Hononegah Board of Education recognizes Golden Apple nominees, other achievements

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HCHS principal Chad Dougherty credited three teachers who are 2022 Golden Apple Award nominees- Jean Chambers, Anita Bond and Heather Plourde - at Hononegah Community High School's Board of Education meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Two groups of students who made it all the way to state and the Scholastic Bowl team will be recognized at a future meeting.

"The Golden Apple Foundation honors and supports great teachers," HCHS Principal Chad Doughterty said.

Dougherty outlined reasons why each was chosen. “Anita shared with others on TikTok and she had tens of thousands of views. She engages through creative lessons that she designs. She leaves everyone knowing that students can go to a trusted adult. Bond's projects have reached into other states."

Chambers serves as a class sponsor in addition to promoting strong writing skills. “She is known to provide critical feedback in a kind way."

Plourde teaches an Advanced Health class and is a physical education teacher. “She creates meaningful experiences for her students while building a public repertoire. Plourde stresses the importance of movement in instruction.”

“All three are caring and have developed amazing relationships with students and staff," Dougherty said.


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Mr. Broderick of the Physical Education department spoke about wellbeing and mental health and wellness. He expressed congratulations to his colleagues who are Golden Apple nominees. Broderick gave a presentation on the PLT4M fitness tracking platform. He showed how the platform works from a student's perspective. This included a record of how much they lifted and tracked the dates of when lifting took place. Students can track their progress throughout each semester. With a more advanced software license, the school could track progress over four years, and more students could sign up.

“There are 158 students who have signed up to date but we could have up to an estimated 500 students [on the current license]. These programs can be used to pass on to various coaches."

BOE member Jim Minard asked, “How do you communicate with coaches and outside teachers?" Broderick answered, “I wrote a grant to through the HOPE Foundation. I try to eliminate use of cell phones. A mobile app and email methods are used. One iPad supports four users; multiple users on the same rack. Levels or styles only allow certain participants. “

BOE member Bob Geddeis inquired, “Is this a tool widely used in other high schools?" Broderick said that other schools use similar software. He referred to a former HCHS teacher who now teaches at Auburn High School. “He uses a different version as most owners, creators and teachers and coaches do.”

Student Council representative Madison Bunger reported on group and club activities. “National Honor Society had to cancel the faculty friendly fun night due to COVID," Bunger said. Student Council held a feminine hygiene drive, with items being donated to Miss Carly's.

Elections and a spring district event are in the works. Key Club has donated more blankets to local hospitals; and is also working on coin blitz to help Pampered Pets.

Athletic Director Steve Cofoid shared statistics, ranks and standings of various sports.

  • Basketball player Owen Hart broke a school record with nine shots in one game.
  • Girls basketball is 8-3 and ranks number 8 in conference. The JV team was at the Sterling Invite.
  • Boys swimming had a best finish in second place with more meets to come.
  • Girls dance came in sixth in the IDTA State competition.

Cofoid named students who recently had signings to college teams. They have included Carly LaMay, Cade Bastian, and Haley Warren.

He also gave an overview of clubs and activities, including an event revolving around Special Olympics. Auditions are being held for the spring musical, Beauty and the Beast.

NHS rang bells during the Christmas season to raise money for the Salvation Army. During finals week, therapy dogs were brought in. The Renaissance Club raised over $200 for Wimpy's Fund.

Dougherty and associate principal Kathy Eckmann talked about the Workplace Readiness program. Eckmann said career pathways are now in the HCHS handbook. They reflected on lunch-and-learn events featuring manufacturing, education and finance, “Students can attend lunch-and-learns. Students can start in their sophomore year with pathways,” Eckmann said.

Dougherty alerted everyone to an upcoming job fair.

A past event, which focused on healthcare careers, included an emergency response ambulance.

Network sharing and ways to develop connections were tapped into. Dougherty spoke of working with “Grant Management Corporation.”

“We have had huge challenges this year,” Eckmann said. We're getting ready for the eighth grade students to come to HCHS next month. This will be the Class of 2026.”

Justin Kruger was given kudos for his work on the Skyward school administration software.

Administrators are looking into details related to retirees.

The school's partnership with Rockford University Collaborative allows the teaching staff to advance in future degrees.

Director of Human Resources Kendra Asbury reflected on a school improvement day where author Dr. Luis Cruz was the keynote speaker. She said, “Another part of the program addressed responsible teachers. Group breakout sessions opened room to hold a discussion. Restorative yoga hit on a different part of the day directing toward wellness and mindfulness.”

Asbury noted that this year is the second where the brand new staff has not seen anybody's face.

Dugan said, “I am very happy that we had 40 participants at the last strategic planning meeting.” An upcoming strategic plan meeting will be done virtually.

Working and action teams will be leading on plans. A community survey will be used to determine needs going forward.

A new scoreboard is now up on the football field though it hasn't been lit up yet. The scoreboard lists the schools in the four feeder districts. The board has been gifted by the Class of 2020.

As we reported, two new boilers went down at the school on Jan. 10. Dugan said action was taken to identify and address the issues.

Dugan shared details on the Hononegah statue project and threw support behind the project.

Michael McGinnis contributed to the reporting of this story.

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