By Bob Trott


 ROCKTON – Six Hononegah High School students have been chosen by the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) to perform at its All-State Music Festival at the Peoria Civic Center Jan. 29-31, the Hononegah Schools announced during a regular school board meeting Wednesday, Jan. 21.
The students are: Grace Bell, Charles Gallagher, Tim Schultz and James Zelten, All-State Choir; Chris Lee, Honors Vocal Jazz; and Parker Stluka, All-State Jazz Band.
The ILMEA sponsors district and all-state competitions for the State of Illinois, which has nine districts. Hononegah District 207 is in Disrict 8, which includes the western edge of the northwestern Chicago suburbs, goes all the way to the Mississippi River and extends from the Wisconsin border south to I-88, a press release from Hononegah said.
Coordinator Recognized
Hononegah recognized Jeremiah Kramper, its fine arts department coordinator for more than eight years. Kramper started at Hononegah High School in the fall of 2006, after earning his Masters of Music Education at the University of Illinois. Before he came to Hononegah, Kramper taught band, choir, theater and general music in the Coal City School District and taught for two years in Mokena, Ill.
Since Kramper started at Hononegah, he has had numerous students participate in ILMEA Honor Ensembles, solo/ensemble festivals and the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra. Many of Kramper’s students have continued performing at: the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University (SIU), Northern Illinois University (NIU), Marquette University, Lawrence University and the Universities of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Platteville and Whitewater.
Currently, Kramper directs three concert bands, jazz band, marching band and basketball pep band, and teaches the Guitar 1 course. When not in the classroom, he is a member of the Tech Committee, where he is a faculty adviser for Haiku (a Learning Management System). Also, he has been a member of the School Improvement Planning Team for the past seven years, and in the last five years, has been the ILMEA District 8 jazz representative. Last November, he was elected president of ILMEA District 8, and recently started working on his second Masters Degree (in Educational Administration and Leadership) at NIU.
Kramper is a percussionist with the Rockford Wind Ensemble, and is a saxophonist with the Beloit College Band. Kramper’s wife plays flute/piccolo with the Beloit College Band, as well.
Vision 20/20
Vision 20/20, a proposal developed by State of Illinois administrators’ and school board organizations, among others, has four pillars or priorities that were presented by Hononegah officials Jan. 21. “It (Vision 20/20) will fit so nicely into our Strategic Plan,” Assistant Superintendent Kim Suedbeck said at the school board meeting.
Hononegah officials could get a good idea about the future of Vision 20/20 when new Gov. Bruce Rauner gives his State of the State Address Wednesday, Feb. 4, and the Illinois State of the Budget Address Wednesday, Feb. 18, both scheduled for noon.
The four pillars are: Highly Effective Educators, 21st Century Learning, Shared Accountability and Equitable and Adequate Funding. According to Hononegah administrators at the Jan. 21 school board meeting, Vision 20/20 rejects the idea that Illinois public schools are failing. The board followed its discussion by approving a resolution supporting Vision 20/20.
Boys’ Volleyball
Officials of the NIC-10 Conference have decided to start boys’ volleyball in the spring, and the Hononegah School Board unanimously approved a measure Jan. 21 to get the program going at its high school.
Sports Participation
Athletic Director Steve Cofoid reported Hononegah was “about where we were at last year,” in its number of students participating in winter sports. Totals are: boys’ basketball, 49; girls’ basketball, 42; boys’ bowling, 22; girls’ bowling, 15; competition cheer, 26; boys’ swimming, 41; and wrestling, 67.
Ashley Smith of Hononegah has signed a letter of intent to compete at Clarke University in volleyball, and the Indians’ Breanna Pierson is scheduled to sign Feb. 2 to compete in track and field at the University of St. Francis, in Joliet.
IHSA Proposals
Cofoid reported the following Illinois High School Association (IHSA) by-law amendment process results from January town hall meetings of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA):
* Proposal 5 passed, 375-234. It removes the mid-summer “dead week” provision approved last year. Cofoid  reported the “dead week” was for school districts to have nothing to do with athletics;
* Proposal 10 was voted down, 212-95. It would have revamped the football regular season and playoff system. The athletic director reported Hononegah coaches and administrators were happy about this decision. He said the measure would have called for schools to compete in regions rather than conferences, in an effort to create a level playing field. Travel would have increased greatly, he added.
* Proposal 15, which passed, 489-96, moves the date of the first contest of the girls’ tennis season four days earlier, to Thursday of week seven.
* Two other proposals were rejected by the IHSA. Proposal 17 would have removed the season limitations currently in place for Scholastic Bowl, and 18 would have increased the contest limitation for the Scholastic Bowl from 18 dates to 30.
Google Applications
Students at Hononegah are using Google applications as alternatives to Microsoft Office, at no charge to the Hononegah Schools, Director of Technology Rob Conerton said. The opportunity to use the Google applications was opened up to four Hononegah teachers, and they had everyone in class using them, he added.
Google’s alternative to Microsoft Office is popular among universities, and seven of eight Ivy League schools use it, according to Conerton.
Student Council
Student Council Representative Michaela Lobato said a recent trip by the council with student council members from other districts had a bonding effect. She said a spring convention is scheduled for March. Lobato said two students from Hononegah are officers for the North Central District of Student Councils.
The Black Light Dance, which Lobato said has replaced a winter formal event, is scheduled for Feb. 28, from 8 to 11 p.m. The cast has been chosen for “The Wizard of Oz,” Hononegah’s spring musical, Lobato reported.
Other Business
* Board members referred the first reading of the coaches’ handbook to the co-curricular committee, and approved Gorenz and Associates, LTD, for auditing services for the 2014-15 school year.
* Also approved was a roofing contract with Freeport Industrial Roofing, and the 2014-15 Board Policy Manual.
* Board President Dave Kurlikus said he did not attend last month’s school board meeting, due to a family commitment. “It was the first board meeting I missed in 18 years,” Kurlinkus said.
* Personnel moves approved by the board included leaves-of-absence, addition of certified and support staff, appointments of volunteers, and appointments in the areas of athletics and activities.
* The Monthly Investment Schedule and Treasurer’s Report were approved by the board

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