Unit 4 on the radio

Dr. Wiegand was featured on both WIXY (with Steve Holstein “HoCo”) and WDWS (Jim Turpin “Penny for your thoughts”). Sounds like they had a ton of fun on HoCo, and Steve asked some really good questions – I highly recommend you check it out. Many of the same things are repeated on the Penny show, but Dr. Wiegand had Marc Changnon and Stephanie Stuart with her, to help answer a range of questions/comments from callers (some obviously opposed to the referendum, some clearly in favor).


Along with Jess’s comment last night, I feel these are great conversations to be having, if only a year ago. 🙂 There was a comment on one of the shows about how Dr. Wiegand’s campaign is doing really well. It is not quite her campaign, but I do give big kudos to the “Friends of Champaign Schools” for running such a well-organized and well-done effort.


On the radio show, Dr. Wiegand highlight two of the main priorities they are addressing via the referendum; capacity and programming. When I heard the explanation, I could not help but boil it down purely to capacity issues; it seems to me that the current problems with programming (as mentioned on the show) could be vastly alleviated if capacity were not an issue at all. Marc Changnon also spoke at lenght during the Penny show about the Trades. I found it interesting that one caller submitted that the Agricultural Trades are actually exeperiencing a drastic decline in employment because of the rise of mega- and corporate forms, which comes with large farming vehicles and significant amounts of automation. Another discussion point was that of how much is being spent per square foot and per student. Dr. Wiegand says that we would be right in the middle for schools in the area (Unit 4 has had several slides to this effect). One caller made the comparison to Texas, which (if I recall correctly) ranged from $76 to $180 per student, quite a bit less than what we are planning on.


I encourage you to listen to both as you have time.

Tim Ditman (WDWS) is looking for your thoughts on the Nov referendum

Tim Ditman sent this to me and gave me permission to post it:

I’m putting together a story on the Unit 4 referendum and wanted to see if you knew of anyone credible who’s dead set against it.


If this describes you, his email is:


Wiegand will be on Penny for your thoughts tomorrow

From Stephanie Stuart:

Tune into tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. as Superintendent Wiegand talks w/ Jim Turpin on A Penny For Your Thoughts!


Also, Stephanie was recently on with Brian Moline:


Board President Laurie Bonnett on WDWS Morning Show

Obviously, Dave Gentry and Elizabeth Hess are keeping their eyes on the board meetings. Kudos to them. Elizabeth is a Unit 4 parent and expresses some of her concerns.


They also cover future facilities and mention the possibility of scaling a high school vertically instead of horizontally, and the possibility of using Country Fair as a site. Also talk about balanced calendars, K-8, etc.


Michael Kiser with the News-Gazette picked up on how Bonnett recognizes that middle schools are “important, but not a priority right now”:



For me personally, I am glad that the Board is discussing (and making public) thoughts about Country Fair, alternatives to large lots of land (60-70 acres?!?) and K-8. I am beside myself that we have not had those discussions earlier. And yet, there are still other discussions I would like to see; in particular, I want to see charettes with lots of community involvement. 🙂

May 13th board meeting, taxes

I have uploaded the video of the May 13th board meeting:


And Meg Dickinson has her article from Monday night:


There are several other sources around I have stumbled upon that I cannot link;

  • Saturday NG Meg Dickinson article (print-only) about the taxes from a possible referendum (similar to the Monday night wrap-up but with much more detail)
  • Today’s WDWS talk with Stephanie Stuart (for some reason, I can’t find any recent podcasts between Moline and Stuart, even from last month)
  • Fox News aired a clip about taxes (how does one look for local news on Fox’s website?)

Stephanie Stuart on WDWS yesterday (and every 2nd,4th Tuesday)

Stephanie Stuart, Community Relations Coordinator for Unit 4, was on WDWS with Brian Moline yesterday:




Unfortunately, they started recording after the interview had begun – you can hear Stephanie in midsentence talking about DeJong-Richter. Talking with Stephanie, it sounds like they started the conversation with how well the school year started, then Carrie Busey, increased enrollment which then segued into the PE firm.


According to Brian Moline, WDWS will be hosting Unit 4 segments on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month (4:pm – 5:pm I believe).