Teacher to be honored

Ty Totten was recognized during the September Unit 40 School Board meeting as “Those Who Excel in Education.”

EFFINGHAM — Manufacturing Skills Teacher Ty Totten at Effingham High School was recognized Monday at the Unit 40 Board of Education meeting as an educator in the “Those Who Excel in Education.”

EHS Principal Kurt Roberts told the board that Totten, who has taught for seven years in Effingham school district, was named for the award for the 2019-2020 school year. To be considered for the recognition, he was nominated and then he applied through a series of recommendations from educators and community members.

He teaches trades such as welding, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD); Computer Numerical Control (CNC); and 3D printing, in his manufacturing skills classes. He also teaches adult welding classes with Lake Land College. Totten said his students will also assist the Lake Land College students classes and do so on a volunteer basis.

Totten had previously taught at Altamont, Clay City and Monticello. His students gain hands-on learning and also get a leg up on running a business with its projects made for customers in the area that are crafted in the manufacturing class.

His referrals were noted with his ability to advance the field of Career and Technical Education, his connection with the community and his talent to be an ambassador for education. He will be honored at a banquet held in Bloomington on Oct. 19.

Totten said his students come up with new ideas everyday. And he said the equipment available in today’s shop has grown from where it was seven years ago. It gives students more opportunities to learn more equipment.

In other matters, the board:

  • Hired Ruby Shupe and Dianne Donaldson as cafeteria monitors at Early Learning Center; Lisa Campton as a bus aide; and Barbara Jamison, as a paraprofessional. It transferred Sue Ahten as a 6.5 hour cook and Paula Bullard as a 6 hour cook, both at EHS; appointed Jeff Tonn as the EHS varsity assistant softball coach; accepted the resignation of Rhonda Haythorne, a paraprofessional and approved leaves of absence for Kelsey Hutmacher and Dorothy Depoister.
  • Approved three college students to have their field experience with teachers in Unit 40. Jay Blunt will work with Kathryn Roepke; Claire Batement will work with Lize Stevenson and Jackie Haarmann; and Jessica Roedl will work with Kristen Runde.
  • Approved the purchase of two Hillyard Trident ride-on scrubbers for the junior high building at the cost of $15,000.
  • Approved several fundraisers for the EHS Basketball Cheer group, who will be having a dress sale on Feb. 15, 2020; Central School Library will hold a used book sale, Oct. 23-25; EJHS Cheerleading will earn 10 percent of sales at Culvers by helping out there, Oct. 9; EHS Cross Country will sell 50/50 tickets at home football games; EHS Student Council will collect donations during the Powder Puff Game on Oct. 2; Central School PTO will sell tumblers, calendars, misc, Sept. 26-Oct.10; EHS Choir will sell choir sponsor subscriptions during two telethons, Oct. 15-29.
  • Approved a field trip for seventh graders to visit Indiana State University, Oct. 29.
  • Approved Mary Bushue and Angela Koester to serve as new Unit 40 Education Foundation directors.
  • Heard Breakfast with Santa will be held Dec. 7, Homecoming Parade will be Oct. 2; and the Foundation will issue teacher grants at its meeting on Oct. 15.
  • Heard the Unit 40 enrollment is down by 43 students on this 10 Day Enrollment benchmark compared to the same time last year. The district has 2,454 students enrollment as of Sept. 10. The biggest decline was at Central School with 43 students less; and at EJHS with 36 students less compared to last year. But, there was an increase at TLC with 24 more students compared to last year.
  • Discussed the idea of making school uniforms part of the dress code for Unit 40, but not much interest came from the board after board member Jane Willenborg made the suggestion.
  • Approved work on the fire alarm system at West Side School per requirements made by a fire marshal’s inspection of the Head Start area of the building. Barlow Lock and Security in Effingham will install the new system at the cost of $17,885.
  • Discussed the idea of bringing school board meetings and other events to the public by live or recorded streaming. No action was taken. It was also discussed to hold cabinet meetings of building administrators with the use of video technology, thereby allowing the principals to remain in their own buildings for these meetings.

Dawn Schabbing can be

reached at dawn.schabbing@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151, ext 138.


Dawn Schabbing is a senior reporter at the Effingham Daily News, covering Effingham City Hall, Unit 40, and special projects. A graduate of Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University with degrees in journalism, she lives in Neoga.

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