Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy

District #7 has always valued diverse languages and cultures and now we want to celebrate and recognize the many languages spoken within our District #7 boundaries! Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, we will be participating in the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy. The Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy is an award presented at graduation in recognition of attaining a high level of proficiency in English and in one or more other languages. It is officially designated on a student’s transcript and high school diploma. 

This award is a great way to honor and encourage bilingualism and maintenance of home language for our English learner students as well as an extra incentive for our English-speaking students participating in world language studies. The award is available to students of all backgrounds and can be assessed anytime during a student’s high school career.  

Based on a student’s level of proficiency in English and their additional language, a student may qualify to receive State Commendation Toward Biliteracy or the State Seal of Biliteracy according to the proficiency information laid out below: 


State Commendation Towards Biliteracy Requirements 

State Seal of Biliteracy Requirements


English Proficiency (choose one): 

  1. ACCESS for ELLs: 3.5 literacy 
  1. AP English Language and Composition exam: 3 
  1. ELA Dual Credit Course 
  1. STAMPS 4S: Intermediate Low 
  1. ACT: College ready benchmark (English) or 21 Composite 
  1. SAT: 480 ELA Score 
  1. TOEFL: Intermediate Low 


English Proficiency (choose one): 

  1. ACCESS for ELLs: 4.8 Composite 
  1. AP English Language and Composition exam: 4 
  1. ELA Dual Credit Course 
  1. STAMPS 4S: Intermediate High 
  1. ACT: College ready benchmark (English) or 21 Composite 
  1. SAT: 480 ELA Score 
  1. TOEFL: 85 
  1. TOEIC: 550 


World Language Proficiency (choose one): 

  1. AP Language and Culture Exam: 3 
  1. STAMP 4S: Intermediate Low 
  1. AAPPL form B: I-1 (Intermediate Low) 
  1. NEWL: Intermediate Low 


World Language Proficiency (choose one): 

  1. AP Language and Culture Exam: 4 
  1. STAMP 4S: Intermediate High 
  1. AAPPL form B: 1-5 (Intermediate High) 
  1. NEWL: Intermediate High 

There are also many postsecondary award benefits to earning the State Seal of Biliteracy, including all Illinois public colleges and universities must accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent to two years of world language coursework taken during high school for admissions purposes.  This document (Albanian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese) provides more detailed information regarding public colleges and universities in Illinois. 

EHS Band Takes Top Honors at Metro East Marching Classic

The EHS Marching Tigers was named large school Grand Champion at the 2023 Metro East Marching Classic held Saturday, Sept. 9 in O’Fallon.

Under the direction of directors Ryan Lipscomb and Dean Anderson, the Tigers performed their 2023 show, “Once Upon a Midnight Hour”. That performance also garnered awards for:

  • Outstanding Visual Performance
  • Outstanding Musical Performance
  • Outstanding Percussion
  • Outstanding Color Guard
  • 1st Place 4A Band

Everyone, Every day, Edwardsville

In District #7, everyone matters. Every day.  

The district and its schools are committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment where students can thrive. To further this priority, the district announced its theme for the 2023-24 school year of Everyone, Every day, Edwardsville to staff prior to school starting.

“It builds on our mission and vision statements of each individual student and each individual employee and supporting their growth,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “The theme also builds on the anti-bullying and harrasment work we have been doing the last few months. We want each student and employee to be treated with kindess and respect – regardless of who they are, their background, or what they believe in.” 

As Shelton and other district leaders unpacked that, the thought was that the theme is also something the community could get behind as well.  

As a result, the district has launched an Everyone, Every day, Edwardsville t-shirt sales campaign with all proceeds going directly towards anti-bullying and kindness in each of its 13 buildings. The campaign was announced at Monday night’s monthly Board of Education meeting, where all board members wore the shirt.

Why t-shirts?
These shirts are a visible show of commitment to spreading kindness and making it known that every one person matters every day in District #7. By wearing these shirts, we are sending a powerful message that we stand united in promoting positivity and respect to all individuals within our schools.   

T-shirt details
Youth size: $12 each 
Adult size: $15 each    

How you can participate
Beginning today, you can purchase these special shirts by simply visiting our online store at to place your order.  

The store will close at midnight on September 12 and t-shirts will be delivered the following week.   

How your support makes a difference
Profits from these t-shirt sales will directly contribute to programs and activities in each of our schools that are designed to prevent bullying and promote kindness throughout the district.    

Mark your calendars: Friday, September 29
On this special day (which is also the Friday of Homecoming week), all those who bought a t-shirt are encouraged to wear their Everyone, Every day, Edwardsville t-shirt as a collective symbol of our commitment to kindness, inclusivity, and positive change.  


Members of the Board of Education proudly display their shirts.



Construction Update with Alex the Architect

Each month, District #7 will provide a construction update on the projects associated with the Bond Referendum with Alex Metzger, the architect for the district. 


Lincoln Middle School
Seven weeks ago, the district switched architects and is now working with BLDD. Since then, the project is at a schematic design package, which essentially shows pictures of where the design is at. They are now moving into design development.  

While colors and final designs are being finalized, these renderings show the design of what the front of Lincoln will look like: (scroll through for additional photos)


Demolition of the 1941 portion of the building, along with some of the 1953 portion of the building, began on Tuesday, August 8. That part of the building houses, ag, art, maintenance and technology. The 1953 portion is completely down, while work continues on sub cutting the third floor of the 1941 portion. Throughout the next two weeks, they will be cutting those roof and floor slabs, and once complete, a large excavator will tear that portion down.  

Once it is down to the floor slabs, jackhammering will take place on the floor of both the 1941 and 1953 portions. This will last until mid-September and will be followed by digging the foundations and hopefully having those poured before winter sets in.  

Construction photos from Friday, Aug. 25


Hamel Elementary
Plans continue to be refined for Hamel, to make it the most cost effective, yet, quality building.   

Midway Elementary
Crews will regrade the site first to see if that mitigates any of the water issues. That will all be done outside of the building. Once complete, it will be analyzed for a year to see if that helped the water problem.  

Secure Entries
Secure entry hardware at Liberty Middle School, Cassens Elementary, Goshen Elementary, Midway Elementary and Worden Elementary is projected for next summer.  

With the designs of Lincoln Middle School and Hamel Elementary, secure vestibules will be incorporated. 

Vestibules will need to be built out at EHS, Woodland Elementary, Glen Carbon Elementary and Leclaire Elementary.  

 Nelson Elementary and Columbus Elementary will require additional design work.  

Message From Dr. Shelton

On the eve of the first day of school tomorrow, watch this message from District #7 Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. He shares highlights going into the 2023-2024 school year as well as some of the recent challenges.

Read the video transcript here | Watch on YouTube with subtitles




Power School Parent Portal Access

The District #7 PowerSchool Parent Portal is parents’ tool for staying connected with their child’s educational journey. Below are directions to set-up and log in to the Parent Portal. Once completed, you will be able to access your student’s teacher, schedules and transportation (once it is available). A reminder that if you have not fully completed registration yet, you will not have access to the Parent Portal.

If you have questions or encounter any issues during the Power School Parent Portal account setup process, please contact the District #7 Central Office at 618.656.1182 and your call will be routed to someone who can provide assistance.

PowerSchool Parent Portal Directions 

Lincoln Construction Impacts to Pick-Up and Drop-Off

As we gear up for the 2023-24 school year at Lincoln Middle School, we want to keep you informed about some important changes happening on the school campus. As you hopefully know, this past spring our community approved the District’s $100 million bond proposal, with one of the major projects being the renovation of Lincoln. Construction and demolition at and around the northern section of the building is now underway. During the summer, our construction manager worked to separate the building into two sections: the southern half that will be occupied by students and the northern half for demolition.    

To ensure the safety of everyone, including students, faculty, staff, and parents, the area undergoing construction will be surrounded by a fence. This is to prevent any accidents or mishaps during the construction period.   

There will also be changes to drop off and pick up of students. Please see the attached map for a visual.     

  • Drop-Off Points: Due to the construction, the entrance from St. Louis Street will be closed for drop-offs. If you drop off your child, please use the circle drive from West Street. Also, kindly remember that parking is only allowed in the front angled parking area, not anywhere else along the circle drive.   
  • School Bus Information: If your child uses the school bus, there will not be any changes in their drop-off and pick-up location. They will continue to be dropped off and picked up outside the gym, as they did last year.   
  • Special Program Students: For students in special programs, their bus will pick them up and drop them off at the entrance to Floor Zero, as indicated on the provided information graphic.   

Finally, we cannot stress enough how crucial it is for everyone to pay attention to the posted signs and follow the instructions given. This will ensure the safety and well-being of all students, staff, and visitors during this transitional period.   

We understand these changes might be a bit inconvenient, but please know they are necessary to improve the school facilities to benefit our students. Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to a successful and safe school year ahead.   


Tiger View Update

August 2, 2023 

Dear parents and guardians,  

With the turning of the calendar to August, we are that much closer to the start of the new school year on Wednesday, August 16.  

A reminder for students entering 3rd, 6th or 9th grades of the Mascot Welcome next Friday, August 11. You should have received more information on this event from your building principal. We are looking forward to welcoming those students to their new building and helping them get acclimated prior to the first day of school.  

Back in April, we shared that District #7 would be upgrading our student information system from eSchoolPlus to PowerSchool SIS. With this change, we will no longer be using TigerView. Instead, there is a Parent Portal with PowerSchool, which will allow parents/guardians to view important information, such as attendance, grades, class schedule, transportation, and contact information.  

Information regarding teachers, buses, and schedules for the 2023-24 school year will be released in PowerSchool and is tentatively scheduled to be released on Friday, August 11. Later next week, we will share directions and details for parents for creating an account in PowerSchool.  


Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.


Diversity Day at the Futures

Diversity Day at the Futures, presented by McConnell and Associates, returned for a third straight year at Liberty Middle School on Wednesday morning. The event is held as part of the Edwardsville Futures Tennis Tournament, presented by the EGHM Foundation.

Dave Lipe, tournament director and EHS tennis coach, organizes Diversity Day to help expose minority and underprivileged students to the sport of tennis and help engage them in a sport they may not typically be able to play.

The students in attendance were able to learn more about tennis and had a great time playing the game itself.


Letter to the District #7 Community

July 24, 2023 

Dear District #7 family,  

Over the past year, we have encountered incidents of harassment based on sexual orientation, gender, and race within our school community. This behavior is not only deeply hurtful and disrespectful, but it also undermines the inclusive and welcoming environment we strive to create for all students, teachers, and staff. It is crucial that we come together as a community to address this issue head-on and foster a culture of respect, understanding, and acceptance.  

First and foremost, I want to express my empathy and support for any student who has been affected by these incidents. Discriminatory language should never be tolerated, and we are committed to ensuring that all students feel safe, valued, and supported within our district. To those who have experienced the pain caused by these slurs, I want to assure you that we take this matter seriously, and your voices will be heard. 

To address this issue effectively, at this evening’s Board of Education meeting, the District’s Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Dr. Cornelia Smith, and I will be presenting several initiatives which will outline action steps that the district will be taking to move toward increasing the sense of belonging in District #7 for ALL students. These steps will include: 

  1. Incorporating a DEI representative at each school who will work in cooperation with Dr. Smith to assess building-level data and introduce action steps to increase belonging and inclusivity for all students and staff. 
  1. Implementing a framework for addressing student behavior that actively promotes inclusivity. This will include mandatory reporting to parents of victims and parents of alleged perpetrators, and mandatory parent conferences when reports include hate speech or harassment due to sexism, genderism, or racism. 
  1. Establishing student and staff groups that provide a safe space for those from underrepresented populations to connect and increase their sense of belonging. 
  1. Offering additional avenues for reporting bullying, harassment, or intimidation of others.  

District #7 thrives on the diversity of our community, and by working together, we can create a school environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and safe.  

I encourage you to join me and the Board of Education in taking a stand against any form of discrimination and working towards a more inclusive future. Together, we can build a school community that embraces and celebrates our differences, fostering an environment where all students can thrive.  

More information about District #7’s plans for addressing these issues can be heard at tonight’s Board of Education meeting or by watching the broadcast on the District #7 Facebook page.   

Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication to our shared goal of creating an inclusive school community.  


Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.


2023-24 Back to School Information

July 20, 2023  

Dear District #7 families,   

Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! We are excited to welcome all our students back to school on Wednesday, August 16, 2023! Our staff has been busy preparing for another exciting year and to help our families prepare, we wanted to share some information. Please note that each school will also be sharing more specific information as well.  

If you have not yet registered your child(ren) for the 2023-24 school year, please do so as soon as possible. To be guaranteed bus transportation on the first day of school, students need to be registered by Tuesday, August 1, 2023.  

For those families with students that were enrolled during the 2022-2023 school year, you will need to register via the link in the registration email sent by the district. If you do not have this email, please contact  

For those with students that were not enrolled during the 2022-23 school year, you must complete preregistration first. Once that is complete, you will receive an email with a registration link for that student after it has been approved (typically one business day). Preregistration: 

All school supply lists for the 2023-24 school year have been posted to the District #7 website. These lists may be found on the respective school page or on the student registration page: 

Open houses prior to the start of the 2023-24 school year will be as follows: 

Monday, August 14, 2023
EHS (9th-12th): 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 
Middle School (6th-8th): 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.   

Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Primary Schools (1st-2nd): 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 
Intermediate Schools (3rd-5th): 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  

Kindergarten Orientation will be held on Monday, August 14, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. at your child’s primary building, except for Hamel Elementary, which will be at 5 p.m. During this time, building principals will discuss the first days of school, show you our classrooms and facilities, and answer any questions you may have about the District #7 kindergarten experience. In addition, please mark your calendar for 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, for our Kindergarten Open House where teachers will be excited to meet students and parents! 

District #7 will hold a Mascot Welcome for students entering grades 3, 6, and 9 on Friday, August 11, 2023. Bus transportation will be provided, and more information will be coming from each school. This will be a structured time for these students to get to know their new school and campus.   

A reminder that on Wednesdays during the 2023-24 school year, schools will once again be dismissed early (High School at 12:45 p.m., Middle Schools at 1:35 p.m., Intermediate Schools at 2:40 p.m. and Primary Schools at 2:50 p.m.) to allow for consistent staff collaboration in identifying priority standards, utilizing common formative assessments, and determining instructional needs for students. This time will allow our teachers to collaborate with one another, plan intentionally and grow professionally.  

We hope you enjoy the remainder of your summer vacation. See you next month!  


Patrick Shelton, Ed.D. 

Letter to Kindergarten Parents

Dear Kindergarten Families, 

We are so thrilled to welcome your little ones to kindergarten! It’s an exciting time and we’re here to make the transition smooth and enjoyable for you and your child.  

 Here are a few suggestions on how you can support your child’s journey into kindergarten over the next few weeks:  

  • Independence: Encourage your child to practice dressing themselves, putting on their shoes and coats, and using the bathroom independently. Washing hands and face in the bathroom is a great skill to develop too! 
  • Gross motor skills: Let your child engage in games that promote gross motor skills, like tossing a ball, hopping, skipping, and running. Playtime is an excellent way for them to learn and grow! 
  • Sharing & caring: Help your child practice sharing toys and taking turns during playtime. Learning to be patient and kind is an important part of their social development. 
  • Fine Motor Skills: Let your child explore their creativity by drawing, coloring within the lines, and using scissors safely. These activities strengthen their fine motor skills and boost their imagination! 
  • Emotional Awareness: Talk to your child about recognizing when they need a break and how to express their feelings. We’ll also help them understand that it’s okay if things don’t always go as planned. 
  • Independence at school: Encourage your child to take care of their personal belongings, like backpacks and lunchboxes, to keep them safe. We’ll also teach them how to use technology responsibly. 
  • Buckle up! Practice having your child buckle and unbuckle themselves in the car. During drop-off in the morning, we’ll be there to assist them, but it’s great if they’re familiar with it too! 

If you have any questions or need support during this exciting time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to work together as a team to ensure your child has a fantastic kindergarten experience! 


District #7 Kindergarten Principals and Teachers 

2023-24 Start of School Year Dates

As the calendar flips to July and puts us closer to the start of the 2023-24 school year, we wanted to share some dates with you for the start of year:  

Friday, August 11, 2023
Mascot Welcomes for 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades

3rd grade: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
6th grade: last names that begin with A-K is 8:30-11:00 a.m., while last names that begin with L-Z is 1:30-4:00 p.m.
9th grade: last names that begin with A-L is 8:30-11:00 a.m., while last names that begin with M-Z is 1:30-4:00 p.m. 

Bus transportation will be provided, and more information will be coming from the building principals. This will be a structured time for these students to get to know their new school.  

Monday, August 14, 2023
High School Open House (5:00 – 6:30 p.m.)
Middle School Open House (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.)
Kindergarten Orientation (6:30 p.m. for all schools except Hamel, which will be from 5:00-6:00 p.m.)  

Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Primary Open House (5:00-6:30 p.m.)
Intermediate Open House (6:00-7:30 p.m.) 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023
First day of school!  

Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Kindergarten Open House (6:00 p.m.)  

A reminder that if you have not yet registered your child(ren) for the 2023-24 school year to please do so!  

For those families with students that were enrolled during the 22-23 school year, you will need to register via the link in the registration email sent by the district.  

For those with students that will be attending the district that were not enrolled during the 2022-23 school year, you must complete preregistration first. Once that is complete, you will receive an email with a registration link for that student after it has been approved (typically one business day). Preregistration:  

If you need assistance with technology access or have questions regarding registration, please email 

Kid Zone Registration Opens July 10 at 8 a.m.

KID ZONE 2023-2024


Kid Zone offers before and after school care as a service to District 7 families with children in grades K-5. Little Kid Zone is offered to preschool-aged children enrolled in District 7 Preschool Academy.

Kid Zone is a multi-aged, large group, socially based program located in eight of District 7’s elementary buildings. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun program where children are free to explore their interests and develop friendships while respecting themselves and those around them. Kid Zone is a license‐exempt facility operated by District 7.

Parents may register their children for both before school and after school sessions, or for before school only or after school only sessions. Pricing is based upon a flat weekly rate regardless of numbers of days attended.


Board of Education Approves 2023-24 Student Handbook

The Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 Board of Education approved the 2023-24 District #7 Student Handbook on Monday night during its regular monthly meeting.   

The handbook underwent a comprehensive review that included input from a parent-teacher advisory, the superintendent teacher advisory, district principals, student advisory, legal team, district leadership team and the Board of Education.  

Three distinct changes to the revised handbook include attendance, dress code and code of conduct.  


  • All district students will follow the 5-5-5 rule 
    • 5 excused days for medical appointment/illness without medical excuse 
    • 5 excused days for mental or behavioral health 
    • 5 excused days for family/personal business which requires the student to be out of town 

Unexcused Absences 

  • 3 unexcused absences will result in a letter from the school 
  • 5 unexcused absences will result in a second letter from the school and may result in a meeting with school personnel 
  • 9 unexcused absences will result in a referral to the District #7 Truancy Officer or the ROE Truancy Officer 

Dress Code 

  • The dress code will consist of three categories, including must wear, may wear and may not wear.  
  • Students must wear a shirt, pants, and shoes.  
  • Among the items students may wear are fitted clothing, pajama pants, and athletic attire. 
  • Students may not wear hats or head coverings of any kind, unless worn for religious, medical, or safety purposes and approved in advance.  
  • Among other items students may not wear include violent language or images, hate speech, profanity, images that creates a hostile or intimidating environment, clothing that reveals visible undergarments, and accessories that could be considered dangerous or could be used as a weapon.  

  Code of Conduct 

  • Expanded the definition so it involves any student participating in an extracurricular activity at the middle or high school level. 

 The 2023-24 student handbook may be viewed here and is for all District #7 students, pre-K through 12th grade.  

 During their meeting, the Board of Education also approved:  

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Edwardsville and the District to continue the School Resource Officer program for the 2023-24 fiscal year. 
  • A MOU between the District and the Nature Preserve Foundation (Watershed Nature Center) to allow for the sharing of a district employed certified teacher with the Watershed Nature Center for the 2023-24 school year.  
  • A lease between the District and Plummer General, LLC, for office space, for 36 months. Central office staff will be moving from the Hadley House prior to October 1, 2023, due to construction at Lincoln Middle School as part of the bond referendum that will impede parking and district operations.  

EHS Tiger Talk Podcast Network Receives Grant

The EHS Tiger Talk Podcast Network will receive a $1,320 grant from the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Press Foundation.

The award is part of the Illinois High School Journalism Grants Program offered by the Illinois Press Foundation and financially sponsored for a third consecutive year by Illinois Farm Bureau.

EHS was one of 19 recipients across the state and will use the grant money to purchase two microphones, mic stand, digital voice recorder, stream deck, capture card, webcam, green screen backdrop, and Ring light kit.

The EHS Tiger Talk Podcast Network concluded a successful first season during the 2022-23 school year in which students produced two weekly podcasts, including The Jungle, the official EHS sports podcast, and Tiger Spotlight, a podcast that highlights the Tiger community. The two podcasts produced a total of 54 episodes with 1,409 plays.

“With this grant, we look forward to expanding this initiative as we move into the second year,” said sponsor Nicole Pontious. “We would like to establish partnerships with our local community members, enhance our productions with the updated audio & video equipment, and continue to provide students with guidance, support, and hands-on training in the field of multi-media production.”

Baseball Wins State Championship

Congratulations to the EHS baseball team on defending its state title on Saturday night by defeating Brother Rice, 6-4, to earn the program’s fifth state championship.

Edwardsville (33-9), which ended the season on a 10-game win streak, became the second Class 4A team to win back-to-back state championships.

The Tigers broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning on a two-out RBI base hit by Cole Funkhouser and added an insurance run in the seventh.

It was also the third title under head coach Tim Funkhouser, who also picked up his 803rd career win with the title.

Amy Boscolo Named Athletics Director

Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 has announced the hiring of Amy Boscolo as Athletics Director beginning with the 2023-24 school year. Ms. Boscolo’s hire was approved June 5, 2023, by the District #7 Board of Education.   

Ms. Boscolo comes to District #7 from Highland High School where she has been the Athletics Director/Assistant Principal for the past five years. In 19 years of education, she has also served as a junior high assistant principal, physical education and health teacher, and athletic trainer for various school districts throughout Illinois.  

“Amy brings a variety of experiences to District #7 and will be able to build on the solid foundation and growth in the athletic program established by Alex Fox,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “She brings a student-centered approach to Edwardsville and will be able to continue the wonderful support our athletic programs have received within the district.” 

Ms. Boscolo will assume the role of Athletics Director on July 1, 2023. The position became available after Alex Fox was named Associate Principal of Alternative Pathways earlier this spring. Mr. Fox served as the Athletics Director for the past six years. Edwardsville teams have had continued success under Mr. Fox with 65 Southwestern Conference championships and six state trophies.

Malik Allen Wins State Title in Triple Jump

Congrats to EHS junior Malik Allen who won the Illinois Class 3A state championship in the triple jump with a leap of 14.87 meters on Saturday, May 27!

EHS Wins Six Awards at St. Louis High School Theater Awards

Congrats to students in EHS’s production of “SpongeBob the Musical”, which took home six awards at Friday night’s St. Louis High School Theater awards, held at the Fabulous Fox Theater, including Outstanding Musical Production.

In all, EHS performers took home top awards for:

  • Wow Award — Student Tyler Blair for Live Sound Foley Artistry and Performance
  • The Extra Mile Award — Publicity and House Management, Gabrielle Rose
  • The Outstanding Ensemble Award
  • The Outstanding Musical Direction Award — Emily Ottwein
  • The Outstanding Costume Design Award — Jen Blum-Tatara
  • The Outstanding Musical Production (Level 1) Award — Ashley Miller Melton, Cathy Stranc Vano, Jonah Sheckler, Joshua Case, Jeff Schmidt, Emily Ottwein, Mattison Clark, and the whole cast, crew, and orchestra.

The EHS Drama Club also received a surprise Special Recognition award.

Photo by Corinna Winkler, EHS yearbook staff

Liberty’s EDUCATE creating more equity and opportunities with House system

Liberty 8th grade social studies teacher and EDUCATE sponsor Rachel Harris wanted to find a way to make House games more accessible and equitable for all students. The House System consists of eight houses at Liberty and there are often competitive games and activities to earn House points leading up to the overall House champion at the end of the year. Liberty also has an FLS (functional life skills) program and sometimes these games and activities on House days are not always easy for those students.

So, Harris went to her EDUCATE students and suggested a life size board game. Thus, Liberty Land was born.

Harris and her students worked with the FLS teachers on what would be a good board game. Together they came up with the idea of Candyland but using the House system. It was even made large enough to accommodate a wheelchair, while the colors and shapes also provide an additional educational tool.

EDUCATE students, as well as several other students, have spent 50-60 hours painting and working on the life-size board game, which will be used for House days beginning next year. The board game needs a few final touches, such as a spinner, but Harris and the students are excited about having this accessible and equitable tool that will help more students find success during House day games. They are even planning for other human size games, such as a Connect Four.

EDUCATE began with an idea and four members to create a diversity club at Liberty Middle School. Over the years it grew, and it was during the pandemic that the members decided that it was important to spread its impact to both Lincoln Middle School and the high school. They worked during the spring and summer of 2020 to develop a proposal for, then superintendent Dr. Jason Henderson, to approve the club at the other two schools.

Since 2016, the focus of the club has been to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. This year the club began to include in its focus the idea of equity which is the heart of District 7’s mission – empowering each student to achieve personal success.

This focus on equity has led to discussions of what equity is and working toward more equitable situations in the school community.

The game board is a result of those conversations.

Groundbreaking Held at Lincoln to Kick-off Construction


District #7 held a groundbreaking ceremony on May 22 at Lincoln Middle School to kick off construction as part of the 2023 bond referendum.

The construction is made possible by the bond referendum passed at the April 4, 2023, Consolidated General Election by the District #7 community. The $100 million zero-tax-rate-increase bond issue, which will fund projects at every school in District #7, will address identified facility needs, essential safety and security upgrades and other identified critical maintenance needs, and provide an improved learning environment for District #7 students.

One of the identified projects is a partial renovation and rebuild at Lincoln Middle School. The construction will keep the original 1925 portion of the school building intact. Over the decades, Lincoln Middle School has undergone various additions, which has led to different floor levels that require steep stairs to get from one area of the building to another. The renovations and rebuilding will help improve the navigability of the school.

