Supt Journal

  • Light at the end of the tunnel

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 3/30/2021

    I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and I am confident it isn’t the headlight of an oncoming train.  Hopefully, it is an indication of a healthful future that is free from the coronavirus.  Our nation has experienced three surges of the virus in the past twelve months.  If we keep our guard up, we can avoid a fourth one. 

    I recently saw a video montage of first-place athletes racing to victory only to be passed at the last second by a competitor.  The stunned athletes realized they started to celebrate too soon.  They didn’t know that defeat was bearing down on them.

    I am optimistic that we will be able to return to most if not all of the things we enjoyed before the pandemic.  Until then, we need to continue social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands, and cleaning frequently-touched surfaces.  A fourth surge is avoidable.  It has been a long year and we are tired, but we have hope.  Let’s not claim the victory yet.  Baseball legend Yogi Berra aptly said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”


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  • State of the District

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 2/28/2021

    I presented my annual State of the District Report to the Board of Education in February. A copy can be found in the superintendent section of the district website. As I begin creating the report each year, I am filled with trepidation about not having enough information to present. As I gather information, however, my fears are always put to rest. By the time I am done with the report, I am overwhelmed with the amount of work the staff and students have accomplished. The number of awards and accomplishments the students have earned is always astounding. I am also heartened by the data that clearly shows our district is on solid ground. The Illinois State Board of Education has given us a perfect score for our finances and they have rated four of our five schools as exemplary. The fifth school is rated as commendable. The Regional Office of Education has stated that our facilities are clean and in great condition. Don’t get me wrong – we have problems that need to be addressed.  I am reminded by them every day. Our staff is committed to fixing the problems and reaching an even higher level of success. One-hundred percent of our students depend on a high-quality education. We are committed to providing it by doing the best we can where we are with what we have.


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  • Good News

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 1/13/2021

    One of the ways we can stay encouraged during the pandemic is to feast on good news.  Here are some positive points that should raise our spirits.

    Good News! The Governor announced on Monday that Region 2 (our region) will be moving back down from Tier 3 to Tier 2 on Friday, January 15.  To qualify for the move, the region must experience a lower positivity rate, have an adequate number of hospital beds available and have a declining number of hospitalizations.  Some of the restrictions for businesses and group gatherings will be loosened for our region.

    Good News!  The Governor has announced that the next phase of vaccinations can begin.  That means that front line essential workers (includes school employees), those who live in congregate settings and those over 75 years old will now be able to get the vaccine.

    Good News!  Matherville Intermediate School principal Jeff Shillinger has been selected to be the Black Hawk Region Middle School Principal of the Year.  We are proud of Mr. Shillinger and appreciate all he does to make our district the best it can be.

    Good News!  In time for the holidays, more than $9,000 of Operation Santa money was distributed to our school district’s families.  Operation Santa has been helping our families for more than two decades.

    Good News!  Our district is able to continue offering both in-person and remote learning opportunities for the students during the second semester.  Currently, 86% of the students are choosing the in-person option for their schooling.  We hope the COVID numbers will continue to go down during the spring months so that we can start offering more opportunities to the students.

    Good News!  In the fall, our boys golf team won the team sectional championship. Our boys cross country team won the regional championship and placed second at sectionals.  Senior Jacob Belha captured the regional and sectional titles as an individual.

    We have completed the first half of the school year and have every reason to believe we will finish well.  To quote A.A. Milne, “You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.”

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