Friday Feature: Lynne Kusnerick, Goshen Nurse

by Mary Ann Mitchell, public relations and communications coordinator

After working as a nurse in oncology for 10 years, Lynne Kusnerick wanted to look for something opposite of what she was doing.   

“I was working with a lot of elderly patients in my previous position, so I thought it might be fun to work with children. I had seen a lot of sadness, so I was ready for some happiness.”  

And that is exactly what she has found as a school nurse.  

“I enjoy the hugs and the funny things that kids say the most! I wish I would have written down all the cute and hilarious things that kids have said or that have happened while at work. I would have a bestseller by now!” 

Kusnerick has been with District #7 for almost 16 years – 15 of those at Goshen.  

“I chose to work in District #7 because I had heard so many positive things about the district and because District #7 has such a great reputation in the community.” 

She did not always want to be a nurse and thought it would be fun to be a beautician or back-up singer when she was younger.  

The major reason I became a nurse is because one of my best friends was going to be a nurse, and I decided to give it a try too. It turned out to be a good fit for me because I was able to work in many different areas of nursing over the years.”

Kusnerick began her nursing career as a float nurse in a hospital, then at a Home IV Company before her time as an outpatient cancer center/oncology nurse. She also spent five years as a school nurse in another district before coming to Edwardsville. 

She enjoys the variety of nursing care and situations that arise in a school setting.  

“One day is never like the next. I always think I have seen it all, and then something new happens – such as when I discovered a live spider in a child’s ear!” 

Kusnerick enjoys providing education to the students as it gives her time to interact with them and teach them ways to improve their health.  

“Sometimes being at school is a young child’s first time to be away from their parents. I enjoy being one of the people that the kids know will help them if they get sick. Since my own kids are grown men now, I hope that being around young students will keep me young at heart forever!”  

She also enjoys the staff she works with, both in Goshen and throughout the district.  

“It is also fun to do different activities with the staff, such as running the Biggest Loser program. I work with a variety of different health conditions and feel that I am constantly learning. I love working independently, knowing that I have a strong support system with all the other nurses in the district. One major thing I love about my job is my coworkers—they are one of the main reasons I love my job.”   




Upcoming District #7 Bond Proposal

March 13, 2023  

Dear District #7 families,  

In a few short weeks, residents in our community will vote on April 4 on our district’s zero-tax-rate-change bond issue. We will continue to share information, but I wanted you to know just a little more about what this proposal will do for our schools, our students, and our community.  

Many of our schools are aging and in need of critical improvements. Our bond proposal will also fund important safety and security improvements at every District #7 school. Here is a list of some of the projects the bond proposal will provide: 

  • Upgrade safety and security, including secure double entry doors, at all District #7 schools. 
  • Repair and renovate building infrastructure items including roofs, windows, doors, floors, HVAC and plumbing and electrical systems at Lincoln Middle, Hamel and Midway elementaries and other schools where needed. 
  • Partially renovate and rebuild our century old historic high school building that now serves as Lincoln Middle School. 
  • Remediation of asbestos and construction of new classrooms and gymnasium at Hamel Elementary School. 
  • Complete repairs related to moisture infiltration and possible settlement at Midway Elementary.  
  • Complete an addition of 7,000 square feet to the Commons at Edwardsville High School. 

Our District has a unique opportunity to complete the needed building updates without increasing the portion of the tax rate residents pay towards retiring school debt if the bond proposal is approved.  

Thank you for sharing information about the proposal with your neighbors and friends. It is important for everyone to be informed. For more information on the bond proposal, including an FAQ and a list of projects by school, please visit 


Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.


S&P Upgrades Credit Rating for District

District #7 has announced the S&P Global Ratings has raised its underlying rating on the district’s general obligation debt two notches to A- from BBB.

A higher bond rating typically allows the borrower to enjoy lower interest rates, which could result in the savings for the average taxpayer in District #7.

