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Unity Point School District board honored for 'effective governance'

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Unity Point School District No. 140’s board of education is one of just 35 school board statewide being recognized for effective governance by the Illinois Association of School Boards.

The board will be recognized Tuesday evening during the IASB Shawnee Division Fall meeting Tuesday evening.

Unity Point School (copy)

Unity Point School in Carbondale.

The Unity Point School District offers pre-K through eighth grade for the southern part of Carbondale as well as the Boskydell and Makanda areas.

According to the IASB website, the School Board Governance Recognition program is for local school boards that practice “effective governance behaviors…through participation in and support for board development programs and events.”

Additionally, the IASB website indicates that good governance “requires full board commitment to obtaining the knowledge, skills and abilities critical to good governance.”

“It’s not a surprise that the Unity Point board earned this honor,” Unity Point Superintendent Lori James-Gross said. “Our board of education is constantly working to improve the district for our students and for the entire community. The individual board members and the full board are always looking for professional development opportunities to advance their governance knowledge and learn from the successes of their peers in other districts.”

Unity Point School District Board of Education

Members of the Unity Point School Board of Education include (left to right) Craig Davis, D.W. Presley, Sylvia Thoms, Amanda Pangrazio, Robin Warne and John Longueville. Board member Morteza Daneshdoost was not available for the photograph.

In a news release announcing the honor, she said the program aims to showcase how good governance creates a positive impact for students, staff, and the entire district community.

“It provides an opportunity for districts to tell their story about programs and projects that are improving outcomes in their local school districts and offers board members a chance to highlight how continuous learning, both by individual board members and the full board team, results in improved governance for the board of education and positive outcomes for the district,” the release said.

James-Gross said the members of the board deserve credit for the recognition.

“The board engages with the community on issues of importance and they do an outstanding job of monitoring the district’s performance to ensure that we are meeting the goals that align with our mission,” said James-Gross.

Unity Point School Board President D.W. Presley said the seven-member board works to serve the district.

“Our board has shown its commitment to the district, and ultimately the students, by continually improving their leadership skills and knowledge. To be a successful board and provide the high-quality educational experience our students deserve requires a lot of time and effort and a commitment to continual learning,” he said.

Presley added while the recognition is nice, the main focus of the board remains the students.

“The work of the school board doesn’t only occur during our regular board meetings. There is a lot of work that happens outside the meetings; studying the issues, communicating with the community, advocating on behalf of our district, and learning the intricacies of school finance, just to name a few. Serving on the school board can be a lot of work, but it’s well worth it when we get to see our students achieve success and go on to do great things in their lives and for their communities,” he said.

As Halloween approaches, many families will have to decide if their kids can go trick-or-treating this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shared some tips on keeping safe this Halloween. 

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