Started a new page on the board candidates

re: https://thecitizen4blog.wordpress.com/misc/2015-board-candidates/

 

I don’t have much, yet, but I will be adding more content in the near future. Some candidates I have had the opportunity to communicate with a lot, others not so much.

 

I also added this as a “navigation menu” at the top of each page (navbar).

WCIA Channel 3 interviews board candidates, 10:00 pm

I was just informed that WCIA 3 will be running a segment on the 10:00 news focusing on the board candidates. And to air again tomorrow morning. Most likely it will be on the wcia website after 10 tonight.

 

UPDATE: Here is the WCIA online spot:

http://www.illinoishomepage.net/story/d/story/fresh-faces-vying-for-school-board-seats/32651/_5KmvjsOfkuw_HKQLnh2DQ

Posted in Community. Tags: , . 1 Comment »

School Board Candidate filings

Per the News-Gazette and Gordy’s tweet this evening, here are all 10 candidates for the April 7th elections (the number following the name indicates either a 2-year seat or a 4-year seat):

  • Amy Armstrong (4)
  • Jamar Brown (4)
  • Azark David Cobbs (4)
  • Christopher James Kloeppel (4)
  • Kerris Lee (4)
  • Kathy Richards (4)
  • Prudence Runkle (2)
  • Kathy Shannon (4)
  • Jonathan Westfield (2)
  • Alissia Young (4)

 

I will be seeking out more information on each of these individuals; I am told that the media has already started to reach out to them as well, and I know the REWIND citizens group is contacting candidates. From memory, Cobbs, Westfield and Young have all tried for seats in the past. Brown and Lee are currently board members.

 

I am sure there will be candidate questions, forums (the PTA Council already has plans for one in April) and more media spotlights for each of them. Feel free to submit your own questions/thoughts here. I’ll publish what I have gathered soon.

#edcamp and #EdCampCU: Jan 24, maybe 8:00 am to 2:00 pm (@EdCampCU)

edcampcu-1-24-15

What: Built on principles of connected and participatory learning, Edcamp strives to bring teachers together to talk about the things that matter most to them… (watch the video)

Who: anyone. As long as you know the secret knock….

Where: University of Illinois, College of Education
1310 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820

When: Saturday, January 24th, approximately 8am to 2pm

 

Weebly page: http://edcampcu.weebly.com/

 

 

Board Member Kerris Lee @ Cafe Kopi, Wednesday, December 17th, 3:30 pm to ?

Just a heads up that Kerris will be at Cafe Kopi tomorrow (Wednesday, December 17th) from 1:00 to 4:00 pm 3:30 pm to ? Hit him up with school board issues, the high school site, CTRL -Shift, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

 

If you are lucky, you may even run into another board member candidate (hat tip to Kathy Richards) as they hash out ideas.

A few more board member candidates

I found out that this morning three more folks submitted all the necessary paperwork and signatures for the April 2014 BOE positions (I’ll try always listing candidates in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Chris Kloeppel (I pronounce it “Kleppel”)
  • Kathy Richards
  • Kathy Shannon

 

Both Kathy R and Kathy S hang out here from time to time, and I know they would love to answer your questions and/or interact with you. I know Chris personally and would be happy to pass along questions to him if the need arises.

 

There are a couple other folks that I am waiting to hear the final word on. All in all, it looks like April is going to be an interesting month. I encourage you to learn as much as possible about the issues and candidates.

“If this protest isn’t considered a teaching moment, I don’t know what is.”

Just reading through the comments on the various NG articles. The heading of this post comes to you from the handle Soy Guapo (or “I am handsome/good looking”). In a sidebar conversation with Imani about this, she related to me that “back in the day” these types of things would have indeed been a very real teaching moment, enough so that “normal” classes were taken over by the topic of the day.

The comments are an excellent running commentary on what people are thinking, and they vary from the egregious to the obnoxious, from the sane to the those craving more attention. Some say they are students, some say they are parents. The back and forth dialogue is a treasure trove of what our community is thinking no matter how you slice it.

I would highlight those who are asking if this is what we want “school” to look like. This would be a most awesome forum discussion (and in some ways, it is happening, albeit in a less-than-optimal way). What is school?

I wish we had more of these discussions. I want my child to go to a school were this is the norm.

a glimpse at what is going on

No doubt, most of you have read about several things in the News-Gazette recently, or heard things on the radio. I am not going to go into much detail, but do want to mention them because there is a lot happening. And this will just be scratching the surface.