According to the S&P, the upgrade reflects the district’s improved financial profile, fueled by a permanent voter-approved tax rate increase and higher funding from the state, which have resulted in very strong operating results in each of the past five years and similar results anticipated at the end of fiscal 2023.

Friday Feature: Leah Gibbs, Goshen head cook

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator

One does not always stop and think about the impact a nutritious meal has on a student in the classroom, but school meals are critical to students’ well-being and readiness to learn. That is where people like Leah Gibbs, head cook at Goshen Elementary, come in.  

“Every role in District 7 is important to the students’ lives. I feel like our role in the kitchen is to provide nutritious meals for the kiddos to ensure they can focus in the classroom.”  

Gibbs has been with the district since 2011.  

“What brought me to the district was the need to be able to help my son with his needs and to be able to help him be as successful in school as he could be. The school hours were perfect for that.” 

 Gibbs’ son has since graduated, but she has grown to love the District #7 community, her co-workers, all the teachers and staff, and of course, the kids.  

“The kids at this grade level always make me smile, either with a handmade drawing, a thank you note or a funny little joke. They really make my day!” 

In being the head cook, Gibbs says she has learned quite a bit about the innerworkings of managing a kitchen and over the years has created a good rapport with both her co-workers and the kids.  

“In addition to the kids, I also really enjoy my co-workers – we manage to keep it fun in the kitchen.” 

Gibbs and her staff begin their day by preparing breakfast for around 115 kids each morning and prepare snacks for the preschool and Kid Zone programs before moving on to lunch prep.  

“It’s a lot of repetition, but that is something I enjoy about the job.” 

Lincoln Informational Night & Open House


District 7 will hold an informational night and open house at Lincoln Middle School on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. for community members to learn more about how the zero-tax-rate-change bond, if passed, would address needed renovations and a partial rebuild of the aging school building.  

District 7 will have a $100 million zero-tax-rate change bond referendum on the April 4, 2023, ballot. If passed, the district would be able to issue $100 million in bonds to address essential safety and security upgrades, identified facility needs and other identified critical maintenance. While some schools require more repair and renovation than others, every student attending school in our district will improve from improved school buildings.   

The informational night will begin with a presentation in the auditorium that will include architectural plans for Lincoln. District leaders, staff, and students will then be on hand to give tours of Lincoln.  

“All of our schools, including Lincoln, are our community’s schools and we want everyone to be able to ask as many questions and learn as much information as they can. We want people who have not been in the building for a while to see it.” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “Lincoln has served our community for many years. It is now time for major renovations and repairs so the building can serve our community for many more years to come.” 

The bond development process has been community-driven from the beginning with Engage District 7 being formed and several community engagement sessions being held to help to prioritize district needs. The committee consisted of school staff, parents and community and business partners. The Board of Education accepted the committee’s recommendations for a bond proposal and unanimously voted to put the bond measure on the April 4 ballot.  



Winter Weather Announcement (1/30/23)

Winter weather has caused hazardous road conditions in the District 7 area this morning and as a result, classes at all District 7 schools have been cancelled today, Monday, January 30, 2023. This will be a true snow day and no e-learning will take place.

Announcements regarding after school activities and events will be communicated through coaches and sponsors.

Be safe!

Winter Weather Announcement

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning beginning at 6 p.m. this evening, indicating snow fall of 4-9 inches. These conditions have the potential to make hazardous road conditions. As a result, classes at all District 7 schools will be canceled for tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, 2023. This will be a true snow day and no e-Learning will be taking place at this time.

An announcement regarding any after school or evening activities will be communicated by coaches or sponsors.

Thank you and be safe!

January 24, 2023 | 6:00 p.m.

2023-2024 School Calendar Approved

At Monday night’s regular meeting, the Board of Education approved the 2023-2024 school calendar.  

2023-24 School Calendar  

The first date of student attendance will be Wednesday, August 16, 2023 (half day), while the last day will be Friday, May 24, 2024 (half day), unless emergency days are used. Each Wednesday will continue to be an early release.  

