The Neoga School District has several changes going into this school year. Some of the changes are cosmetic, while others have to do with programming.

In terms of programming, the Neoga district and Cumberland High School will be teaming up to start a CEO class. According to Neoga Junior High-Senior High School Principal Kevin Haarman, they are creating a hands-on entrepreneurial program that will benefit students.

The district hired Julie Williamson this past spring to be the facilitator for the program. Instead of meeting in a school classroom, the class meets at local businesses. Local businesses and business leaders are funding the program.

For the upcoming school year there are close to 20 kids enrolled in the program. The class meets for two hours each day and students receive high school credit for participating in the program.

Another programming change is the district is adding art back into the curriculum for all grades. According to Haarman, it has been a handful of years since the district offered art to students and it was cut originally due to budgetary issues.

The district intends to offer a wide variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture and clay.

"We felt like adding it back was a no-brainer because it serves a lot of kids," he said.

The high school has also undergone some cosmetic changesl. According to Haarman, they have remodeled the ag shops both metal and woodworking using grant money, district funds and account funds. The district purchased a CNC machine in October 2018 and used grant money for welding equipment.

The south gym at the high school has seen changes as the floor was stripped and resurfaced and they are in the process of putting in new bleachers. The north gym at the high school has been repainted and a new scoreboard was put in.

The Booster Club kicked in funds to help purchase new equipment for the school's weight room including new paint, mirrors and flooring. This should be completed by the time school starts.

Crystal Reed can be reached at or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 131

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