ALTAMONT — Former Altamont Unit 10 Superintendent Jim Littleford has returned to helm the district in the interim with the departure of Steven Mayerhofer.

“The Board of Education of Altamont Community Unit School District No. 10 and Dr. Steve Mayerhofer have agreed to part ways effective at the end of the day on Jan. 11, 2021,” said a joint statement from the board and Mayerhofer. “The board of education would like to thank Dr. Mayerhofer for his service to the community and wished him well.”

Littleford will take over the job while board members seek a permanent replacement.

He served as superintendent of Unit 10 from 2002 to 2008, then served as superintendent in the Charleston school system until his retirement at the end of June 2017. He is a Vandalia native, graduating from Vandalia Community High School in 1972. He received an associate degree from Olney Central College, a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Mathematics from Greenville College, and a Master’s degree and Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

“I am looking forward to assisting the school district with a smooth transition as we move from spring semester of 2021 to ‘21-22,” Littleford said.

In another matter, two members of the board’s finance committee, Dale Laue and Kerry Wolff, presented a final plan to refinance $7.2 million in bonds. The bonds had a variable interest payment of between 3.9 to 5.6 percent. The 2021 bond issue has a fixed interest rate of 2.25 percent.

“By doing this, we are saving the taxpayers $923,391.75,” Laue said.

“I just want to express my deep gratitude to both of you gentleman, especially Mr. Laue, for going out and doing all of the homework for making this happen,” Board President Shelly Kuhns said. “That was a lot of work and I can’t thank you enough.”

The board unanimously agreed to refinance the bonds and set up associated accounts for the new issue.

Board members after closed session agreed to expel a student for the remainder of the school year beginning immediately. The student will be prohibited from being present on school grounds and attending all school functions. A report will be provided at the July board of education meeting to decide if the student is eligible to return to school under a principal’s probation at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

In other action, the board:

• Renewed a contract with Kris Biggs as Altamont Grade School assistant principal and athletic director for the 2021-22 school year.

• Renewed a contract with Doug Hill as Altamont Grade School principal for the 2021-22 school year.

• Approved a contract extension for Jerry Tkachuk as principal of Altamont Community High School from July 1 to Dec. 31. Tkachuk plans to retire Dec. 31.

• Approved a contract for Peggy Bueker as assistant principal and athletic director of Altamont Community High School from July 1 to Dec. 31 and ACHS principal from Jan. 1, 2022, through June 30, 2022.

• Approved an Intergovernmental agreement with the Effingham Regional Career Academy.

• Approved a district policy change allowing remote learning to only students who have an identified medical need that is certified by their provider if the Illinois Governor transitions from Tier 3 to Tier 2 mitigation guidelines.

• Approved the addition of a one semester high school Social Studies course to be paired with Speech as a requirement for sophomores. The two courses would be a graduation requirement for all incoming students starting with the Class of 2025.

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

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Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.

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