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District 95 board approves five-year plan

By Curtis Winston
Contributing Writer
updated: 2/7/2020 4:07 PM

Five goals in five years.

That's the time District 95 officials reckon it will take to make Carbondale elementary schools ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

As unanimously approved recently by the Carbondale Elementary School District 95 Board of Education, the strategic plan aims for improved results in student growth and achievement, inclusive learning environment, high-quality faculty and staff, a connected community and equitable resources.

"The mission answers the question of why we exist," Booth told the board. "This district exists to empower learners to engage, innovate, love and grow.

"One of the strengths of our school district is our diversity. We want them to be independent. And prepared for high school and college. We want them to be problem-solvers."

The plan was developed by a task force of 36 people from the district, including board members John Major and Carlee Coplea, as well as faculty, staff, union representatives, business people, community members and students. Thirty-six in all, they met for full-day retreats to hone the goals and strategies.

Among those introduced at the meeting was CMS graduate Luca Comparato, now at Carbondale Community High School. "Throughout the strategic plan processs, I could see the lightbulbs going off in his mind," Booth said.

Comparato said he had a great experience in "learning to be an adult" and seeing people working together.

The board, with Board President Major and member Coplea, as well as Vice President Carlton Smith, Secretary Catherine Field and members Markida Roper, Gary Shepherd and Angela Watters, voted unanimously to approve the five-year plan.

Further details about the plan can be found on the District 95 website,

In other business, the board approved:

• Resignations of Patience Brown and Kevin McCarron as special-education aides at Thomas School, Sarah Lipe as district bookkeeper, Gabriel Swieszcz as instructional aide at Parrish, and Jelena Nikolic as library aide at Thomas.

• Employment of instructional aides Phoe and Phoebie Church and Kate Murdock at Parrish, Sierra Holloway and Johnnie Taylor at Thomas and Joseph Anderson at Lewis.

• Employment of student supervisor aides David Aurand at Thomas and Aaron Lewis at Parrish.

• Employment of district bookkeeper Sarah Lipe (Smith voted no in the 6-1 tally).

• The resignation of Lindsey Closson as pre-kindergarten teacher at Parrish.

• Maternity leave for Shetara Reed, second-grade teacher at Thomas.

• A job posting for a math interventionist.

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