The Effingham School Board swore in new member Chris Koester Monday night. Koester is a native of Effingham who returned to town about 16 years ago after going away for law school. He is currently an attorney at Taylor Law Offices in Effingham. Koester told Effingham Radio News why he decided to serve on the School Board.
Koester’s goal while on the board is to continue to ensure that people can look to Effingham Public Schools for high-quality education. He emphasized that kids need a good education to thrive in a competitive world.
Superintendent Mark Doan also took time to recognize Effingham schools in the media, both local and global. Effingham High School teacher Joe Fatheree was featured by Euro-News, a European News Agency, as a finalist for the Global Teacher Award. Additionally, Unit #40’s “Innovation” Project was featured in local media. The projected uses application based learning to help students get creative about problem solving.
The Board also approved tentative amendments to the FY2016 Budget. According to Superintendent Doan, the budget amendments are simply to make the final approved budget for the fiscal year match what the district actually spent. He explained that the budget has to be amended publicly to reflect unexpected changes throughout the fiscal year.
The final amended budget will go on public display on Unit #40’s website to be approved at the June board meeting.
Superintendent Doan also reported on the district’s rate of expulsions and suspensions from the last school year. There were a total of 13 expulsions form EHS and EJHS, which is down 54% from last year. There were 55 suspensions from both schools, down 40% from the previous school year.
The board also heard from Jennifer Fox, Principle at the Early Learning Center, on some of the challenges facing schools today. Fox cited the vast diversity of student needs as major challenge. She further suggested that kindergartners enter school at different levels of education and ability. In response, Fox informed the board that the ELC takes an “all hand on deck” approach to ensure that student’s needs are met.
The board also voted to extend the district’s current contract with the ECTA and appointed board member Carol Ruffner as the district’s EIASE Representative.