Repking couldn't, however, convince the board that the fourth section was a good idea. Only he and Dan Burke voted for the full-time position.
However, the board did vote 6-1 to hire a half-time teacher for the upcoming school year, with Jim Buhnerkempe — husband of the aforementioned Karen — voting against funding even a part-time position.
"I think from a cost-benefit analysis, it's not a good idea," Buhnerkempe said. "The three teachers we have now do a great job. To introduce a less-experienced teacher into the mix is, to me, a big problem."
Current first-grade teachers Karen Buhnerkempe, Julie Probst and Laurie Drees have more than 70 years combined teaching experience.
Board President Marty Siemer said the part-time hire was a good way to go.
"It strikes the right balance between education and finance," Siemer said.
In other action Thursday, the board agreed to accept a bid from Swingler Construction for security work at the high school at a cost of $72,446. The board tabled a bid to refurbish the school district's track, however, because of a question about how the project would be funded.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or firstname.lastname@example.org.