“As a district, we are incredibly grateful to be part of a community that recognizes the importance of investing in our students and schools,” said superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “The renovation of Lincoln Middle School is a testament to our collective commitment to excellence in education. This project encompasses a range of improvements that will have a profound impact on the overall learning experience of our students.”

“Lincoln Middle School stands as a testament to the rich history of our community,” said Board of Education President Jill Bertels. “It has witnessed generations of students, educators, and staff, who have shaped its halls with their stories, dreams, and aspirations. While the years have taken their toll on the structure, its significance, and the memories it holds remain intact. Today, we honor the past by preserving the building’s legacy, while at the same time, prepare for a new chapter.”

“Today is a special day for all of us who have worked hard to make this a reality and it has been my pleasure to be part of a team that has been dedicated to ensuring that Lincoln Middle School is renovated, as well as all the other projects that will be completed because of the passage of the bond referendum in April,” said Lucas Siron, chair of the Engage District #7 committee. “It is a testament to what can be achieved when we come together with a shared vision.”

When complete, the renovations will enhance safety, security, and access to the building and will create a comfortable and conducive learning and working environment for students, teachers, and staff.

Construction at Lincoln Middle School will result in new gymnasiums, a renovated theater, new performing arts classrooms, a new commons area and added handicap accessibility. There will also be a renovation of classrooms that will equip students with modern technologies and resources to facilitate innovative teaching and learning.

Four Crowned State Champion at IESA Meet

The Liberty and Lincoln Middle School track and field teams combined to win four state championships at the IESA state meet, held May 19-20. Additionally, the Liberty girls 8th grade team finished 3rd overall.

State titles include:

Liberty 8th grade girls 1,600-meter relay team in a time of 4:14.21. Relay members include Maggie Cadagin, Kennel Evers, Morgan Gestes and Sophie Shapiro.

Liberty 7th grader Joanna Anoke, winner in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.9.

Liberty 7th grader Madison Kline, winner in the 400-meter run in 59.1

Lincoln 8th grader Aidan Bennett, winner in the discus with a throw of 155-06.



Liberty 1,600-meter relay


Madison Kline (left) and Joanna Anoke (right)



Aidan Bennett


Liberty 8th grade girls team

Lincoln Middle School and Bond Referendum Groundbreaking Ceremony Scheduled

A groundbreaking ceremony to kick-off construction at Lincoln Middle School as part of the 2023 bond referendum will be held at 3:30 p.m., on Monday, May 22, on the north side of Lincoln, just behind the Hadley House.  

The construction is made possible by the bond referendum passed at the April 4, 2023, Consolidated General Election by the District #7 community. The bond proposal is a $100 million zero-tax-rate-increase bond issue, which will fund projects at every school in District #7, including addressing identified facility needs, essential safety and security upgrades and other identified critical maintenance needs, and provide an improved learning environment for District #7 students. 

One of the identified projects of the bond referendum is a partial renovation and rebuild at Lincoln Middle School, which includes:  

  • Renovated gymnasiums relocated to the north side of the building 
  • A renovated theater 
  • New performing arts classrooms 
  • A new commons area 
  • New academic classrooms 
  • Added handicap accessibility 

The construction will keep the original 1925 portion of the school building intact. Over the decades, Lincoln Middle School has undergone various additions, which has led to different floor levels that require steep stairs to get from one area of the building to another. The renovations and rebuilding will help improve the navigability of the school.  

Other top priority projects with the bond referendum include:  

  • Secure double entries at all District #7 schools 
  • Remediation of asbestos and construction of new classrooms and gymnasium at Hamel Elementary School 
  • Repairs related to moisture infiltration and possible settlement at Midway Elementary School 
  • An addition of 7,000 square feet to the Commons at Edwardsville High School 



District #7 Honors Employees at Awards Banquet

Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 honored several of its outstanding employees, recognized the contributions of those employees with 25 years of service, and bid farewell with a salute to its retirees on Thursday night during its District Awards Banquet.  

The event was held at the SIUE Meridian Ballroom and included comments from Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton and Board of Education President Jill Bertels. Dr. Shelton and Dr. Adam Garrett, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel presented awards.  

19 employees were recognized for 25 years, while 24 employees were honored for their upcoming retirement.  

Honorees included teachers, principals, custodians, cooks, paraprofessionals, and so many others who help make District #7 an outstanding place for adults to work and students to learn.  

Individual award winners included:  

  • Shelby Summer, EHS math teacher, selected as Rookie of the Year | VIDEO
  • Ana Gill, Cassens secretary, selected as Educator of the Year (classified staff) | VIDEO
  • Gretchen Hertz, Woodland 3rd grade teacher, selected as Educator of the Year (certified staff) | VIDEO
  • Melissa Edwards, Nelson principal, selected as Administrator of the Year | VIDEO


25-Year Honorees 

  • Tracey Armon, Head Cook (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Robert Canada, 5th Grade Teacher (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Stephen Chapman, Social Studies Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Alex Fox, Athletic Director (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Tara Fox, Director of Curriculum (Central Office) 
  • Tim Funkhouser, Health/PE Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Michelle Herman, Elementary Technology Specialist (Cassens Elementary) 
  • Jane Hicks, Social Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Emily Kobler, Special Education Teacher and Instructional Technology Coach (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Laura Laswell, Paraprofessional (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Jennifer Mulvihill, Social Worker (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Colleen Ogden, Elementary Technology Specialist (Columbus Elementary) 
  • George Patrylak, Special Education Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Michael Rockwell, 4th Grade Teacher (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Marcy Savoie, Reading Specialist (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Sherri Schafer, Social Studies Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Dr. Cornelia Smith, Director of DEI and Elementary Education (Central Office) 
  • Traci Thompson, Language Arts Teacher (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Dr. Andrew Williams, Assistant Principal (Woodland Elementary)

Retiree Honorees 

  • Sally Atwood, School Counselor (Edwardsville High School) 
  • David Boedeker, Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Nancy Gebhart, Media Secretary (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Donna Gray, Secretary (Cassens Elementary) 
  • Rebecca Green, Secretary (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Sue Grubaugh, Attendance Secretary (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Yvonne Hallemann, Elementary Physical Education Teacher 
  • Lynley Harrison, 2nd Grade Teacher (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Rebecca Holle, Family and Consumer Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Annie Jones, Head Cook (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Theresea Laako, Business Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • David Lewis, Social Worker (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Stacey Lipe, Math Intervention Specialist 
  • Diana Lockwood, Language Arts Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Mike McGarr, Math Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Donald Mendoza, Spanish Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Toni Peitzmeyer, Secretary (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Melissa Potvin, Special Education Teacher (Nelson Elementary) 
  • Dr. Beth Renth, Principal (Worden Elementary) 
  • Mandie Schulte, Secretary (Success Academy) 
  • Ruth Shipley, Preschool Teacher (Goshen Elementary) 
  • Christopher Spencer, Custodian (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Patricia Steinbech, Paraprofessional (Cassens Elementary School) 
  • Darlene Wessel, Bookkeeper (Liberty Middle School) 


Rookie of the Year Finalists (awarded to an individual in their first or second year in public education) 

  • Shelby Summer, Math Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Payton Carlton, Special Education Teacher (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Brendan Sulley, 4th Grade Teacher (Columbus Elementary) 

 2023 Rookie of the Year: Shelby Summer 

2022-2023 Rookie of the Year: Shelby Summer


Educator of the Year Building Winners (Classified) 

  • Ana Gill, Secretary (Cassens Elementary) 
  • Brittany Burke, Food Service Secretary (Central Office) 
  • Mary Jean Breeden, Secretary (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Karen Govreau, Receptionist (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Beth Pollock, Secretary (Glen Carbon Elementary) 
  • Kristin Griffin, Paraprofessional (Goshen Elementary) 
  • Arthur Byrd, School Safety Officer (Hamel Elementary) 
  • Bionca McCarter, Paraprofessional (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Nancy Gebhardt, Media Secretary (Liberty Middle School)
  • Linda Davis, Evening Custodian (Lincoln Middle School/Central Office) 
  • Darren Brown, School Safety Officer (Midway Elementary) 
  • Scot Ambuel, School Safety Officer (Nelson elementary) 
  • Lisa Hale, Food Service (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Alana Henfling, Paraprofessional (Worden Elementary) 

2023 Educator of the Year: Ana Gill 

2022-2023 Educator of the Year – classified: Ana Gill


Educator of the Year Building Winners (Certified) 

  • Patty Odom, 4th Grade Teacher (Worden Elementary) 
  • Gretchen Hertz, 3rd Grade Teacher (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Cari Wencewicz, Reading Specialist (Nelson Elementary) 
  • Staci Kyro, 2nd Grade Teacher (Midway Elementary) 
  • Denise Downes, Social Worker (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Jenny Guetterman, 6th Grade Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Lynley Harrison, 2nd Grade Teacher (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Kelly Ackerman, Kindergarten Teacher (Hamel Elementary) 
  • Lynne Kusnerick, Nurse (Goshen Elementary) 
  • Tonya Holmes, 2nd Grade Teacher (Glen Carbon Elementary) 
  • Sairee Knabe, Social Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Rob Canada, 5th Grade Teacher (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Bethany Riechmann, Special Education (Cassens Elementary) 

2023 Educator of the Year: Gretchen Hertz 

2022-2023 Educator of the Year – certified: Gretchen Hertz


Administrator of the Year: Melissa Edwards, Principal, Nelson Elementary 

2022-2023 Administrator of the Year: Melissa Edwards




25-Year Honorees




Rookie of the Year finalists

Educator of the Year (classified) – building winners


Educator of the Year (certified) – building winners

2023 Summer Camps Through EHS

Summer is right around the corner, which means many of our athletic teams and extracurricular groups have announced their summer camps.  

Please see the list below of camps offered at EHS and click on the respective link for more information. 

Additionally, several other summer camps and events locally are being added to our Virtual Backpack daily. The Virtual Backpack assists our families in obtaining information pertaining to community resources, services and information as District #7 continues to work in a paperless format.  


CAMP  GRADE (entering 23-24 year) 
Lady Tiger Basketball Camp – LINK  2nd-9th 
Edwardsville Volleyball Camp – LINK  1st-9th 
Edwardsville Boys Basketball Camp – LINK  3rd-9th 
Tiger Baseball Camp – LINK  2nd-9th 
Tiger Speed Camp – LINK  Ages 6-18 
Edwardsville Girls Field Hockey Camp – LINK  4th-12th 
EHS Boys Volleyball Summer Camp – LINK  5th-9th 
Edwardsville Middle School Boys Soccer Camp – LINK  6th-8th 
Edwardsville High School Boys Soccer Camp – LINK  9th-12th 
Tigers Tennis Camps – LINK  K-12th 
EHS Softball Camp – LINK  2nd-9th 
Tiger Football Futures Camp – LINK  7th-9th 
EHS Summer Dance Clinic – LINK K-6th
Choir Camp – LINK  3rd-8th 
Orchestra Camp – LINK   


Student Recognition Breakfast

One of District #7’s favorite things to do is honor its students! On Thursday morning, 16 students from all our schools were honored for not only being outstanding students in the classroom, but for being outstanding school citizens.

Each spring, District #7 students are honored alongside other students from the Southwest Region at the Illinois Principal’s Association (IPA) Student Recognition Breakfast. However, this year, due to a scheduling conflict, District #7 was unable to attend that event and instead, decided to honor its students at its own breakfast event.

Each of the students recognized stood out among their peers due to their tremendous character, work ethic and leadership. They are always striving to do the right thing and inspire others around them to be the best they can be.

Students honored included:

Tyler Novotney, Glen Carbon Elementary

Alexandra Snook, Goshen Elementary

Quinn Themas, Hamel Elementary

Arabella Donner, Leclaire Elementary

Wesley Sterett, Midway Elementary

Dontay Wells, Nelson Elementary

 Giana Rigoni, Albert Cassens Elementary

Theo Armstrong, Columbus Elementary

Adam Hertz, Woodland Elementary

Caleb Kupinski, Worden Elementary

Logan Garman, Liberty Middle School

Claire Johnson, Liberty Middle School

Grace Capron, Lincoln Middle School

Blake Chrenka, Lincoln Middle School

Axton Anom, Edwardsville High School

Caroline Marcus, Edwardsville High School

EHS Drama Receives 8 Nominations for SLHSMTA

Congratulations to EHS Drama for receiving 8 nominations for their Spongebob Musical for the Saint Louis High School Musical Theater Awards!

Those nominations include:

  • Outstanding Production
  • Outstanding Ensemble
  • Outstanding Lead Actress – Noelle Sonderegger
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor- Case Warner
  • Outstanding Direction – Ashley Miller Melton
  • Outstanding Musical Direction – Emily Ottwein
  • Outstanding Technical Execution – Jonah Sheckler
  • Outstanding Costume Design/Execution – Jen Blum-Tatara

The entire cast will perform a medley song at the awards ceremony at the Fabulous Fox Theater on May 26, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. Additionally, two students will perform in the opening number with Noelle Sonderegger being featured in a leads medley performance.

Photo by Corinna Winkler, EHS yearbook staff

Registration Information for 2023-2024

The following communication was sent to all district families on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

May 2, 2023  

Dear District #7 Families: 

Online registration for the 2023-2024 school year will open tomorrow, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 9:00 a.m., for all new and returning District #7 students.  

