Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 26, 2013

Teutopolis Board votes to add part-time teacher

TEUTOPOLIS — Unit 50 school district officials spurned Thursday a proposal to add a fourth first grade teacher at Teutopolis Grade School, but agreed instead to split the difference and create a part-time teaching position.

Board of Education members had been debating whether class sizes for the incoming first-graders were going to be too large to provide effective instruction, especially for slower learners. Superintendent Bill Fritcher said at Thursday's special meeting that the three first grade sections will contain 25 students each. A fourth full-time teacher would have enabled class sizes to drop below 20, a number many parents feel is more optimal for that age group.

Parents and some teachers have been urging the board for months to consider adding a fourth first grade section. Teacher Karen Buhnerkempe cited a University of Tennessee study that showed a correlation between class size and effective learning.

"As a teacher, I am concerned about the long-term impact of large class sizes," Buhnerkempe said. But the veteran teacher added that a part-time teacher could enable struggling students to receive more individualized instruction, especially in the core subjects of reading and math.

Fritcher said the new position would create more scheduling headaches for grade school Principal Angie Sheehan. But the superintendent said he was confident Sheehan could revamp the schedule to accommodate the part-time position.

"I think Mrs. Sheehan can make the half-time position work," he said.

Board member Carl Repking urged his colleagues to fund a full-time position, despite an education fund deficit of more than $100,000 for the upcoming school year.

"I think our first-graders need it," Repking said. "We need to bite the bullet and add a section."

Fritcher said a beginning teacher would earn about $40,000 a year with benefits, though he noted that Teutopolis typically sought the best teachers available no matter how much experience they had.

Text Only
Local News
  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ron W.jpg Opinion: Column break just that -- a break

    ‘Hey, Ron. You didn’t have a column this week. What’s the deal? It’s the reason I buy a paper on Thursdays.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Isom.jpg Opinion: It's about time

    Finally, someone else speaks up and it’s about time.
    I applaud Ron Worman and welcome him to take a seat on my bandwagon. His addressing the proliferation of signs of every description, virtually everywhere one looks, is a welcome additional voice — even though rare.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Feds: Effingham County was meeting place for underage sex tryst

    An Ohio man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he traveled out of state to meet an underage person in Effingham County for sexual activity.

    July 25, 2014

  • Jail inmate attempts suicide

    An unscheduled cell check is credited for saving the life of an Effingham County Jail inmate who tried to hang himself early Thursday morning.

    July 25, 2014

  • Woman injured in Farina collision

    An accident on Washington Street sent one driver to the hospital Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Driver crashes after being forced off road

    A driver crashed after being run off the road by a semi on Interstate 70.

    July 25, 2014

  • Rollover on I-70 sends one to hospital

    An accident on Interstate-70 sent one traveler to the hospital.

    July 25, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.