Hononegah School Board celebrates student volunteers and achievers

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Graphic Arts students helped to create eye-catching banners for Hononegah High School's hundredth birthday.

The Hononegah Community High School Board of Education celebrated the accomplishments of student volunteers, staff, and college-bound students at the Sept. 21  meeting.

First to be recognized was the Gaia courtyard clean-up team and their advisors, Mrs. Moore and Mr. Smith. Called to the front part of the school library were club members Angela Cho, Isabella Lazansky, Kyra Lewis, Sophia Balsley, Lucia Jahn, Amelle Carmine, Allyson Niedfeldt, Indigo Sterud, Jocelyn Johnson, Sophia Bradel, Stephen Marshall, Danielle Franz, Clare Spors and Madilynn Andrade. Not all were present at the meeting.



“These students have done a lot of hard work around this campus,” HCHS Principal Chad Daugherty said. “We wanted to give Gaia special recognition for taking care of the courtyard.”

“This group came in on Labor Day, filling yard waste bags. Some of the grass had to be pulled up.”

“We are crediting Gaia not just for their work at HCHS but for all of the environmental action that they have been part of. “

Mr. Smith said, “All of the clubs at HCHS are student-led."

A member of Gaia spoke on behalf of the group. “We are glad that we had the opportunity to clean the courtyard; we had a really fun time.”

BOE President Dave Kurlinkus presented certificates to Gaia members. Group awards were also received. “Thank you for your dedication to the environment and for making it a better place,” Kurlinkus said.

The Gaia courtyard clean-up team and their advisors Mrs. Moore and Mr. Smith. Called to the front part of the school library were: Angela Cho, Isabella Lazansky, Kyra Lewis, Sophia Balsley, Lucia Jahn, Amelle Carmine, Allyson Niedfeldt, Indigo Sterud, Jocelyn Johnson, Sophia Bradel, Stephen Marshall, Danielle Franz, Clare Spors and Madilynn Andrade. The Gaia team was recognized for beautification efforts and work they did in the courtyard.

College Board National Recognition programs are set up to help students succeed in college board exams, such as the PSAT, SAT, and Advanced Placement tests.

The College Board puts a focus on underrepresented students who earn high scores on their exams through four programs covering National African American, National Hispanic, National Indigenous recognition programs and Small Town Recognition.

“These students have served in leadership roles,” Dougherty said. “The hard work you put is appreciated, along with your quiet and loud leadership.”

Four Hononegah students earned specific recognition. Isabella Lazansky- National African American and National Hispanic Recognition Awards, Jason Macallister- National Hispanic Recognition Award, Javier Escobedo- National Hispanic Recognition Award, and Laura Mendes- National Hispanic Recognition Award.

Students honored in the College Board Recognition program were Isabella Lazansky- National African American and National Hispanic Recognition Awards, Jason Macallister- National Hispanic Recognition Award, Javier Escobedo- National Hispanic Recognition Award, and Laura Mendes - National Hispanic Recognition Award.

Mr. Brad Bond was recognized for his work beautifying parts of the school through branding. Prior to Homecoming, eye-catching banners were placed on poles at HCHS commemorating the school's 100 years in existence. The Graphics department was thanked for their great work. Thanks to Bond's work, students can now read the words to the school song, which now can appear under the scoreboard on the field. Bond was quick to give credit to students in his classes.

“When I graduated in 2002 there were 125 people in the program,” Bond said. “Today we have 400 students split up between three teachers. The school has always been supportive.”

Mr. Bond was presented with a certificate from board president Kurlinkus.

Math department head Mr. Matt Simpson presented facts about the math department. “The school lost several very qualified and experienced teachers in the past year due to retirement,” Simpson said.

“Our department is looking at ways of being able to support and to challenge students. We have AP Computer Science and Calculus reaching up to the Level Four students.

Simpson referred to one of the math department's intervention classes and support for an STP math offerings, plus statistics on how to more than double interventions. He touched on post-secondary scheduling without the need of a specific math style.

Early graduates from the Class of 2022 are Ethan Berth, Benjamin Fletcher, Mya Goral. Yeteng He, Emily Jansen, Jacob Murath, Vianca Perez, Mariahn Resendez, Elayna Robins and Asher Wadsworth.

Student Council Representative Riley Dick reported that HCHS liaisons to school clubs are Council Vice President Abigail Bergstrom and her chairwomen, Katie Jones. The ladies planned to meet with student leaders to discuss collaboration of clubs. National Honor Society students packed lunches for Carpenter's Place in August as a community service project.

The marching band attended the Northern Illinois University Band Day. The Video Production class and the Student Council Executive Board created a video prior to Homecoming to promote Homecoming events and dress up days.



The student council is currently working on plans to have a trunk or treat service project. They will work with Key Club and other clubs to honor community education staff and to raise money and collect materials for “UNICEF” and “Kits for Kids.”

Various sports statistics were reviewed in the Athletic Director's report.

Associate Principal Kathy Eckmann's review showed the success of this year's summer school through numbers in different categories. She listed credits earned from each course taken and shared enrollment and graduate rates. “This was probably the best summer school and a great student alternative. The teachers worked hard with the students,” Eckmann said.

Superintendent Mike Dugan gave an update on the Strategic Plan. An E-learning plan will incorporate Chromebooks. He mentioned plans for expanding the plaque/trophy case area. Hardscaping the courtyard by the main entrance and landscaping by the Metal Gym entrances are in the works. Preparations are underway for the statue of Hononegah to be dedicated,  set for sometime in late October. Dugan spoke briefly about 10 year life safety audit preparations.

Leaders hope to recruit more students to take part in clubs and sports.

Director of Human Resources Kendra Asbury talked about open positions of significance, including a registered nurse and two line attendants in the food service department. The school will be hosting restorative practices training on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

BOE member Eric Flohr said that a discussion will be held in October on the Strategic Plan.

A few agenda items that were voted on correspond with the strategic plan. The board approved the purchase of cabinets for the Special Education classrooms for $18,000 and a three year Master Library facilities management software contract for $5,625. They also gave approval to go out to bid on the door sensor and the window film projects. The board approved a five year Genetec security software license agreement with PDS, A Converge Company for $16,731. 45.

The Board of Education approved posting the Administrator and Teacher Salary and Benefits Report to the school's website. The Renaissance Learning contract renewal was approved at a cost not to exceed $5,950.00. A right of way easement to the Rock Energy Cooperative was approved.

A budget hearing was held with no comments made by the public. Approval was given by the board to approve the budget for 2022-2023.

The board welcomed new member Gayle Haab who filled a vacancy left by the resignation of Katie Littlefield. After being officially sworn in, Haas said, “I am pleased to be serving on this board and I have deep roots in this community, I am a 1974 graduate of HCHS.”

The next HCHS Board of Education meeting is on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the school's library.

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