Blake Lipe Hired As New HJHS Assistant Principal

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Members of the Hillsboro School Board continued to fill vacancies during their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 9, at the unit office, including hiring a new assistant principal at Hillsboro Junior High School.

After a closed session, board members named Beckemeyer teacher Blake Lipe as the new junior high administrator.  The new assistant principal has worked in the school district as a fourth grade teacher at Beckemeyer since August 2011.  He earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston in 2011, and his master's in educational administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville this spring. The promotion creates a fourth grade vacancy at Beckemeyer.  The board may call a special meeting later this month.

After the closed session on Tuesday, the board also accepted the resignation of Stephanie Putnam as Beckemeyer aide and hired her as birth-to-three parent educator, hired Jamie Trader as fifth grade teacher at Coffeen, Aaron Duff as high school athletic director, Coral Christian as pre-K teacher's aide, and Karen Melton as special ed aide at Coffeen.

A positive project in Hillsboro may produce some wrinkles for the Hillsboro School District.  As the Montgomery County Housing Authority begins to relocate the families of 10-12 students currently living in the 50 Long Avenue housing units that will be demolished later this summer, some may temporarily wind up outside of the school district.

Instead of the students spending a few months in another school district, board members agreed with administration that the best option would be to send buses to neighboring districts while those students are relocated–provided the school code allows for that.  Superintendent David Powell said he will continue to investigate.

The board gave approval for new transportation director Adam Gregg to search out and buy a used "multifunction school activity bus" at a price not to exceed $30,000.  The price for a new one is around $55,000. 

The new vehicle will be a 14-passenger unit and will fill a need for school trips requiring more passengers than will fit in a van, but fewer than will fill up a full-size school bus.

"This is something we've been considering and tossing around for a couple of years," Superintendent Powell said, adding that the multifunction activity bus can also be driven by sponsors and coaches.

"I think it makes our fleet more flexible," board President Greg Bellaver said.  Board members discussed new versus used and the potential use of the new vehicle.

The board accepted the firm bid from Stark Distributing–the lone bidder–for dairy products, and accepted the fluctuating bid from M&M Service, the lowest of three bidders for fuel.

"Disneyland is complete," Coffeen Principal Marci Gutierrez said before showing photos of the new grant-funded playground equipment at her school to board members.  It has yet to be fenced in before the project is complete.  "We're super excited," the principal summed.

High school principal Patti Heyen told board members three students got high scores on advanced placement art tests–high enough that their high school work will earn them a college credit.

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