JH wrestling team
yields state champ

For The Weekly Post

FARMINGTON – School boards make decisions every month across Illinois, often with little obvious change.
Occasionally though, a vote leads to a clear consequence – sometimes even a state championship, as was the case in Farmington.

In the first year of establishing a junior high wrestling program, Farmington saw sixth-grader Isaac Showalter go undefeated in his 70-pound weight class en route to an IESA Class A state championship last weekend.
Showalter and fellow junior high qualifier Chase Frye were part of a contingent of wrestlers on hand to be recognized by the school board at its monthly meeting. Also honored were high school state qualifiers Keygan Jennings, Rese Shymansky, Bradley Ellis and JV qualifier Caleb Showalter.

“Without your support none of this would have been possible,” Farmington Wrestling Coach Jacob Durbin said. “To say (the first year of a junior high program) was a success would be an understatement.”

Also recognized was teacher Abigail Simaytis, who received an outstanding faculty advisor award for Farmington’s Key Club. The group also received first-place awards for overall achievement, non-traditional scrapbook and Kiwanis family relations at a recent Key Club district convention.

The board approved a 2023-24 school calendar that shows an Aug. 16 first day of school; Dec. 22 to Jan. 5, 2024, winter break; and a Jan. 8, 2024, teacher’s institute day; an April 1-5, 2024, spring break; and a tentative May 21, 2024, last day of school.

The board also gave Transportation Director Toby Vallas authority to spend up to $62,000 on a used service truck to be used for snowplowing, towing and jump-starting buses and other bus-related service.

Following executive session, the board approved hirings for the transportation department. Farmington is handling its own transportation moving forward after ending an agreement with Illinois Central.

Hired as supervisor is Maria Banks. Shawn Towne is a technician, Ann Worford is a dispatcher and Michael Payne is trainer. Hired as drivers are Therasa Lemm, Steven Passmore, Susan Payne, Jorge Freyre, Karen Kenney, David Widger, Stephen Watson, Rebecca Hurt, Victor Henkhaus, Stanford Berry, Edward Elson, Carter King, Jacob Wilson, Jeffery Danz, Catherine Smith, Amber Suit, John Wiesbrock, Susan Taylor, George Harris, Mark Gleason and Echo Duffie. Hired as monitors are Mildrajean Bohannan, Michelle Oldfield, Bobbi McClain, Melva Brown, Joyce Batterton, Judith Johnson and Rebecca Thomas.

The board also:
• Hired as elementary school teachers Faith Haley, Mackenzie Hodge, Tori Adolphson and Maria Kemple.
• Acknowledged tenure for teacher Kristin Lock.
• Accepted resignations from math teacher Nate Schroder and cheerleading coach Nathan Darko.
• Reassigned Robby Reeder as reading specialist, Jenny Kepler as art teacher and Kaylee O’Donnell, second grade.
• Approved bass fishing volunteers John Grabel, Jerry Welker, Austin Mottaz, Nick and Gene Scappechi and Ben Johnson; and baseball volunteer Kevin Wheelright.