Other highlights of the 2023-2024 calendar include:  

The 2023-2024 school calendar also includes the following: 

  • Teacher Institutes on August 14, 15 & 16, 2023 
  • Teacher In-Service on October 13, 2023 – NO STUDENT ATTENDANCE (PM) 
  • Teacher Institute on October 20, 2023 – NO STUDENT ATTENDANCE 
  • Thanksgiving Break – November 22, 23, and 24, 2023 
  • Holiday Break – December 21, 2023, through January 2, 2024 
  • Teacher Institute on January 3, 2024 – NO STUDENT ATTENDANCE 
  • Students return to school – January 4, 2024 
  • Spring Break – March 25 through April 1, 2024 
  • Students return to school – April 2, 2024 
  • 5 emergency days – May 28 through June 3, 2024 (if needed) 
  • High School Graduation – June 1, 2024  

Additionally, a draft of the 2024-2025 calendar has been constructed.  

Thank you to everyone who provided input and feedback during our calendar survey in November. That information helped in the development of these calendars.  


Stories on the Move Returns to District 7 Buses

In 2019, District 7 partnered with the Edwardsville Public Library and First Student Bus Transportation Company to increase student access to books and awareness of the power of reading in hopes to grow enthusiastic readers.   

Stories on the Move, a program that puts books donated from the Edwardsville Public Library on 15 District 7 buses, emerged out of this collaborative effort. The concept is simple. Children are offered a book as they enter the bus. They can choose to read it on the bus, put it back at the end of their trip, or take it home to help build their home libraries. The book does not need to be returned.   

Unfortunately, Stories on the Move was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the support through a donation from Dieterich Bank, this initiative comes alive again beginning this week.  

This collaboration between community entities such as Dieterich Bank, the Edwardsville Public Library, First Student Bus Transportation Company and District 7 is just one of many ways the community works together for the good of our children. 

Board of Education Approves Bond Referendum

January 9, 2023   

Dear District #7 community,  

Earlier this evening, the Board of Education voted unanimously to put a $100 million zero-tax-rate change bond referendum on the April 4, 2023, ballot, aimed at improving school safety and the infrastructure of District 7 buildings.  

If the referendum is approved by voters in April, District #7 would: 

  • Install double-entry doors for improved safety and security at seven schools, which would result in secure double entry at each of the district’s 13 schools. This also includes double entry at Nelson Elementary School and relocating the office space to the two classrooms just inside the main entrance. The current office space would then become classrooms.  
  • Renovate and rebuild Lincoln Middle School on its existing site by retaining the 1925 building.  
  • Remediate the asbestos and build a new wing of classrooms at Hamel Elementary School.  
  • Allocate up to $2,000,000 for repairs at Midway Elementary School. 
  • Expand the commons at Edwardsville High School.  
  • Provide safe and accessible playgrounds at all primary and intermediate schools.  
  • Provide safe and accessible gymnasiums at Leclaire, Glen Carbon and Columbus elementary schools. 
  • Create media centers at Columbus Elementary School, Woodland Elementary School, and Edwardsville High School.  

We have continued to work with the architects and construction management firms we have partnered with to refine the projects in a way that will maximize the use of taxpayer dollars and allow the district to accomplish the most possible. This means that those projects at the top of the list will be given priority, while those at the bottom will be done if funding is available. Given that the district will take 4-5 years to utilize all the funds, being able to predict pricing for some projects leaves them as tentative projects.   

The district’s current tax rate is $4.6829. Approval of the bond referendum would not change the bond and interest tax levy.  

The referendum question that will appear on the ballot will read:
Shall the Board of Education of Edwardsville Community Unit School District Number 7, Madison County, Illinois, improve the sites of, build and equip additions to and alter, repair, and equip school buildings, including constructing security improvements and secured entryways, and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $100,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof? 

The referendum will be on the ballot on April 4, 2023. Early voting begins February 23, 2023.  

We look forward to sharing more throughout this process.  

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.