Superintendent’s Blog: Report to the USD #116 Board of Education

Superintendent’s Report to Urbana School District #116 Board of Education

January 10, 2017

January is Mentoring Month in Urbana-Champaign

The CU One to One Mentoring Program is spending time this month thanking mentors for the time they spend with our students.  The CU One to One Mentoring Program pairs adults with students who spend an hour a week during school hours with a student.  Thursday is “I am a Mentor” day on social media, and mentors are encouraged to use the #IAmAMentor to help tell the story of why mentoring is important to them.  

If you would like more information about being a mentor in Urbana School District #116, you can contact Tom Howley, Director of Mentoring and Community Engagement at or at 217-337-0853.  I have also asked Mr. Howley to give a short report to the Board at the January Business Meeting.  

If you are a CU One to One Mentor, thank you!  If you are not a CU One to One Mentor, please consider becoming one.  

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Countywide Celebration 

Friday, January 13, 2017 at 4PM-6PM at Parkland College – This event kicks off the week-long celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King.  Lucia Maldonado, Latino Family Liaison for USD116 will be receiving the James R. Burgess Jr. – Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award.  This award, “Honors the humanitarian efforts of individuals and organizations improving the human condition by alleviating suffering and contributing to the basic dignity of those in need.

Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 5PM-7PM (music starts at 4:30PM) at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is the 32nd Annual Dr. MLK Jr Service of Celebration – At this event the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Advocacy for Justice Committee will be awarding scholarships to local high school students.  Urbana High School has 5 of the 12 scholarship winners this year:  Yasir Badillo Acosta, Shelbert Nance, Nikita Pack, Kennedy Kindle Reynolds, and Maritza Rodriguez.

Monday, January 16, 2017; 10:30AM-3PM (music starts at 10:15AM) at Urbana High School Commons is the Dr. MLK Jr Youth Commemoration and Afternoon of Service – The UHS Interact students planned a day of learning, celebration and service, sponsored by Urbana Rotary.  The morning will consist of music and speakers (Urbana City Councilperson, Aaron Ammons, and University of Illinois Professor, Dr. Rebecca Ginsburg).  Pizza lunch is provided.  After lunch the Illini Fighting Hunger will lead a rice packaging activity for a local food bank.  


Arlene Anderson, Director of Student Services, Urbana Adult Education, was nominated for the 2016-2017 National LifeChanger of the Year Award.

Ms. Shalonda Carr, 4/5 ESL Teacher, King Elementary School, was selected as one of five Illinois science finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Ms. Lori Johnson, Administrative Assistant and Board Recording Secretary, is being awarded both the “Excellence Award” and the Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award from the United Way of Champaign County for her coordination of the Champaign County Combined Charitable Campaign for USD116.