TODAY: Craft Tech Fair Saturday at Kenwood (from Todd Lash)

I wanted to invite you to come play this Saturday from 1-3 at the Kenwood Craft Tech Fair. The event will include:

  • Widgets and tools showcase (Fab Lab-Jeff talking to parents)
  • Electronic cutters (Fab Lab-stickers, paper snowflakes, etc…)
  • Graphic drawing tablets (Fab Lab-Photoshop or PaintTools)
  • Raspberry Pi Mini-Computer Demo (w/ Adriana from Wolfram/ Tech Time)
  • Scavenger Hunt of the Champaign Urbana Wiki  (InfoCity)
  • Photography Station (Erin Knowles, Parent Volunteer)
  • Makey-Makey Music (Mr. Lash)
  • Computer Hardware (Tech Time Volunteers)
  • Scratch/Code.org Demo Station (Student Volunteers and Travis Faust (Tech Time Coordinator)
  • Minecraft Lounge – Creative Mode
  • Adult Computer Station w/ Printing
  • Foam bracelets
  • Holiday bookmarks
  • Kaleidoscopes
  • Scratch board ornaments
  • Holiday photo frames
  • Snowman puppets
  • Bags for decorating to take your items home ??

Equity and Civic Action at the high schools

First, some really good news: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2014-12-04/central-centennial-land-honor-roll-doubling-access-ap-classes.html

I thanked both Nicole Lafond and the school district administration/BOE for all their work towards this goal. This demonstrated an excellent collaboration to address real and perceived issues of access. These are not easy issues to deal with, and I am glad that Unit 4 is not shying away from them.

On that note, you have probably already seen/heard the news about the planned peaceful protest at Centennial, but just in case you have not:

Centennial Principal Greg Johnson sent a note to staff and parents that reflected these thoughts as well. There are obviously two sides to this coin; I am proud that so many students elected to voice their chagrin at the injustice in New York and Ferguson in such a manner as to convey a strong message while not resorting to needless violence and spreading more hate. However, on the other side of the coin there are those that take things too far for one reason or another. It is easy to repay hurt with hurt, but it is both better and significantly more challenging to respond with some form of love and/or forgiveness.

Imani Bazzell has been running a series called “Why Black Folk Tend to Shout” on WBCP 1580 AM. While I have not had the privilege of listening to this fascinating series, I appreciate that folks like Imani are getting these things out in the open and provoking discussion. Our prejudices damn us, and we need to learn how to live with each other.

UPDATE: Several related stories in WILL’s Illinois Public Media page, including a video of the car being driven among protesting students:

Additionally, Imani has responded to the City’s investigation into the student who damaged the vehicle’s window, and has posted this elsewhere (still looking for a link):

https://thecitizen4blog.wordpress.com/misc/imani-bazzells-response-to-the-city-wrt-centennial-protest/


“Other people’s children”

At Thursday’s PTA Council meeting, three groups were featured that are proving assistance and aid to the needy in our school district. It was a heartwarming display of how people have a heart to reach out and provide essentials for those are lacking. The three groups were:

  • Helping Hands
  • Feeding our kids
  • His Kid’s Closet

I strongly encourage you to learn more about these efforts, or any number of similar work going on in our community. For those that are already involved, I sincerely say “thank you” for all your time behind the scenes and doing what you can to improve the lives of the entire community.


April board member elections

As mentioned previously, I was aware of at least two efforts to form a slate of board candidates for the April 2015 elections. I am still seeking permission to post a number of private emails (being sick has dogged my efforts) as there are many fascinating conversations revolving around why individuals wish to run for the board. One citizen has already made a very public announcement via the NG last week. What strikes me the most is that there is a wide array of specific issues that folks are passionate about, it is seems difficult at times to find the common ground we all know is there. Aside from the “unofficial” news, the PTA Council is making plans to host a board candidate forum in April. I hope all the candidates are able to attend.


Hour of Code

The official Hour of Code begins next week, even though technically speaking, anyone with a web browser can start coding right now, either as a guest or after logging in to track your progress:

http://code.org/

Kenwood has embraced Hour of Code as an entire school, and Mrs. Slifer’s 4th grade class at Carrie Busey will be participating as well. I am sure there are many other teachers/classes getting involved. The last time I visited Mrs. Slifer’s class (this past Thursday), we observed that the students are doing a great job of collaborating without even realizing it. For instance, a student will get an idea that will quickly spread like wildfire throughout the class, and pretty soon variations start popping up. It is really cool to witness. I must emphasize, the focus is not merely about using computers or “coding” per se, but exercising critical thinking and problem solving skills. The computers and the technology is merely a tool to help achieve this goal.

There is a lot more here, but I’ll have to save it for a dedicated post.