Orion School Board seeking member

Mindy Carls
After accepting election results on Wednesday, April 28, the Orion school board installed a new member, Heather Hoftender, left, and a returning member, Aaron Kayser, for four-year terms. The school board still needs to fill a vacancy. Anyone living in the district may send a letter of interest and a resume by noon Wednesday, May 12, to Orion Unit Community District 223 District Office, 1002 11th Avenue, P.O. Box 189, Orion IL 61273. Western Township residents may not apply
Knoxville High School principal Chad Bahnks III was hired on Wednesday, April 28, to serve as Orion Middle School principal following the retirement of Dr. Laura Nelson.

Heather Hoftender and Aaron Kayser took the oath of office as Orion school board members on Wednesday, April 28, in the district office.

Hoftender is new to the board, while Kayser is returning for another term. Both will serve until April 2025.

The board still has a vacancy. With Hoftender, Kayser and Karl Kane, it now has reached the limit of three residents from Western Township.

Residents of any other township may apply for the vacancy by sending a letter of interest and a resume by noon Wednesday, May 12, to Orion Unit Community District 223 District Office, 1002 11th Avenue, P.O. Box 189, Orion IL 61273.

After reviewing applications, the board may invite candidates for interview during closed sessions. The successful candidate will serve until the next consolidated election in April 2023.

Board members thanked outgoing colleagues Brandon Cooper and Christi Monson.

The board also hired Knoxville High School principal Chad Bahnks as the new Orion Middle School principal. He is succeeding Dr. Laura Nelson, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Board members accepted the resignations of Lindsay Benedict, Orion High School’s Spanish teacher; Carmen Bizarri, OHS play and musical sponsor, and Maddie Anderson as ESP childcare provider.

Also, the board accepted the retirement requests of OHS teacher Natalie Parrett, effective at the end of the 2024-25 school year, and cook Lisa Stiles, effective in May 2021.

The board hired Brad Cirks as the OMS physical education teacher, Susan Monahan as eighth grade math teacher and Kim Hepner as eighth grade Scholasic Bowl sponsor, as well as Emalee Clayton as speech and language pathologist.

Pamela Jackson was hired as an OMS cook.

In other business

• The board approved the use of its facilities for the Orion Fireworks Festival on July 3, with a rain date of July 5.

• A sink has been installed in the art room at C.R. Hanna Elementary School, Orion.

• Cambridge Jr./Sr. High School decided not to continue the wrestling co-op with Orion Middle School and Orion High School.

• OHS upcoming events include May 12, Academic Awards Night; May 14, Dinner and a Laugh for juniors and seniors; May 16, senior parade, and May 23, graduation.

• OMS will have eighth grade promotion on May 24.