Supt Journal

  • Thank A Board Member

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 11/15/2021

    Each year, November 15 marks the official statewide observance of School Board Members Day in Illinois. The day is an opportunity to show support for our board of education and the individual school board members who are committed to providing a local voice for educational decisions.

    School Board Members serve as unpaid volunteers for the benefit of the students and community residents, while also acting as education advocates providing a local voice and vision for the district.

    Never has school board leadership been more important than the past two years. For boards of education, the recent challenges and difficult choices go beyond the routine educational decisions. While continuing to ensure students have quality learning opportunities, board members must also consider their decisions in terms of the health and safety of students, teachers, and community members.

    As a community, we meet challenges head-on and rise in the face of adversity. We come together when faced with difficulties, and we succeed by working together with a focus on our primary goal: providing a quality education to each and every student of the district.

    In addition to all of the decisions related to the pandemic this year and its regular school board meetings, our board negotiated a 3-year labor agreement with the Sherrard Education Association and has worked through the process of finding a new superintendent.  These commitments take a huge investment of time.  In the past two weeks alone, the board has had five meetings.

    A great school system is a source of local pride among residents.  Our school board has worked very hard to maintain our district’s excellence and to strengthen it in many ways.  Let’s honor and recognize our school board members!  As the superintendent, I am very grateful for each member. 

    #ThankABoardMember

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  • Gusto

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 10/29/2021

    Earlier this week, our girls’ varsity volleyball team participated in the annual IHSA state series tournament.  This has been a special year because our team tied the school record for the most wins in a season (32).  After a first-round bye, the Tigers played the Rockridge Rockets in the semi-finals.  The match was one of the most enjoyable high school athletic contests I have seen.  I loved watching the skill of the players on both sides of the court, but I particularly enjoyed the way our Tigers played.  They were on a mission.  Everyone was focused, alert, and in tune with her teammates.  They were confident and on a mission.  There was no evidence of hesitancy, fear, or intimidation.  It was quite a show.  Sometimes, a team will let the momentum slip away for a bit, but not the tigers.  They kept their foot on the gas pedal and won the match in two sets.

    Winning is great, but the lessons the athletes learn about life is more important.  Participation in athletics can teach them about hard work, delayed gratification, teamwork, achieving goals, tenacity, and coping with disappointment.  I was encouraged by what I saw on the court Tuesday night and I believe those young ladies will approach their adult lives with the same gusto.  

    #GoTigers #SherrardRoars 

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  • Construction Update

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 9/30/2021

    Sherrard School District has a long tradition of having great facilities.  A regular routine of renovations, repairs and upgrades is needed to maintain excellence.  Recently, the Board of Education voted to embark on a 14 million-dollar construction plan.  The projects include the following:

    • Addition on the north side of Sherrard Elementary (includes gym, 2 classrooms, bathrooms and office space)
    • New roof over the library section of Sherrard Elementary
    • New windows in the original portion of Sherrard Elementary
    • New windows in the original portion of Matherville
    • New HVAC systems in the classroom portion of Matherville
    • Replace the roof over the Matherville gym
    • New HVAC systems at Winola Elementary
    • New greenhouse at the high school
    • New south roof at the high school
    • New east roof at the junior high
    • New roof on gym 1
    • Restructure the boys and girls restrooms near gym 2 into four single-use restrooms
    • Renovating the high school science rooms
    • Replacing the hallway carpet at the junior/senior high schools
    • Replacing the narrow lockers at the junior/senior high school with traditional-width (wider) lockers
    • Renovate the junior/senior high school locker rooms to allow for more privacy
    • Renovate gym 2 at the high school
    • Repair exhaust fans for all restrooms
    • Pave a portion of the bus barn parking area

    There will be numerous funding sources for these projects.  The 2014 bond is being restructured to generate 11 million dollars for the projects.  The current bond rate will be maintained to avoid a tax increase.  Other revenue sources include sales tax money, federal ESSER 3 money, the state’s School Maintenance Grant, Health-Life-Safety revenue, and the transportation cash reserve.  Construction on the high school restrooms will begin at Christmas.  All the other projects will be started in May.  Preparing our community’s children for the adult world is the most important thing we do.  It is a whole lot easier to do in safe, clean, and up-to-date facilities.

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  • If You Were a Weekend

    Posted by Alan Boucher on 8/31/2021

    A few months ago, I was watching an old movie from the early part of the 20th century and heard one of the characters deride another character by saying, “If you were a weekend, there would be no parties.”  Evidently, the person she was talking to was boring and dull.  I chuckled when I heard it and it has stuck with me.  The challenges of the past couple years tend to make me boring and dull too.

    Several years ago, our maintenance guys planted some rose bushes in front of the unit office.  For the first time last week, I plucked one of the roses from a vine and smelled its divine fragrance.  It was a simple act, but amazingly satisfying.   The fragrance has been available to me for several years, but I never took advantage of the opportunity. It is that way with all of life.  There are plenty of beautiful experiences to enjoy, plenty of impressive accomplishments to celebrate, and plenty of wonderful things to appreciate.  All we have to do is slow down and take the time to, well, smell the roses! 

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