Hononegah Board of Education recognizes All-State musicians, student achievements


The All-State musicians appeared on Zoom at the Board of Education meeting.

Students from various sections of Hononegah were recognized at the February Board of Education meeting.

Board President, Dave Kurlinkus recognized correspondence from various parents. Each parent who wrote a letter expressed thanks for communications; several felt that Hononegah is doing a great job. Sherrie Barch donated copies of her book, Heavens Bell, to the district for students and adults who are experiencing grief. One copy is is the library, and another is in the Student Support Services office.

All-State Band and Choir

One of the main highlights of the meeting was recognition of students who participated in the All-State Band and Choir. Associate Principal Kathy Eckmann introduced six talented musicians who performed in Peoria; two in the choir and four in the band. From Jan. 26-29 they spent two full days practicing and attending clinics and performances.

Noah Brockway played the trumpet and Allison Laumer played the clarinet in the All-State Honors Band. Representing the All- Honors Jazz Band was Wolfgang Vergara on piano. Showing talents on the trombone was Nikolai Yun.

Olivia Coleman was part of the All State Honors Chorus. Audrey Piggot showed her singing skills in the All-State Chorus.

Eckmann, said, “We will have a certificate to present to each one and congratulations to each for doing an outstanding job.”

Mr. Jeremiah Kramper was honored with staff recognition for his many years of service representing Hononegah acting as the District 8 President for ILMEA (Illinois Music Education Association). He earned the honor of conducting the State Band during a performance of America The Beautiful at the ILMEA final session.

Someone suggested that at a future meeting the students return, so the board could give them a more proper credit. Board of Education member Bob Geddeis added, "Perhaps they could give a live performance."

Construction and cabinetry education

Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher Denise Werner gave a special presentation on construction work projects and cabinetry. “Students are learning in an internal manufacturing course how to read blueprints on how walls are constructed; and doing projects to scale,” Werner said. They also focused on safety testing, layout, plumbing, siding, drywall, and how to build to code a 500 sq. foot home in the classroom. Students had the opportunity to earn OSHA-10 certification and to pass other national construction exams. The program has also formed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Werner showed photos of students making checkerboards and designing end tables and other stunning pieces.

Werner said cabinetry and millwork studies can lead to woodworking careers. Student developed team skills as they created keepsake boxes and upper and lower cabinets. “It is phenomenal to see what the students are producing, “Werner said.

Werner touched on being involved with other career pathways. A video showcase created by students in a video and web design class features the culinary room and the nice environment that students work in. At the conclusion of the video, board member Eric Flohr said, “This is a great commercial for the students who are interested in any of these courses." Board member Katie Littlefield asked how many students are in the CTE classes.

“We have 16 classes with 24 students in each,” Werner said. Classes include graphics, accounting, and career resource management.

“Our course offerings help to prepare students to do resumes, jobs or careers,” Eckmann said.

Mary Lewis, Vice President of the Board of Education asked if any of the furniture can be purchased. Werner replied, “The students each pay for their materials and are then allowed to take their pieces home with them.”

Public comment and club reports

One letter read into public comment was sent via an email from Tara Meiborg. Meiborg thanked the school for lifting the mask mandates for students and staff. “It shouldn't have cost my husband and I thousands of dollars to sue you," Meiborg said. She asked that a teacher who was let go be reinstated. Meiborg referenced emergency rules, violations and federal authorization codes on buses.

Madison Bunger gave the Student Council report. She spoke of an extravaganza event planned on March 4 and they are taking part in State Convention. The 2022 prom is going to be held at Tebala on April 23.

“Key Club raised $484 for Pampered Pets in a coin blitz. National Honor Society hosted a “Feel the Love” food drive. The challenge is to stuff the bus," Bunger said.

Grace on Campus had a warm winter drive where they collected winter coats and accessories. These were donated to the Rockford Rescue Mission. A four speaker event during a meeting is in the works for the club.

Athletes, mathletes, and snow sculptors

The athletic director's report highlighted Academic All-State nominations of Amanda Lawrence (cross country and track) and Arun Kumar (tennis and bowling). Both have earned a GPA of 3.5, have participated in two IHSA sponsored activities in last two years, and have demonstrated outstanding citizenship during their school career.

The athletic director shared girls and boys basketball stats and recognized Carly LaMay's winning half court shot which was featured on ESPN. Boys bowling finished second in a tough NIC-10 conference and placed overall 12th place in state. Girls bowling went to state. In the IHSA State Tournament the JV cheerleading team earned 2nd place honors. The HCHS dance team finished fifth in state for outstanding jazz and soloist routines.

Colton Heinrich is being signed to play football at a Wisconsin Lutheran College.

The intramural program has kicked off their series of kickball tournaments. HCHS's snow sculpting team created “A Lot of Axolotl” (an amphibian related to the salamander). The Environmental Club - GIA partnered with “Tree Plenish” to offset paper usage by selling saplings. HCHS's math team took first place in the eight school Hononegah Math Invitational, and later, first place at the regional math competition.

The school board meeting was conducted via Zoom and available on YouTube.

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View images below from presentations made to the school board.

Mr. Kramper conducting the State Band during a performance of America The Beautiful at the ILMEA final session.
Students built a small working house in class.
Students made checkerboards to improve their woodworking skills.
Making fine boxes in Career and Technical Education
Cabinetry and Millwork training included making elegant tables.
Students can take classes in a commercial culinary lab at Hononegah.
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