As I end my experience here at North Greene Unit District # 3 and conclude my 41 years in education with my June 30 retirement, I take this time to express how much I have enjoyed being your superintendent. Seven years have gone by quickly and we haven’t accomplished everything I had on my list of “to-do’s.”
But we’ve made a dent in the North Greene universe and I am extremely proud of the things we have accomplished. We have been able to provide greater access to curricula, as well as the vast and voluminous breadth of knowledge via an infusion of technology: laptop computers, tablets and interactive smart boards, to name a few.
An inculcation of teachers to greater student engagement through “rigor and relevance” and “understanding by design” has, I hope, become a part of the District culture. Improved teaching and a 21st Century approach to classroom management and instruction has been the target and, no doubt, many teachers have embraced the new challenges and expectations regarding increased accountability during my time here.
An economy that “tanked” as I was coming on board here at North Greene and has been relentless in challenging our fiscal well-being has made life difficult in this and many other Illinois school districts. Our history of deficit spending has continued, although we have fought off its worst effects with tough decision making and conservative fiscal pro-active approaches.
To the Board members who hired me (Jerry Reno, Jeff Clanton, Dr. Dan Woodlock, Brad Bell, Ernie Clanton, Rob McMillen, and Don Nell) I owe a debt of gratitude. Thank you for placing your trust in me. I hope I have not let you down and that friendships remain intact as I depart. It was an honor to work alongside you in the best interest of kids.
I wish the best of luck to new members of the Board, those who joined me along the way and to three who just came on board recently. Challenges remain for the District. But with challenges come opportunities.
The principals with whom I have worked at North Greene have been wonderful.
Rick Hutchinson and Cindy Carlson Rice were wonderful to work with and I miss them. Mary (Sorensen) Brady is half a world away (in Dubai) and seems to be spending her time there happily. I wish her all the best as she works to improve education there.
Keppen Clanton cares as much for the children of this district as any with whom I have worked. She’ll continue to do her best for your children and is worthy of your respect and support at the Junior-Senior High. Mark Darr makes the move to North Greene Elementary and should do well in his new role here. I know he’ll be missed in the junior-senior high school building. I have enjoyed working with both these fine administrators.
Mark Scott moves into the central office as “supervising principal” as he works toward his superintendent’s endorsement. While Mark continues his studies at Western Illinois University, Mr. Lawrence Coultas will serve the District as Interim Superintendent for the coming year. Both these men are good men with strong commitments to children and their educational experiences. Your district is in good hands. I’ve enjoyed working with Mark and expect that Mr. Coultas will provide him with a great mentoring experience during the 2015-2016 school year.
I would be remiss if I did not thank all the teachers, the classroom aides, support staff members, including secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, cooks and volunteers who have done so much for us over the past seven years. Special thanks go to John Davidson, the District’s relatively new Transportation Director, and David Beck, his predecessor. Thanks also to Dale Coffman, Maintenance Director, and good friend. It’s been great working with all of you.
Special thanks for Tiffany Mumford, her predecessor Linda Sturgeon, Peggy Burton and Barb Neece. These women have been so supportive and I could not have accomplished anything without them. Barb, especially, has been a godsend to me and I'll forever be in her debt. I will miss them all and visit frequently, I hope.
Thanks, too, to the students with whom I have enjoyed so many good times. I have particularly enjoyed watching so many of you grow in physical stature and as learners. I am optimistic and see great things ahead for you, particularly those of you who choose to become life-long learners. Good luck to all of you.Thank you, parents, for sharing your children with us. I’ve enjoyed our seven years together. All the best to you and yours.
Les Stevens, Superintendent
NORTH GREENE JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH
217-374-2131 (HIGH SCHOOL OFFICE)
217-374-2616 (JUNIOR HIGH OFFICE)
NORTH GREENE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL