Altamont H.S. recognized by national magazine

Altamont Unit 10 School District Board President Shelly Kuhns and Superintendent Steven Mayerhofer hold a recognition the high school received from U.S. News and World Report for being one the best high schools in America for 2019. Altamont High School also received a NICHE recognition for being ranked 163 out of 684 high schools in Illinois. Charles Mills photo

ALTAMONT — Altamont Community High School has gained national recognition, Unit 10 officials heard during a meeting this week.

Monday's school board meeting led off with a pause for applause recognizing Principal Jerome Tkachuk for the school being named one of “America's Best High Schools” by U.S. News and World Report for 2019. Also it was noted, NICHE ranked Altamont High School 163 out of a total of 684 high schools in the state of Illinois. The NICHE ranking placed Altamont High School in the top 24 percent of high schools in Illinois.

A second pause for applause went to the members of the Altamont Community High School trap shooting team competing in the national trap shoot in Michigan July 11-13. Members competing in Michigan are Dalton Stein, Paula Holland, Adrianna Harris, Grant Schmidt, Devon Sloan, Connor Thompson, Chris Holland and Kaiden Kohnert of Effingham.

The board continued discussion about whether or not the Altamont Grade School should change its colors to orange and black like the high school. Currently, the grade school colors are red and white. Board President Shelly Kuhns asked for a report of a survey initiated by Peggy Bueker.

The report stated 182 responded to the survey, 72 percent support the color change, 5.5 percent thought maybe it should be changed and 22.5 percent do not support the color change. It was stated Bueker planned to visit schools that had already made the change, including Vandalia and Teutopolis, to evaluate whether or not there were any problems or concerns with school color changes.

In other business, the board:

• Heard registration will be Monday, July 22, and Tuesday, July 23. Early registration for Altamont Community High School is Monday-Wednesday, July 15, 16 and 17 at the ACHS office.

• Approved phase three of a technical plan to hire Quality Network Solutions for a one-year contract for $10,000 that would be up for reevaluation next year, according to Superintendent Steven Mayerhofer.

• Approved a continuation of services with People's Bank. Mayerhofer said a total of three banks bid and only People's Bank came in with a bid completely free of fees.

• Approved the second reading of the student handbook update.

• Authorized the superintendent to prepare a fiscal year budget for 2020 and board members approved an amendment to a list of 2.5 percent salary adjustments made in February to include Kathy Clausis.

• Approved the following personnel moves: Accepted the resignation of seventh grade girls basketball coach Lindsay VanBlaricum and hired Wesley Woodard to replace her; approved Lindsay VanBlaricum as volunteer assistant seventh grade girls basketball coach, Kaylee Tonn as volunteer junior high assistant softball coach, Clint Reardon as volunteer junior high assistant softball coach; accepted the resignation of Rodney Redfern as junior high baseball coach and hired Grant Beals to replace him; approved the resignation of Laith Russell as assistant high school volleyball coach and hired Brittany Hites to replace Russell; hired Trenton Kull as assistant high school soccer coach, Shelby Niehaus as yearbook adviser; and approved Curt Reardon as volunteer junior high assistant baseball coach.