics, you know, kind of making a future plan,” said Kroon. “Decreasing failures: we’re trying to do that through the Jeff Program. We didn’t have a stellar first quarter with that. We have a lot of truancy, that’s another issue that I think our school faces.
“College and career ready through revision to the college access grant,” Kroon continued. “Even the schedule change, potentially looking at offering 34 more sections of something, new classes, repeated classes so kids can do other things. This can provide some extra opportunities for kids so they can get more involved with things.”
Kroon stated that he also wants to address discipline issues at the high school. He plans to work with Jill Timmons, School Psychologist at Fairbury Public Schools, to continue developing better ways to take disciplinary actions.
“I think we can do better,” said Kroon.