EFFINGHAM — Unit 40 school board filled two vacant assistant principal positions and handled a multitude of other personnel matters during its meeting this week.

McLain Schaefer comes to Effingham High School to fill the assistant principal position vacated by Cody Lewis, who was recently named the new Effingham Junior High Principal. Schaefer had previously worked at the Mattoon school district.

Named at an earlier board meeting to be the new assistant superintendent was Jason Fox, the former EHS principal. Rem Woodruff, current assistant superintendent, will be retiring at the end of this school year and will return to coaching as the head coach of the EHS boys basketball team.

Charlie Schwerman, a teacher at EHS, will be the next Effingham Junior High School assistant principal. This position was vacated by Kurt Roberts who was named EHS principal.

Schaefer has taught the past eight years in the social science department at Mattoon High School. While in Mattoon, he has been active in other leadership positions in the district, including the discipline committee.

Prior to teaching, he served in the Illinois Army National Guard and worked as a Community Service Officer with the Charleston Police Department. He has also coached at the junior high and high school levels in track and cross country.

Schwerman has plenty of teaching and coaching experience and the ability and knowledge to support the district’s Teacher Leadership Collaboration, said Unit 40 Superintendent Mark Doan in a press release.

Previous to Unit 40, Schwerman taught for two years at St. Anthony High School. He was the JV boys basketball coach for six years and assistant football coach for four years at EHS. At EJHS, he coached the seventh grade girls’ basketball team for five seasons.

Schaefer and Schwerman will begin their new duties on Aug. 1.

In other personnel matters, the board hired or transferred 28 employees, including two kindergarten teachers, Elizabeth Stevenson and Marcy Zerrusen; first grade teacher, Kayla Black; Jennifer Hall, special education teacher at ELC; Christin Hartke, math teacher at EJHS; and Nicole Wear-Maloney, PE teacher at ELC.

The board accepted the resignations of Jackie Haarmann, EHS prom sponsor; Valerie Traub, speech pathologist at Central School; Megan Tylka, junior high softball coach; Dannette Williamson, EHS girls track coach; Ty Totten, EJHS assist softball coach; Stephanie Uebinger, English teacher at EHS; Terry Lewis, English teacher at EJHS and Jill Lobb, cafeteria monitor at Central.

The board also accepted the following leaves of absence: Holly Dust, Talitha Wiedman and Amy Minor. Several appointments were approved, including Troy VanBlaricum, EHS Fresh-Soph Girls basketball coach; Stephanie Mitchell, assistant scholar bowl coach at EJHS; Carol Babbs, assistant scholar bowl coach at EHS; Kelsey Erickson, EJHS Cross Country coach; Rebecca McIntire, EHS football cheer sponsor; and Jeff Staser, volunteer coach for EHS boys’ basketball.

Student teacher assignments were also made to include Weston Peno for a practicum and Rickie Woods as student teacher in guidance for next school year.

In other school district-related business:

• Following a lengthy closed session, the board voted on five student disciplinary matters. All five were suspended through the end of the 2017-18 school year. In one case, board member Todd Schaefer refrained from the closed session discussion and abstained from voting; on another case, two board members, Patty Russell and Jane Willenborg, voted against the suspension. The other three cases were unanimous to suspend.

• It was Mustang Night at the Unit 40 board meeting. The board recognized the EJHS Scholastic Bowl team and sponsor Josh Robison, with a 25-6 overall season and regional championship title. Also, heard from EJHS teacher Stephanie Mitchell about her experience on "Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament," where she came away with $2,500 grant to be used in her classroom; and EJHS teacher Lee Althoff who was recognized by Eastern Illinois University for its “Rising Star” award. He was recognized for “Perfect Pals” program and inclusion in high school sports that he coaches.

• In financial news, Woodruff presented a summary financial report showing fund balances, revenues and expenses. He reported that the district is seeing a 10.42 percent increase over last year, which reflects the revenue from a recent sale of bonds. Revenues reflect $267,444 in local money; $692,563 in state money; and $98,384 in federal. Doan added that the state still owes the district about $972,000.

• Appointed Jane Willenborg to serve as the district's representative on the Eastern Illinois Area Special Education board; and Angie Byers as an alternate to represent Unit 40.

• Learned there will be a Boys Basketball Camp June 26-29 for grades 3-6 and 7-12 in two different sessions at EHS. The camp will include shooting techniques, ball handling and defense lessons. There will be daily “Play with Heart” awards presented. Registration deadline is June 2. Cost will be $40 per camper, adding that a brother can attend for $35.

Contact Dawn Schabbing at dawn.schabbing@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151, ext. 138

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