Returning families will receive an email from PowerSchool Enrollment the morning of May 3, 2023. Please note the e-mail will only be sent to the first parent/guardian listed in TigerView. The only way to access registration is by clicking on the link provided in the email. 

If you have a student that will be attending the district that is not currently enrolled, you must complete pre-registration first. If you have already completed the pre-registration process for a student not currently enrolled, you will receive an email with a registration link for that student on the morning of May 3, 2023. 

District #7 requires two proofs of residency that must be uploaded to complete and submit your registration. For more information on residency documents, click here. The district will review the submission and if more information is needed, you will receive an email saying your registration had been rejected. That email will include details of what is needed to accurately complete the registration.   

If you need assistance with technology access or have questions regarding registration, please email  

We look forward to a positive end to the 2022-2023 school year and an exciting 2023-2024! 

With Tiger Pride,
Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.


District #7 Announces New Administrative Roles, Other Hirings

EDWARDSVILLE – In preparation for the 2023-24 school year, Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 has announced the hiring of five new administrators. The hirings were approved May 1, 2023, by the District #7 Board of Education.   

Due to attrition and reorganization, we have been able to hire several new individuals to leadership roles within District #7,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “Our students’ achievement in all aspects of school is only limited by the level of direction they receive from leaders within the district. We are excited about the expertise they bring to our students and teachers and the expansion of several programs within the district.” 

Those hires include:  

Mrs. Hilary Duncan, as Assistant Principal at Lincoln Middle School. Mrs. Duncan is in her 19th year at Lincoln where she has taught health, PE, study skills, social studies, and science. She has earned educational leadership and educational administration degrees from SIU Edwardsville.  

Mrs. Kristy Mitchell, as MTSS Coordinator for District #7. Mrs. Mitchell has been with the district since 2019 and currently serves as a prevention counselor at the district level. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of West Florida and a master’s degree in professional school counseling from Tennessee State University. Mrs. Mitchell has more than 16 years of experience in school counseling, multi-tiered systems of support, and providing positive behavior supports for students.  

Mrs. Jessica Tatum, as Early Childhood Coordinator for District #7. Mrs. Tatum is in her third year with District #7 and currently serves as the Administrative Intern at Goshen Elementary School. She also spent two years in the district as a Blended Preschool Teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, both from SIUE and is expected to receive her master’s in educational administration later this month, also from SIUE.  

Mrs. Ali Hiller, as Elementary Administrative Intern at Hamel and Midway Elementary Schools. Mrs. Hiller currently teaches second grade at Goshen Elementary, where she is in her 11th year, and serves as an Instructional Coach for K-2 schools in District #7. She possesses a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from SIUE and is expected to receive her master’s degree in educational administration this summer, also from SIUE. 

Mrs. Alex Metzger, as Architect for District #7. Mrs. Metzger recently served as an architect for Cordogan Clark and will be developing and supervising the projects related to the 2023 Bond Proposal which was approved by District #7 voters on April 4, 2023. She has worked as an architect in the St. Louis area for 10 years after graduating from Kansas State University.  

Duncan, Mitchell, Tatum, and Hiler will remain in their current positions for the remainder of the school year, with their new roles taking effect for the 2023-2024 school year. 

The Board of Education also approved the hiring of 34 new certified educators as replacements for staff who have submitted a notice of retirement or resignation.  

Also, the Board approved Mr. Kelsey Pickering as the Head Football Coach for the 2023-2024 school year. Coach Pickering has served as a PE teacher at Edwardsville High School and as the Defensive Coordinator for Tiger Football under Coach Matt Martin. 

Edwardsville Cheerleading Produces Record-Breaking Season

by Mary Ann Mitchell, public relations and communications coordinator

Edwardsville Cheerleading tryouts are being held this week for the 2023-24 team – a team that will look to follow-up on the success of the 2022-23 team, which is coming off a record-breaking season. While EHS cheer has always been a source of pride for the school and the community, their success was a testament to their talent and hard work.  

“We are still so excited about the success that the 2022-23 team had,” said head coach Anna Schuetzenhofer. “We had amazing leaders in our senior class, and we are so happy that they could graduate with a record-breaking season. It makes us excited for future years of Edwardsville Cheerleading and the success to come.” 

The 2022-23 team recorded the school’s highest ranking at the state championships with a sixth-place overall finish. They also claimed the program’s first sectional championship, while also taking first at the ICCA Championships and winning the Southwestern Conference Championship. Additionally, they earned first place finishes at the Lincoln Way East Invite, the Lockport Invite and the Oak Forest Invite.   

“As their coach, I am most proud of them for embracing new traditions and values this season and pushing themselves towards change, which ultimately ended with being recognized as a top contender in the state.”  

Schuetzenhofer said the team’s success can be attributed to many things.  

“As I mentioned, they worked hard on values and cultures this season. We came up with our five core values at the beginning of the season and it helped the team channel their hard work towards their goals.” 

She added that in cheerleading, details are extremely important, and it was something the team had lacked in the past.

“This team focused on the little details, which paired with their immense talent, led to record-breaking results this season.”  

Coming into the season, the coaching staff knew they had to capitalize on the talent this team had.  

“We knew early on that this team was special, but I would say that we could not have predicted that they would be undefeated until IHSA State. We were genuinely surprised and humbled by every win and every accomplishment along the way.”  

In no way was the success of this season a fluke for the program, which has been a leader in this area of state for many years. They have continually been recognized as a top 25 team in the state and in the last four years have stayed consistent in the top 10 teams in the state in the Large Varsity Division. 

“The word of our success this season and in previous seasons will hopefully inspire more young cheerleaders in the district to work hard and build the Edwardsville Cheerleading Program. I want to recognize that our JV and middle school programs also had remarkable success this season due to coaching and talent. We will never stop working to improve the program and I believe that this upcoming season will be just as good, if not better, than this season was.” 



District #7 Substitute Teacher Pay Rate Increased

Substitute teachers are an important part of maintaining continuity in education and ensuring that students receive instruction and proper care even when our regular staff may be absent. To show their value, District #7 has increased the pay rate for substitute teachers to $125/day.

Among the many benefits this position offers include:  

  • Working while your kids are in school 
  • Choosing the school(s) where you work 
  • Enjoying the same school breaks and holidays 
  • Flexibility to choose the days you work 
The school year may be winding down, but Distirct #7 is still looking for subs.



2023 Summer Enrichment

Summer Enrichment opportunities are back!

See the attached flyers for exciting summer opportunities for students in grades K-8.

K-2 Art (K-2nd grade students only) 

3-5 Art (3rd-5th grade students only)

Middle School Art (6th-8th grade students only) 

STEMscopes (3rd-8th grade students only) 

Links to sign up for summer courses are in the PDFs.

Once completed, send or bring payment to:
District 7 Center for Learning
1210 North Main Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025

All enrollment is pending until payment has been received.

For questions on any of these, please contact Julie Dean at 618-655-6021.

Community Approves District #7’s Zero-Tax-Rate-Increase Bond Proposal

District #7 voters gave their support to the district’s bond proposal on the April 4 election ballot. The bond proposal is a $100 million zero-tax-rate-increase bond issue, which will fund projects at every school in D7, including addressing identified facility needs, essential safety and security upgrades and other identified critical maintenance needs and provide an improved learning environment for D7 students. Approval of the bond issue will not increase the district’s bond and interest property tax levy. 

“We thank the District #7 community for getting out to vote,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “We are proud to be in a community that has strong pride in its schools. Improving our school buildings now will benefit many future generations of students and homeowners, while helping to protect the financial future of our district.” 

In the coming weeks, D7 will begin planning for and scheduling projects in the bond issue.   

“It’s important to note that due to the size of this bond issue, it will likely take five or six years to complete all items on the project lists,” said Shelton. “Top priority projects will be completed first and then, secondary projects will begin. The proposed bond issue addresses identified needs for the district, however, the list could possibly be modified due to changing financial conditions. With today’s economy, the district will be diligent to protect the taxpayer’s investment while completing the identified projects in the bond issue proposal.” 

Unofficial results from the election showed 64.52% voting in favor of the proposal. A 50% majority was required for the measure to pass.

For more information on the D7 bond proposal, go to 

2023-24 Pre-Registration Open

Parents/guardians of students new to District #7 for the 2023-24 school year can now pre-register for the 2023-2024 school year. This includes incoming kindergarteners, students moving into the district or students transferring from a private school.   

A pre-registration form must be submitted for any student that is not currently enrolled in District #7. All pre-approved and returning District #7 families will still need to complete the registration process. 

Registration for students currently enrolled in District #7 is anticipated to open on or around May 1, 2023. 

Pre-registration requires a birth certificate of the student and a photo identification of the person filling out the pre-registration form.  

Parents/guardians may pre-register their student(s) here: District #7 Pre-Registration 


District #7 March Update


Hello District #7 and Happy Friday! As of 3:35 p.m. today our students and teachers will be on a well-deserved break. Spring break begins today and school will be back in session on Tuesday, April 11.   

I wanted to take a few moments to update you on our recent Board meeting. Mr. Michael Hubbard, the Director of Security in District #7, presented the current and ongoing work of maintaining safe schools throughout District #7. Safety and Security are never far from our mind, but that holds especially true as we witness the recent events in Nashville, TN. We continue to be in thought and prayer for those families impacted by this horrible event.  

As a school district, we must remain vigilant in identifying and responding to threats which occur. Over the past several months, Mr. Hubbard has increased the training and consistency of our School Safety Officers and their presence in schools, updated our district-wide crisis manual, and connected our district-wide safety and security team. We also continue to investigate any threats of violence which are brought to our attention. District #7 is also installing vape detectors over Spring Break in an effort to alleviate the vaping epidemic which continues to impact our students.  

I also provided the Board of Education and those present with an update on our no-tax-rate-increase bond proposal that is on the ballot next Tuesday. Earlier this year, safety and security was identified as the number one priority for our schools and the bond proposal includes installing double-entry door systems in each District #7 school. We are also excited about the potential upgrades to our facilities with a renovation and addition to Lincoln Middle School, repairs and renovations at Hamel Elementary, Midway Elementary, Columbus Elementary and Edwardsville High School, along with new accessible and safe playgrounds at all District #7 Elementary Schools.  With Election Day occurring over spring break, we have also been intentionally reminding those in the District #7 community who are travelling to vote early. Please visit for more information on the bond proposal. 

We continue to plan for a busy summer in District #7. Summer school for this year will be held at Goshen Elementary School and Liberty Middle School, as Edwardsville High School will be closed for the vast majority of the summer for construction and fire alarm work.  

Finally, Parents/guardians of students new to District #7 for the 2023-24 school year can now pre-register on our website at This includes incoming kindergarteners, students moving into the district or students transferring from a private school. Registration for students currently enrolled in District #7 is anticipated to open on or around May 1, 2023. We will be sure to communicate as we get closer to May.  

Spring in District #7 is always a busy one and following spring break, I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to take in one of our spring sports and activities such as our spring concerts, as all of our students continue to make District #7 proud.   

Have a wonderful Spring Break and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, April 11!  

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.



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.”   




Friday Feature: Cindy Steele, Special Education Coordinator

by Mary Ann Mitchell, public relations and communications coordinator

District #7 special education coordinator Cindy Steele has always had a passion for children, their well-being and happiness.  

She has been with the district for 29 years, joining the D7 family as a school psychologist before moving into her current role in 2006.  

“I have been fortunate in my role. It has allowed me to work as part of a team, which is critical in problem-solving and student needs. I get to look at different issues through the lenses of parents, teachers, administrators, and the child.” 

Steele has always had an interest in mental health and while working in a psychiatric hospital for children, knew she wanted to concentrate on school psychology. 

“Working on the different units in the hospital setting, one of the common themes of all the children was their educational experience and how they struggled in school because of the needs they had. I knew I wanted to do psychology in an education setting. It is such an important part of student’s life.” 

Throughout her career, she has been able to work towards the well-being and happiness of students in a variety of ways.  

“I have a bunch of passions within that overarching passion for kids and that includes social-emotional health. The impact I hope to leave is helping to develop programs for kids and systems of support that allows them to recognize their strengths and celebrate what they are good at and their impact on the world, while also giving them the skills and tools to navigate all the challenges.” 

Another passion of Steel’s is reading and helping kids unlock the code and developing programs for students with developmental disabilities, specific learning abilities and medically fragile children. 

Steele said she has been fortunate to work with many different teams across all school buildings as well individuals throughout the community.  

“I’ve had the privilege of partnering with SIUE and their school psychology department when we built a program for students with autism spectrum disorder and are now working with SIUE to develop multi-tiered systems of support.” 

She has also been able to work with law enforcement partners, school resource officers, nurses, and even bus drivers and transportation team members.  

“Edwardsville and this community have a lot of compassionate people who are dedicated to what they are doing. I love my job and it can be challenging at times, but I have always felt very supported because of the people alongside me that share the same passion for kids.” 

Steele said the most rewarding part of her job is seeing a program developed that has a significant impact on a student.  

“I want every child to feel successful here, which is part of our mission statement. Seeing their successes and making sure they also see those successes is so rewarding.” 

Summer Enrichment Opportunities

Summer Enrichment opportunities are back!

See the attached flyers for exciting summer opportunities for students in grades K-8.

K-2 Art (K-2nd grade students only) 

3-5 Art (3rd-5th grade students only)

Middle School Art (6th-8th grade students only) 

STEMscopes (3rd-8th grade students only) 

Links to sign up for summer courses are in the PDFs.

Once completed, send or bring payment to:
District 7 Center for Learning
1210 North Main Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025

All enrollment is pending until payment has been received.

For questions on any of these, please contact Julie Dean at 618-655-6021.

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.


Friday Feature: Marcie Dixon, Columbus SLP

While in junior high, Marcie Dixon, the speech-language pathologist at Columbus Elementary, visited her grandmother who had a stroke and was hospitalized. During that visit, she encountered a speech-language pathologist for the first time and developed a keen interest in learning more about the field. 

“I vividly recall having difficulty understanding my grandmother’s speech due to significant right-sided hemiparesis. The speech-language pathologist at the hospital came to work with her, preforming various speech, memory, and swallowing exercises.” 

Dixon said she asked many questions, and the speech-language pathologist thoroughly explained the effects of her grandmothers’ stroke and her role in rehabilitating speech, cognition, and swallowing.  

“From that moment on, I was intrigued to learn more about the field and the pathway to pursue a career in speech-language pathology.” 

This is Dixon’s 13th year working in the profession and her fourth working at Columbus. The previous three years she split her time providing services at Woodland and Columbus. The EHS alum returned to Edwardsville after living in Chicago to be closer to family and loved ones.  

Throughout her career, Dixon has worked in several different settings including early intervention, private practice, K- 12 schools, hospitals, and acute inpatient rehabilitation.   

“Each setting offered unique experiences, but I prefer the school setting overall. The most rewarding aspects of being a school-based speech-language pathologist are working with children that have various communication needs and abilities, helping establish the foundational skills necessary for effective speech and language, fostering positive relationships with my students and their families, providing on-going support and encouragement, working with collaborative teams, and witnessing the growth in my students over the years with communication and language skills that are beneficial academically, socially, and throughout their lives.” 

This summer, Dixon will return to Chicago to attend the high school graduation of a former student she worked with six years ago.  

“I am honored to be invited, and it is moments like this that solidify the positive and lasting impact I can have in the lives of my students.” 



Friday Feature: Jillian Lemons, Leclaire Social Worker

Leclaire Elementary social worker Jillian Lemons always knew she wanted to be a teacher or a social worker, and in college earned a bachelor’s degree in English with plans to teach high school afterwards.  

“However, I quickly realized that I didn’t have the passion for literature like I did for helping kids through all the hard things, and sometimes the very traumatic events, that life throws at each of us. I do, though, highly value education. Through our schools we have an incredible ability to teach and advocate for all children. I love that I can assist children learn by helping them break through and cope with the barriers that would otherwise stand in their way to do so.” 

Lemons is in her third year with District #7 and in her first year full-time at Leclaire after previously splitting time between Leclaire and Nelson.   

While I miss the students and staff at Nelson, it has been wonderful to have the time to be consistently present and available for the students and staff at Leclaire. I absolutely love my Leclaire family and my team. Everyone is so supportive of each other, and it overflows into the love we have for our kids.” 

Lemons was also certain middle school was the age she wanted to work with, but since being in K-2, there is now no other age group she would rather be with.  

 “I absolutely love and adore our little people at Leclaire. Their love of school, pure hearts, and willingness to learn and help one another is incredible. I feel lucky to be part of their first school experience.” 

Being in her third year, she is in awe of the growth made by the students she is fortunate enough to work with regularly.  

“There is nothing more rewarding than walking down the halls and hearing their little voices say, ‘hi, Mrs. Lemons!’ with so much enthusiasm. I have also worked closely with and learned from some of the greatest educators, from our specialized programs at Leclaire to our general education rooms. Leclaire has most definitely become my second home, and there is no place I would rather be!” 


EHS Senior Named Illinois Journalist of the Year

EHS senior Caspar Dowdy has been named the Illinois Journalist of the Year by the Illinois Journalism Education Association, the highest honor the organization awards a student journalist. Applicants had to submit portfolios of their work demonstrating expertise/experience in numerous areas, including writing and reporting; editing, leadership, and team building; web and social media; design; broadcast journalism; photojournalism; law, ethics, and news literacy; marketing and audience engagement; and commitment to diversity.

Caspar spent approximately 80 hours preparing a digital portfolio between November and the deadline in February and will now represent the state in the national JEA contest. Only one student is awarded this honor in the state of Illinois per year, and Caspar is the first EHS student and student south of Champaign ever to win this award.

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.

Pratt Wins State Title in Girls Wrestling

Congratulations to Edwardsville High School sophomore Mackenzie Pratt who won the girls wrestling state championship at 140 pounds! The championship is the first in the two-year history of the girls program.

Pratt, who was state runner-up last year, pinned Goreville junior Alivia Ming in 1:07 to claim the title on Saturday in Bloomington, Ill. Pratt finishes the year with a 30-1 record.


Friday Feature: Brian Beatty, H/VAC Foreman

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator

For 18 years, H/VAC foreman Brian Beatty has been keeping the temperature just right in district buildings.  

“I love being able to come into a hot or cold room and help save the day for that teacher, staff member or students. They really appreciate when we work as quickly as we can to provide a comfortable atmosphere for them to be able to teach, and for the kids to be able to focus properly on what they need to learn that day.” 

Beatty always wanted to help people in some way and wanted to work in a field that could not only help people, but that would allow him a skill to provide for his family multiple ways.   

In his second year at Ranken Technical College where he was pursuing a degree in H/VAC Technology, District #7 reached out to students and as he said, one thing led to another, and he got the job. That was January 2005.  

“For half a semester, I went to school and worked evenings for the district until I graduated with my degree. District #7 accommodated my schedule and let me work in maintenance at night until I earned my degree and could start days as a H/VAC technician.” 

After 13 years as an H/VAC technician, he was promoted to H/VAC foreman in 2018. 

In addition to being able to provide temperature comfort, the thing he enjoys the most about his job is the opportunity to work for a team that values hard work.  

“That is what we do in our maintenance office – we work as a team to solve problems together. We have a wonderful team of leaders in that office and our goal is always to work hard to serve our students.” 

Beatty says he will forever be grateful for District #7 and his superiors throughout his career.  

“I started with District #7 when I was 19 years old, and since then I have also met and married my wife and have two wonderful sons, who currently attend D7 schools. This district has been a vital part of my success thus far and for that, I am forever grateful. I love how they view hard work and support the staff. It has truly been a wonderful 18 years.” 

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.  



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.” 

EHS Summer School 2023 Enrollment & General Information

Due to construction at Edwardsville High School, all Summer School 2023 classes will be at Liberty Middle School.

Enrollment for Summer School 2023 will open at 8:00 a.m. on February 13, 2023, and close at 5:00 p.m. on April 21, 2023. You will need your student’s ID number (found in TigerView) to enroll for courses.

Students will be enrolled on a first-come, first-serve basis by their completed enrollment date and time.

$180 per course (no cost for students receiving free or reduced lunch)
There is no cost for Classroom Drivers Education.
You will be billed once enrollment is confirmed. 

Friday, June 9, 2023 – Teacher Workday
Monday, June 12, 2023 – First Day of Student Attendance
Monday, June 19, 2023 – No School, Juneteenth Holiday
Tuesday, July 4, 2023 – No School, Independence Day
Friday, July 21, 2023 – Last Day for 6-Week Classes

Six Week Course Options: (June 12 – July 21)
7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.                                   
World Geography
Medieval World History
Semester PE

10:10 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
World Geography
Semester PE
Research & Analysis of Sports in Literature

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Classroom Drivers Education***

8:35 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.
Classroom Drivers Education***

***Students enrolled in Classroom Drivers Education must have completed 9th grade, have at least 4.0 credits, and be 15 years old by July 23, 2023.***


Three Week Course Options: (June 12 – June 30)
7:30 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Consumer Education
US History – Semester 1

Three Week Course Options: (July 3 – July 21)
7:30 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Consumer Education
US History – Semester 2
World Geography


Course Descriptions:

CIVICS                                                                                                                                     0.5 Credit
Grade: 9, 10
Civics is a one-semester required course designed to prepare students to be active participants in the democratic process. The government of the United States is compared to other forms of government. Students are required to pass tests on the US and Illinois Constitutions to meet graduation requirements.  The Illinois and US Constitution tests are given as part of this course.

WORLD GEOGRAPHY                                                                                                             0.5 Credit
Grade: 9, 10
In this course, the five themes of geography (location, place, human/environment interaction, movement, and regions) are applied to regions around the world and across all continents. Emphasis is on physical and human geography and incorporates current issues and events. Through this course students will also have a better understanding of the increased globalization of the world. This course fulfills a graduation requirement.                                                                                                            

CLASSROOM DRIVER EDUCATION                                                                                         0.25 Credit
Grade: 10
If you have finished your freshman year, have successfully passed the equivalent of four year-long courses, and will be age fifteen by July 17, you are eligible to take this class. A graduation requirement, Classroom Driver Education prepares the student to drive safely and skillfully operate a motor vehicle. A student must, according to state law, be in attendance a minimum of 30 classroom hours and maintain a passing grade to complete the requirement. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

HEALTH                                                                                                                                   0.5 Credit
Grade: 10
Health is a course required of all students at the sophomore level. The focus of this class is to provide information on health issues that would enable students to make healthy decisions based on their total well-being. A variety of topics will be covered, including: CPR, responsible decision-making, weight management, mental and emotional wellbeing, stress management, substance abuse, violence prevention, sexuality, AIDS and other STD’s, and disease prevention 

SEMESTER PE                                                                                                                          0.5 Credit
Grade: 9, 10
Physical Education at EHS is designed to enhance the student’s overall fitness and appreciation of physical activity. The focus of physical education classes is on cardiovascular endurance, increased strength and improved flexibility as well as a development of skills in a wide range of activities. Classes will teach entry-level skills as well as lifetime fitness principles in a fun-filled, non-threatening environment. All students are expected to participate in class unless excused by a doctor. Grades are based on attendance, participation, skill, and written tests.

WELLNESS                                                                                                                               0.25 Credit
Grade: 10
The units within this class include CPR and various other Wellness Activities. Completing the CPR unit is a graduation requirement and students may have the opportunity to be certified or re-certified in CPR while in this course.

US HISTORY A (1st semester) and B (2nd semester)                                                              0.5 Credit
Grade: 11, 12
First semester (A) and second semester (B) of United States History are required for junior level students and fulfill a graduation requirement.  These courses (A and B) are recommended to be taken together and enable students to gain a better understanding of how the American society developed.

CONSUMER EDUCATION                                                                                                       0.5 Credit
Grade: 12
This course is required for graduation and provides practical, usable knowledge from which the students can benefit as they move into the rigors and demands of independent adult living. Students will examine and research major buying decisions such as auto, housing, furniture, etc. Consumer Education provides training in insurance buying, credit buying, banking activities, investments, budgeting, and decision-making.

Grade: 11, 12
Research and Analysis of Sports in Literature/Literary Non-Fiction is a one-semester course composed of high- interest fiction and non-fiction, including novels, biographies, memoirs, poetry, and short pieces of literature and literary nonfiction. Literary works contain an emphasis in sport and competition. Writing experiences are linked to classic issues and themes, including fame, character, prejudice, and societal influence, and focus on the development of composition. A research paper is required, and all written work is subject to class presentation.

MEDIEVAL WORLD HISTORY                                                                                                 0.5 Credit
Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12
Medieval World History traces the development of the Middle Ages civilizations, including Byzantium, Arabia, China, Japan, England, France, and the Americas. These include thee fall of Rome through the Renaissance and the development of Feudalism through Monarchy. Each unit involves a review of major events, historical figures, geographical details, and cultural advances. The course includes discussions of economic, political, and cultural changes as well as an analysis and comparison of historical events.

Lincoln School Alumni Foundation to Help Fund District #7 Home-School Liaison

The Lincoln School Alumni Foundation has generously provided Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 with funding to employ a part-time home-school liaison.   

The liaison will be responsible for working collaboratively with families and community partners to ensure the needs of the whole child are being met, while supporting parents/guardians in addressing family needs, social/emotional and academic needs of the student in the home setting, as well as partnering with the educators serving the child. 

“Part of the Lincoln School Alumni Foundation’s mission is to help under resourced students across the district. Their generosity enables the district to help provide additional resources and opportunities to students who need it the most,” said District #7 Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton.   

“The historic Lincoln School Alumni Foundation is very much aware of District #7’s effort to improve our students’ reading skills,” said LSAF president Herman Shaw. “We will continue to support District #7’s efforts to help all students and through this program.”


Pictured, from left to right: Dustin Jumper (LSAF Vice-President), Physhawne Donald (LSAF Board Member), Herman Shaw (LASF President), Dr. Patrick Shelton (District #7 Superintendent) and Dr. Cornelia Smith (District #7 Director of DEI and Elementary Education).

EHS Students Work to Solve “Murder”

EHS Honors Biology and AP Biology students were hard at work last week trying to solve a murder during its annual CSI unit.  

Since 2004, Mrs. Julia Doll, EHS science teacher, has been coordinating this yearly activity. 

“Throughout the years, we’ve learned lessons on different things and have come up with different ways to keep evolving it to where it is today.” 

It’s a unit that Doll relies heavily on others for as well. The school’s SROs are the officers on scene, while drama and theater provide the dead body and other individuals and are tasked with the make-up, the set, lighting, and sounds. Journalism and yearbook have also been part of the cross-curricular event.  

The CSI unit begins with the scene day in which students learn of the dead body and have an hour to examine the scene by collecting evidence, taking pictures, and conducting interviews.  

Doll even makes the scene as real as possible, making it dark before rain and thunder set in, which forces the students to work faster, but by still being accurate and efficient.  

The next part of the activity is referred to as lab day where they are split into various groups to study the forensics through DNA, gels, solutions, footprints, fingerprints, hair, and blood spatter. As they work, they can ask questions to obtain more information to help them figure out who committed the crime.  

“Sometimes they do solve it. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they don’t have enough information and have just circumstantial evidence,” said Doll. “They always want to assume, but we have to remind them they need factual information. This really takes them to a higher level of thinking.” 

The unit also gives them other life lessons.  

“Learning to adapt to different situations, working with people they may not know, stepping outside their comfort zone in tasks they are not comfortable with,” said Doll. “CSI is essentially deductive reasoning and that is something we use in all parts of our life – not just solving a murder.” 


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!

Friday Feature: Darian Brown, Midway SSO

Darian Brown is in his first year as an SSO (school safety officer) at Midway Elementary after a 27-year law enforcement career that included 22 years with the Department of Homeland Security.  

“It was a good career, but it was time to retire. It was a stressful job.” 

During his time with Homeland Security, Brown worked with ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) and homeland security investigations and held a variety of roles from being head of firearm training to running the federal court program.  

“In my last seven years before retiring at the end of 2019, I ran a fugitive unit where I worked with the international police federation to track down foreign born criminals. The section I was in was with human rights violators in other countries that fled to the US.”  

His career took him to 30-40 different countries as he returned individuals to their home country.  

“I got to see a lot of the world. And that’s what I tell a lot of students – go see the world. I loved traveling. Austria was my favorite, but you also got to see how others live and many times I was always glad to come back to the US, especially after being on the streets in Bangladesh or in India.” 

Brown had never planned to go into law enforcement. The one thing he always wanted to do was go into the Air Force after graduating from college, which he did.  

“When I was going into the Air Force, I had a health and wellness background and was planning on a healthcare administration track, but when I got a piece of paper with three choices of career fields, I saw law enforcement and at the last minute asked if I could change it.” 

Brown was with the Air Force Security Forces for five years, living in Panama for three of those years. He also spent a year as a deputy sheriff in Idaho for a year after his time with the Air Force.  

While he’s gone from dealing with criminals to working with some of the district’s youngest learners, Brown said there is more crossover than one might think.  

“Dealing with groups of people and being able to diffuse situations and deal with conflict resolution. I’m also still talking to people every day and working with families, just in a different setting.” 

It’s also been a great change of pace for Brown, who always said when he retired, he wasn’t going to have a job where he’d have a phone or tablet, where he’d get calls or messages 24/7, which was the case with Homeland Security. 

“Here I can be concerned about what’s going on today and when the bell rings, I get to go home.”  

Brown was a substitute teacher in the Belleville School District last year, and at one point, even spent two weeks in a kindergarten classroom, but wanted to switch things up this year, which brought him too Midway.  

 “Everyone at Midway has been so welcoming. I enjoy the family atmosphere here and being able to support the teachers and staff when they need it. I love environments conducive to learning.” 

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.  

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 30, 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. 

Friday Feature: Melissa McKaig, Occupational Therapist

Being an occupational therapist in the school setting allows Melissa McKaig the opportunity to work with a variety of ages and skill sets and to have fun while doing so.  

“The best part is that I get to disguise my work as ‘play’ to motivate my younger students and to collaborate on goals with the older ones.”  

McKaig came to District 7 in 2011 after previously working in Missouri in an outpatient head injury clinic. She works with students at Leclaire, Hamel, Midway, Worden, Columbus, Liberty and EHS.  

“Working with kids has always been my passion, so I was ecstatic when an occupational therapy position opened with D7.” 

In her position, McKaig supports a students’ ability to participate in daily school activities or “occupations”. 

“OT services support a student’s achievement in the areas of play/leisure, academics, self-care, social participation, and transition/work skills. By focusing on the students’ strengths, we help design and implement programming to improve inclusion and accessibility.” 

The occupational therapy field incorporates McKaig’s passion to help others and to think outside the box to develop goals meaningful to the individual.

“I love how versatile the field is, in that we can work with all ages and address various skills to increase independence. Every person is different, so the job is never boring.” 

Just as every person is different, so is every day.  

“Since I travel to different buildings, I get to work with different grade levels and also get to learn from and communicate ideas with our amazing educators.”  

Because of the students she works with, her position does not feel like a job.  

“Their energy and enthusiasm make the day fun!  They motivate me to continuously find creative ways to work on difficult skills. They teach me something new each treatment session and reward my efforts with their progress.” 


Friday Feature: Mark Tschudy, Lincoln Prevention Counselor

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator 


Mark Tschudy is a one-stop shop of support for kids. From student safety to helping students through social and emotional situations, Tschudy is one of the few that has the privilege of working with students in many different situations and at many different levels.  

Tschudy is the prevention counselor at Lincoln Middle School. He’s been with the district since 2006 and until the last four years split time between Liberty and Lincoln.  

“When I started, this role was setting up positive activities for kids, after school volunteering, getting parents connected with the school and trying to give students a voice in the building. Then when I moved to just Lincoln, they included the general education counseling in it as well.” 

Even though it may be an expanded role, Tschudy said it’s been beneficial for students.  

“Any student in the building knows they can come here to get support for anything. It’s not just coming to see the counselor. It’s where they go if they want to start a new program or a new club, or if they just need every day help with something.” 

Tschudy didn’t always know this was the route he was going to take, but has always known he’s wanted to work with middle schoolers. 

“I think they are the most unique population and have such an incredible outlook on life. After a while, counseling just became something that I knew would get me connected to kids and would allow me to interact with them. I get to know kids as individuals and as humans and try and get them to work towards values and ideas that are important both inside and outside of school.” 

Tschudy is grateful for all the opportunities District 7 has allowed him and the student connections he’s been able to build.  

“Students feeling connected to their building and developing a sense of ‘belonging’ is tremendously important. Being involved in FIT/GO, counseling, coaching, and the new house systems has really provided me with opportunities to build those connections. Getting kids excited about their education, whether that’s through building relationships, offering support when needed, or helping them access sports and clubs is so important. The highlight of my job is being able to provide our students with activities they look forward to.” 





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.


Internet Safety Parent Information Night

District #7 will host a “What Parents Need to Know About Internet Safety” presentation on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at 6 p.m. in the EHS Auditorium.

Alyssa Castlemann of the Office of Illinois Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force will be the special guest speaker.

The targeted audience is for 3rd-8th grade parents/guardians. Seating is limited and those interested in attending should RSVP here. Due to the content covered, children are recommended to not attend.


Students Artwork Selected for District’s Holiday Cards

This year, the District office held a contest for students to design the holiday card that would be sent from the Board of Education.

Four were selected from the hundreds of designs that were submitted.

Thank you to each student who submitted a design. There are a lot of amazingly talented artists at all grade levels.

Here were the four selected:

Diana Venelinova, EHS


Ava Carter, Liberty


Elornam Kraka, Leclaire


Emma Pautz, Worden

Engage District 7 Final Report & Recommendations


Watch the video version of this communication HERE.


December 16, 2022  

Dear District #7 community,   

Last Monday, the Board of Education held a special meeting to hear the final report and recommendations for a facility plan from the Engage District 7 facilitating team.  

For the past four months, over 250 individuals from the District #7 community have been working to put together a plan on how to meet the facility needs for all District #7 students, now and in the future. The community engagement process provided valuable information for Engage District 7’s final recommendations.   

To make these recommendations a reality and to address the identified needs in District #7, the facilitating team recommended the Board of Education place a bond proposal for building repairs and improvement on the April 4, 2023, ballot that would provide a zero-tax rate increase on the current debt service levy. This bond proposal would address the projects which were prioritized through community engagement sessions.  

The projects include: 

  • Installing double-entry doors for improved safety and security at seven schools (Glen Carbon, Leclaire, Nelson, Columbus and Woodland elementary schools, Lincoln Middle School, and Edwardsville High School), which would result in secure double entries at each of the district’s 13 schools. 
  • Rebuilding Lincoln Middle School on its existing site with the goal of retaining the 1925 building, and with other sections being deconstructed, then occupied through construction phased over a 36-to-42-month period. 
  • Conducting a second engineering survey/report specifically for Midway Elementary School and developing a plan for Midway Elementary School based on community priorities and additional information obtained. 
  • Remediating asbestos and building new classrooms, gymnasium, and entry at Hamel Elementary School.  
  • Expanding the commons at Edwardsville High School.  
  • Relocating the office at Nelson Elementary School.  
  • Providing safe and accessible playgrounds at all primary and intermediate schools. 
  • Providing safe and accessible gymnasiums at Leclaire, Glen Carbon and Columbus elementary schools.  
  • Updating media centers at Columbus and Woodland elementary schools and building a new media center at Edwardsville High School.   

The projected cost of completing all projects is approximately $100 million, which would be accomplished through a bond proposal that would not increase the debt tax rate currently in place.  

The Board of Education will discuss the final report and recommendations at their monthly board meeting this Monday, December 19, 2022, at 7 p.m. and will be voting on the recommendations on Monday, January 9, 2023, at a special board meeting at 5:30 p.m. If you are unable to make either of these meetings, they will be streamed on the District’s Facebook page 

You may also find more information at  

We hope you have a great holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2023!  


Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.

Friday Feature: Lynn Padgett, Liberty Receptionist/Records Secretary

After relocating to Edwardsville in 2000 to be closer to family, Liberty receptionist/records secretary Lynn Padgett was a stay-at-home mom who was also active in the school’s PTO. She also served as a member of the District 7 Growth Committee and was a member of the CAC (Citizens Advisory Committee) when the opportunity to serve as a secretary sub within the district came about. After subbing for a few years, a permanent opening became available at Liberty in 2005. That was 17 years ago, and Padgett has been a mainstay in the front office since.   

“I love the frenetic of it. I never know what each day will bring, but I know it’s always going to be fun and exciting, and I love being able to see every kid that comes through the building.”  

Padget spends most days multitasking – answering the phone, getting messages to students and staff, calling students to see their respective administrator, finding subs for covering vacancies in the classroom, and scheduling events in and around the building.  

 “Not everyone understands that as a school secretary, how unexpected your day is. You don’t come in and have the same routine. There are certain aspects of the job that are the same, but there is never the same day. To me that is the best part. There is no routine.” 

 The thing that has kept Padgett in her position and at Liberty is the strong connection with the administrators, office, staff, teachers, support staff and students.  

 At Liberty I am able to work with every level from students to their parents, all staff, and administrators. Every year I think it cannot get better, but it does. We are truly family.” 

 Padgett also loves the middle-school age group of students.  

 “They are figuring everything out at this age. It is inspiring to watch them change and mature from sixth to eighth grade. I hope to be able to continue to support the students and staff at Liberty Middle School for years to come.” 



Geography Bee Winners

District 7, Local Libraries Provide Access to Each Student

For the past several months, District #7 has been working closely with the Edwardsville Public Library and other libraries in the District #7 footprint to provide every student enrolled in District #7 access to a public library card. That program is now active.   

“This partnership between District #7 and the public libraries serving the school district allows us to provide access to all students,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “This is possible due to the cooperation of the local public libraries and an Intergovernmental Agreement between District #7 and the Edwardsville Public Library to provide access to students living outside of a library taxing area.” 

Student’s cards will be registered at one of the following libraries based on their home address: Edwardsville Public Library, Glen Carbon Centennial Library, Worden Public Library, Wood River Public Library, Bethalto Public Library District, Maryville Community Library and Roxana Public Library. These libraries are all part of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) and share resources. As a result, students will be able to check out physical books from any of the libraries listed above. Electronic resources, including e-books/audiobooks are not shared, so access to databases and e-reading apps will vary based on the library the student is registered at.  

“We are excited to be able to provide District #7 students with access to additional resources which will enhance their education.” 

There will be no physical cards issued by the library, instead each student’s school ID will be their library card. Information on how to use the school ID as a library card was sent to families in a district communication.  



Friday Feature: Molly Deist, Goshen Reading Specialist

Molly Deist taught kindergarten and first grade for several years before deciding that her true passion was literacy.   

“I remember watching students have those moments when reading clicked and I wanted to be able to spend my time focusing on helping student achieve those moments.” 

Deist pursued her literacy specialist degree at SIUE and was a reading specialist in Missouri for seven years before deciding she wanted to serve the community where she lived.  

“I also knew that District 7 had many amazing educators who I could learn from and many opportunities to grow professionally.” 

Deist is in her sixth year as a reading specialist at Goshen but has also helped at Nelson and Glen Carbon elementary schools.  

One of the reasons she decided to move from the classroom environment to a reading specialist role was that it allowed her to concentrate on one area that impacts all areas.  

“Being a strong reader is the foundation for academic success and I love watching students apply the skills they’ve learned in reading club to all academic areas.” 

Deist does not come from a long line of educators but has always loved working with children.  

“I began working as an early childhood education major because I loved the opportunity to see students experience school for the first time. 

Once she was able to get into the classroom through internships in college, Deist knew she had found the place where she belonged.  

“The growth that you can see from early childhood even through just second grade is astounding. Being part of that growth is what makes my job so rewarding.” 

Deist is thrilled to work for a district that embraces the science of reading as well as getting to work with some of the district’s youngest learners.

I love being able to look at my students as a whole and have discussions about how we can best meet their needs. It is imperative that we provide our youngest students with a strong phonemic awareness and phonics foundation and the reading club is a great place to help lay that foundation. K-2 students are excited to learn every day and I feel so fortunate to be a small part of that love of learning. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to say that you truly love your job.” 


Friday Feature: Lindsey Tallerico, GCE Speech Language Pathologist

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations and Communications Coordinator

From the age of 16, Lindsey Tallerico knew she wanted to be a speech language pathologist.  

“I have had many SLPs in my life, including a cousin and a mother-in-law, who all spoke highly of the field and encouraged me through my education. To me, the field of speech language pathology is the perfect mix of science and linguistics.”  

Tallerico is in her fourth year at Glen Carbon Elementary. It’s the second stint at Glen Carbon for the D7 alumnae, who was born and raised in Edwardsville. She is in her 19th year in District 7, having also worked at Woodland, Worden, Hamel, Columbus, Nelson, Leclaire, Goshen, and Lincoln.   

While she could have gone the private practice route, it’s the collaborative aspect of the school setting that Tallerico enjoys.  

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with great interdisciplinary teams over the years and learned so much from colleagues.” 

She also knows that communication impacts children across educational environments and wants to help those students.  

“I love to target communication skills that incorporate classroom concepts or literacy skills.”  

The biggest reward for Tallerico is simply helping a student communicate and advocate for their wants and needs.  

“Whether it’s increasing their speech intelligibility, helping them socialize with peers, or improving their ability to answer questions in their classroom, I’m making a positive impact on their lives. And I love to hear from parents and teachers that one of my students will not stop talking!” 

Throughout her career, Tallerico has worked with students of all ages, but especially enjoys working with K-2 students.  

“I love their enthusiasm and energy. We sing songs, we dance, we laugh, all while improving communication skills!” 





District 7 Announces Partnership With First Community Credit Union

Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 has announced a corporate partnership with First Community Credit Union that will run through July 2027.   

As part of its partnership, First Community Credit Union will offer custom Edwardsville High School debit cards, available at both local branches, located in the Glen Carbon Walmart and on 157. FCCU will also have advertising on football and basketball scoreboards.  

“We are excited to partner with First Community Credit Union,” said District 7 Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton. “First Community has a history of being involved in its local communities and we are grateful for their support of our students.”  

First Community was originally founded nearly 90 years ago as the Monsanto Credit Union. Today some of the grandkids of those former Monsanto employees attend Edwardsville High School. This partnership with the district is the best way I can think of to show our support of the school and the community from generation to generation,” said Glenn D. Barks, First Community Credit Union President & CEO.  

About First Community:
First Community Credit Union has been operating for nearly 90 years and serves over 375,000 members. First Community is in the top 100 credit unions in the nation. Its mission is to provide quality products and affordable financial services. It serves all persons living and working in the Illinois counties of Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair and the Missouri communities of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Franklin County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, and Warren County. 

Pontious Selected as one of Emerson’s 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipients

Edwardsville High School English teacher Nickie Pontious has been selected as one of Emerson’s 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award recipients.  

She is among more than 80 teachers from across the St. Louis metropolitan area who are being recognized this year through the program as examples of truly outstanding educational excellence. 

“I am truly honored to receive this recognition,” Pontious said. “There are so many teachers deserving of recognition for the work they do every single day, so I am especially grateful for this opportunity.” 

The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards, now in its 33rd year, is one of the St. Louis region’s most recognized teacher recognition programs. Emerson proudly sponsors this program as a way of helping the St. Louis community express their collective admiration and gratitude for their dedication to teaching the area’s students. 

“We are extremely proud of Nickie for being named a recipient of the Emerson’s Excellence in Teaching Award,” said EHS principal Dr. Steve Stuart. “She has dedicated her time to her students through the outstanding work she does in the classroom and her extracurricular activities, and in supporting her peers through her leadership role on our PLC (professional learning communities) Team.”  

Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton echoes Stuart’s sentiments. 

“Nickie exemplifies what it means to be an excellent educator and is truly deserving of this honor. Her inspiring enthusiasm and positivity for her students is unmatched and we are extremely grateful to have Nickie in District 7.” 

Pontious has spent all 12 years of her teaching career at EHS.  

“Teaching is a career that is ever-changing, hustling and bustling, switching gears every moment in every school day to accommodate the needs of individual students as a collective group, but it is one of the most rewarding accomplishments of my life,” said Pontious. “My students drive my passion for teaching. I am thankful to get to know each and every one of them and be their personal cheerleader as they grow and evolve into lifelong learners.”    

In addition to her teaching position, Pontious is the sponsor of the Interact Club, the Tiger Podcast and routinely facilitates professional development for other teachers. She was one of three teachers selected to lead the guiding coalition to implement PLCs for District #7. 

In recognition of her honor, Pontious received an engraved crystal apple from Tiffany & Co., along with other additional tokens of appreciation from Emerson. She was also recognized at the November 28, 2022, District #7 Board of Education meeting. 

Special Informational Meeting at Midway Moved to Nov. 30

Due to unforseen circumstances, the special informational meeting scheduled for Monday, November 21 at Midway has been postponed. That meeting will now take place on Wednesday, November 30 at 6 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience, but look forward to sharing additional information directly related to Midway and its critical building infrastructure needs on November 30. 

Friday Feature: Wendy Sanders, FLS Program Assistant

Wendy Sanders has always had a passion and gift for working with children.   

“I have always enjoyed working with kids and caring for others.” 

As an FLS program assistant, she gets to do that daily.  

After relocating back to the area from the east coast where her husband’s job moved them, she needed to go back to work. After high school, she worked at Memorial Hospital in Belleville in various roles, including unit secretary, and also helped with the children’s Sunday school at her church.  

“I knew I wanted to work with children and my sister, who also works for D7, suggested that I apply as a playground monitor. I was hired and began at Woodland Elementary in 2013.” 

Sanders did that for a year and then was a substitute assistant in Mr. Fark’s FLS classroom. When the opportunity to join as a FLS program assistant opened, she took it and has been working in his classroom ever since.  

“He’s the best teacher to work with! I absolutely love working with Mr. Fark and the children. It brings me such joy to be able to help shape their lives.” 

After years at Woodland Elementary, Sanders followed Fark to Cassens this year.  

“I continue to work for the district because my heart is with all the children and the great staff members, both at Woodland and Cassens, that have mentored me and became my friends. There are so many rewarding things about my job and working for D7, but the most rewarding is seeing the children learn and excel in their life.” 

District #7 School Calendar Survey

District #7 is seeking input into the development of the 2023-24 school calendar, as well as the structure of future calendars.   

Input and feedback received from this school calendar survey will be shared with the District Leadership Team, Calendar Committee, and the Board of Education, and will be used to develop drafts of the 2023-24 school calendar. The Board of Education approves the school calendar each year, typically no later than the January regular board meeting.  

When completing this survey, please remember that each school year must contain 174 instructional days, two (2) days for parent teacher conferences, and four (4) teacher institute days. In addition, there are holidays which must be taken as required by Illinois School Code.  

You can access the survey here: It will remain open through Tuesday, November 22, 2022.  

2022-23 Winter Weather Plan

November 13, 2022   

Dear District #7 families,  

As we saw this weekend, winter is fast approaching, and along with it comes the potential for weather and travel concerns. If inclement weather prompts District #7 to cancel school, alter bus schedules, or hold an e-Learning day, we will notify parents and staff as soon as possible using a variety of communication tools. Please note, extreme weather can be unpredictable, but the decision to cancel school or call for an e-Learning day will be made by 5 a.m., if possible, on days when inclement weather occurs or is pending. District #7 will only send a message if school is cancelled, bus routes are altered, or an e-Learning day is issued. Otherwise, the day will proceed as usual. Kid Zone will also be closed if there is an inclement weather day. More information will be sent to enrolled families of their plan if weather is a factor. 

While District #7 can use up to five e-Learning days in lieu of snow days when weather conditions make it dangerous to get students to school, we will not have an e-Learning day until our K-2 students have devices, which is scheduled to occur in January. Please remember that we will not be taking away all snow days, we will just have the flexibility to utilize e-learning and emergency days, depending on the winter conditions.  

When the decision is made to cancel school or hold an e-Learning day due to inclement weather, the District will send an email, a text message, and a recorded message via phone to all families via our message broadcast system, SchoolMessenger.  

The system will utilize contact information that the District currently has on file in SchoolMessenger, which interfaces with the District’s student information system. Contact information was provided at registration by parents/guardians. Revised or updated contact information should be provided to your child’s school. All information and contact numbers are secure and confidential and are used only for the purposes described above. If you have not opted-in for text messages and would like to do, please see the Text Opt-in attachment.  

 If you have any questions about this system or any part of the SchoolMessenger notification process, please contact Bill Miener, Director of Information Systems & Service, at 655-6018, or by email at 

District #7 will post school closure information at and on our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The District also notifies local television stations (KMOV-TV CHANNEL 4 NEWS; KSDK-TV CHANNEL 5 NEWS; FOX 2 NEWS) as well as radio station KMOX (AM-1120).  

With Tiger Pride,  
Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.

No School November 8 and November 11

Reminder that there is no school, and all buildings and offices will be closed, on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 for Election Day and on Friday, November 11, 2022 in honor of Veterans Day.

The 2022-23 school calendar can be viewed here.

Friday Feature: Shanyra Cox, Elementary Technology Coach

Shanyra Cox loves technology, teaching, and learning. In her position as an elementary technology coach, she gets to do all three.  

 “The best part of being a technology coach is collaborating with my peers as they create digital lessons that will have a meaningful impact on their students. There is no greater joy than helping others, students or colleagues, strive to be the best version of themselves as they navigate something new.” 

Cox may be in her first year as the elementary technology coach, but she is no stranger to District #7, having spent all 22 years here. She began her career as a second-grade teacher at Glen Carbon Elementary School and since then has taught everything from second grade, fifth grade, elementary Spanish, and elementary instructional technology.   

“I love teaching and coaching because every day we make differences in people’s lives, which extend far beyond knowledge. We inspire, support, mentor and get the opportunity to discover and share some of the best parts of ourselves as human beings. Teaching and coaching exposes me to a world of different cultures and the greatest diversity of personalities.” 

Cox originally wanted to join the Peace Corps after high school, however her dad, who believed in the importance of education, convinced her to go to college first.  

“He told me ‘No matter what you decide to do in life, I want you to get that teaching certificate first’.” 

She initially fell in love with the Spanish language and in the fall of 1998, knew she wanted to become a teacher.  

“I met a Spanish speaking family that lived in my off-campus apartment complex. I helped translate homework for the children after school. It was so satisfying to see the little lightbulb go off in their heads as they began to understand their schoolwork from earlier in the day.” 

Little did she know Cox would still be just as passionate about teaching.  

“Kids are fun. I love what I do! I know it sounds cliché, but I truly do. As teachers we get to demonstrate the importance of good character and work ethic. For some we are the only adult to set boundaries or be a warm and caring presence in a child’s life. It is a truly awesome responsibility and if I had it to do over, I would still be a teacher.” 


District #7 Open Interviews Set for November 7

District #7 will hold open interviews for several positions on Monday, November 7 from 2-4:30 p.m. at the Hadley House. No appointment is needed.


ECF 2022-23 Scholarship Season Begins

Applications for scholarships at the Edwardsville Community Foundation are now available at the guidance office of Edwardsville High School. Applications are due January 31, 2023.

Last year, the Edwardsville Community Foundation granted $116,600 in scholarships to assist 60 local students pursuing degrees at colleges, universities, community colleges and vocational and technical schools.

To learn more about the criteria for each of these awards and who is eligible to apply, please visit Scholarships page.

About Edwardsville Community Foundation: Established in 1997, ECF was founded to create an organization where people could donate money that would directly impact the quality of life in the local communities. ECF operates as a charitable trust that receives, manages, and distributes tax-deductible charitable contributions for the benefit of the residents in District 7 communities. For more information call 855-464-3223 or visit

No School October 31 and November 1

A reminder that there is no school for students on Monday, October 31, 2022 and Tuesday, November 1, 2022 due to parent teacher conferences.



Friday Feature: MaryBeth Brown, Kid Zone Director

MaryBeth Brown discovered her immense passion for before and after school childcare when she first began working in the field in 1999.   

“I was lucky to find my professional mention, Rodger Schmidt, whom I worked for in the early years of my career at the YMCA Kids Network program. Through his leadership and dedication, I learned the importance and necessity of out-of-school care and play in a child’s life.”  

A lifelong resident of Edwardsville who has three of her own children in District #7 schools, Brown has been with Kid Zone since 2012, working as a program coordinator and assistant director before taking on the role of director in 2017.   

As Kid Zone Director, she oversees the planning and operations of the eight Kid Zone elementary school sites. Along with her wonderful and dedicated team of counselors, site coordinators, program coordinator and assistant directors, they have made the program what it is today.   

“I enjoy working for a school district that knows the benefit of offering a program that focuses on play and social interactions for children while also serving the childcare needs of families.” 

Brown also enjoys seeing the children grown through their elementary-aged years at Kid Zone.  

“It is also wonderful to see former Kid Zone kids return to work with us as counselors. I am fortunate to not only see the kiddos grow into themselves through the years, but also witness our counselors’ growth as they move into their professional careers.” 

Brown takes much pride in the District #7 community and is passionate about her role.  

“Working for the Edwardsville School District feels like home to me; I could never imagine not being a Tiger! I am dedicated and passionate about helping families’ childcare needs in the community I love.” 

Brown has undergrad degrees in psychology and social work and recently completed a master’s degree in family and human development with a specialization in child development. Her initial interest was in the study of biology, which eventually led her to the social science field.

“I enjoy learning, researching, and the statistical analyses of human behaviors and relationships. Currently, I am working with a team of researchers on the critical role of play in child development. I enjoy bringing this knowledge to the Kid Zone program to help it evolve and develop to best serve the kids and our community.” 



EHS Welcomes Back GAPP Exchange

For the first time since the 2019-20 school year, Edwardsville High School has welcomed its German American Partnership Program (GAPP) Exchange partners back.  

14 students and two teachers from Herman Hesse Gymnasium in Calw, Germany (in the Black Forest) will be visiting EHS through November 4. German exchange students stay with EHS students during their visit to the United States, while EHS students will stay with the same partner when they visit Germany in June of 2023.  

While here, German students will participate in several events in the area, including visits to St. Louis, Mo., and Springfield, Ill., while also experiencing American life with their host families. This past Saturday, they had an opportunity to explore St. Louis and visited the St. Louis Zoo, City Museum, and the Gateway Arch.  

On Monday, German students toured the EHS main campus, the sports complex, and the RP Lumber Center. They had the unique opportunity to enjoy part of a performance from visiting musicians in the orchestra room during their tour. Other highlights of the tour included a walk above the auditorium and a chance to walk on the field at Tiger Stadium.    

The exchange partnership between Hermann Hesse Gymnasium and Edwardsville High School began with the inaugural exchange in the 2017-2018 school year. Ideally, every other school year the exchange would take place with German students visiting during the fall or early spring and EHS students traveling to Germany in June. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, the exchange had to be put on pause.  

“We are incredibly grateful and privileged for the partnership between our schools and the educational opportunities it provides our students and look forward to continuing this relationship in the years to come,” said Levi Antrim, EHS German Teacher and GAPP Coordinator.  


Friday Feature: Leslie Ellis, Cassens Social Worker

As a school social worker, Leslie Ellis gets to support students and partner with their families and teachers, as well as serve on teams to help impact change at a building or even district level.   

“I love working collaboratively with my colleagues to help students make progress and meet their goals. I am constantly learning, and constantly humbled by realizing how much I don’t know, but most days I get to feel like I helped someone—even if I only accomplished a tiny fraction of my to-do list.” 

Ellis is in her seventh year as the school social worker at Albert Cassens Elementary. She spent her first four years in the District at Glen Carbon Elementary and spent the fourth quarter serving Liberty Middle School last year as well.  

Ellis is no stranger to District #7. She grew up in Edwardsville – attending Nelson, Glen Carbon, Edwardsville Junior High and EHS – but did not come back to live here until 15 years after graduating from high school. Ironically, as she was at Hadley House to drop off an application for substitute teacher, she was told they had just posted a social worker position. The rest, as they say, is history. 

“When my preschool teacher was serving as a substitute secretary on my first day and greeted me with a hug, it felt serendipitous. I have since met (or been reunited with, in some cases!) some of my favorite people in the world, and D7 feels like home once again.” 

Ellis went to college as an undeclared major and had no real idea what she wanted to do career-wise.  

“The School of Social Work sent out information to all undeclared majors about the field and the different things you can do with a social work degree. I was intrigued and decided to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work.” 

Once in the program, she observed a social worker in a school setting and realized that was the job she wanted.  

“I liked the idea of supporting students’ social and emotional well-being to help them become successful in their education and relationships.” 

Ellis enjoys working with students at the intermediate level of third through fifth grade as it allows her to see the kids starting to become who they are going to be.  

“There is still a lot of sweetness in these grades, but they are getting their personalities, becoming deeper thinkers, and developing their senses of humor, which is my favorite part—these kids are so funny and clever. They may do less learning as a whole class, and instead work independently or in small groups, using their social skills, perseverance, and regulation skills. This can lead to challenges and struggles along the way, but it is amazing to watch them grow.” 


Parent Teacher Conferences Pick A Time

District 7 will again use Pick-A-Time to schedule PreK-12 parent-teacher conferences to be held on October 31, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and November 1, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Pick-A-Time allows parents to schedule conferences through the internet using the account from last year or by creating a new account. Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. on October 21, 2022, and will end at 10:00 p.m. on October 30, 2022.  

We will continue to hold parent-teacher conferences virtually in District 7. Participation in conferences across levels increased with the inception of virtual conferences. Virtual conferences offer parents the opportunity to engage without the need to drive to the building, take off work if applicable, or find childcare. In addition, our teachers are more likely to remain on time and may attend their own children’s conferences without significantly limiting their availability to parents. Ultimately, it is our goal to ensure that our parent/teacher conferences are productive in opening lines of communication and fostering the home/school partnership. In the event you need to schedule an in-person conference, or you do not have internet access, please contact your child’s building or teachers directly to make an appointment. 

Scheduling Conferences using Pick-a-Time 

  1. Navigate to and login 
  1. Returning users – enter email address and password  
  1. New users click “Login/Create Account”  
  1. Fill in required information 
  1. Enter your child’s first and last name (together with no space) 

Ex: BenjaminFranklin 

  1. Enter your child’s birthdate (mm/dd/yyyy) and click “add”  
  1. Select a date to schedule the conference 
  1. Add additional children if necessary 
  1. Click on the colored box of your preferred time slot. Each color represents a different teacher/course. 
  1. Click “Create Appointment” 
  1. A confirmation email will be sent with the date, time, teacher, and Teams link.  
  1. A reminder email will also be sent 24 hours prior to the date of the conference. 

PreK-5 Students 

  • Elementary students with two teachers will schedule their parent teacher conferences with both teachers at the same time.  
  • Elementary conferences are scheduled in 15-minute blocks. 

Middle School Students 

  • Middle school conferences are based on a student’s 2nd quarter class. 
  • 6th grade conferences are scheduled in 15-minute blocks with all five core teachers (Content Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts) 
  • 7th and 8th grade conferences are scheduled in 10-minute blocks. 

High School Students  

  • High school conferences are based on the student’s 2nd quarter classes. 
  • High school conferences are scheduled in 10-minute blocks.  

Once you have registered for a virtual conference, the teacher’s Teams link will be listed with your email confirmation. This will give you access to the Teams waiting room until your scheduled appointment time.  

Please feel free to contact your building secretary or principal if you have any questions. 

Friday Feature: Toni Peitzmeyer, Leclaire Secretary

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator

For 24 years Toni Peitzmeyer has been a smiling and familiar face as the school secretary at Leclaire Elementary.  

She originally started as a playground monitor in August of 1998 when her youngest son was in first grade.  

“I wanted to know the people that were a big part of his day.” 

Since then, Leclaire has been home to her work family.  

“There have been, and still are, wonderful, caring, and creative people within these walls. I’ve witnessed the staff help students go from not being able to walk in a line to making announcements to the whole school.” 

Peitzmeyer added that a K-2 building is THE place to watch children grow.  

“They are so young and need extra attention and to work in one of these buildings you must accept that your day may not go as planned.” 

And contrary to what some may think, a school secretary is more than someone who just answers the phone and types.  

“A school secretary must be able to multitask. We must be able to answer or find answers for parents/teachers/principal’s questions, fill staff vacancies, make sure the supply closet is filled, proofread, stop a bloody nose, know when to interrupt the meeting your principal is in…and must always try to be patient, respectful and smiling!” 

She said all the above is possible when working with good people that put children first. 

After 24 years, Peitzmeyer’s time at Leclaire will end after this school year when she will retire.  

She is looking forward to spending her days hiking, biking, and spending time with family.  

“I love to travel and will visit and possibly volunteer at National parks and hope to visit Europe as well.” 

While Peitzmeyer is looking forward to what lies ahead with retirement, she is also beginning to realize how much she will miss her Leclaire and D7 family.  

“They are a huge part of my life. We know each other’s spouses, children, grandchildren, pets. We’ve celebrated and mourned together. I’ve been so blessed to have them in my life!” 

District Facility Analysis Report Detailed at Board of Education Meeting

Watch the video version of this communication here

October 11, 2022

Dear District #7 community,  

As part of the District’s new strategic plan, we have been working closely with Ittner Architects to conduct a comprehensive analysis of our buildings and have also brought on consultants from Creative Entourage to conduct community engagement sessions called Engage District #7. The goal of these sessions is to provide an opportunity for meaningful conversations and to gather input from a broad base of the community in order to develop long-range goals and priorities that: 

  • Improve the learning experiences and learning environments for students in a fiscally responsible manner; 
  • Determine how best to address long-term facility and enrollment changes; and 
  • Identify what steps should be taken now and in the future. 

Earlier this evening at the Board of Education meeting, Ittner provided an overview of their analysis of District #7 schools and provided recommendations regarding the needs identified. District #7 schools range in age from 140 years to 14 years, which also is indicative of the needs identified.  

As part of their analysis, Ittner has recommended that District #7 take the following steps: 

  • Identify a location and develop a plan for the replacement of Lincoln Middle School. This historic building has several needs which cannot be addressed while occupied by students.  
  • Expand the Commons at Edwardsville High School to provide seating for additional students. 
  • Determine how to address significant foundation issues at Midway Elementary School. This could include consolidating Midway Elementary and Hamel Elementary into a new elementary school on the Hamel campus. 
  • Identify areas of inequity among our schools and develop a plan to address those inequities over the next several years. 
  • Develop a plan to improve safety and security as it relates to all District #7 schools. This includes a plan for double entry into each of our schools and addressing any site concerns related to student safety, which may include playgrounds. 

Our first round of community engagement sessions begins tomorrow and will continue next week at each of our intermediate schools. We look forward to District #7 stakeholders engaging in dialogue regarding the future of our facilities. We have amazing staff and students, and our desire is to provide them with the best facilities possible as we look to the future of District #7, while preserving our past. You can get the dates for each session in your mailbox and at the dedicated site I look forward to seeing you there. 


Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.

To watch the Ittner facility presentation from the Board of Education meeting, go to the 47:30 minute mark of this broadcasted meeting: 

Calendar Reminder: No School Oct. 7 or Oct. 10

A reminder that there is no student attendance on Friday, Oct. 7 as that is a Teacher Institute Day.

All schools and offices will be closed on Monday, Oct. 10 in observance of Columbus Day.



Community Invited to Help Plan for the Future of District #7

Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 is launching an effort to bring the entire D7 community together to develop goals and priorities to improve its schools. ENGAGE District 7, created as part of the implementation of District 7’s strategic plan, is a team of district employees and stakeholders. Engage District 7 is hosting a series of community engagement meetings for your input on how to meet the facility needs for all District 7 students now and in the future. The program is designed to ensure the district’s work in the future is guided by a facility improvement plan developed “For Our Community By Our Community.”  

Parents, staff and community members are encouraged to participate in ENGAGE District 7. As part of the program, a two-part series of community engagement sessions will kick off on Wednesday, Oct. 12. During these sessions, participants will learn more about planning priorities for D7 facilities and will engage with other stakeholders on what is most important now and what projects can wait until later. Each session will feature an interactive work activity with fellow participants to help identify the priorities to move our schools forward. The results of the community engagement sessions will be included in a series of recommendations that will be presented to the D7 Board of Education. 

Each of the two sessions will have four meeting date options to choose from.  

Session 1 will focus on facility needs in District #7

October 12 – 6-8 p.m. 
Worden Elementary, 110 Main St., Worden
(meeting: gym | parking and entrance: located off Kell Street)

October 18 – 6-8 p.m. 
Columbus Elementary, 315 N. Kansas St., Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: located off College Street)

October 19 – 6-8 p.m. 
Woodland Elementary, 59 IL-157, Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

October 20 – 6-8 p.m. 
Cassens Elementary, 1014 Glen Crossing Rd., Glen Carbon

(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

Session 2 will focus on facility priorities in District #7
November 9 – 6-8 p.m. 
Worden Elementary, 110 Main St., Worden
(meeting: gym | parking and entrance: located off Kell Street)

November 15 – 6-8 p.m. 
Columbus Elementary, 315 N. Kansas St., Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: located off College Street)

November 16 – 6-8 p.m.
Woodland Elementary, 59 IL-157, Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

November 17 – 6-8 p.m.
Cassens Elementary, 1014 Glen Crossing Rd., Glen Carbon

(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

Visit for more information and to register to participate. 

EHS Trio Honored in National Merit Scholarship Program

Edwardsville High School senior Jonathan Stump has been named a 2023 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, while fellow seniors Grace Ramsey and Selin Aktuna were named National Merit Scholarship Commended Students.

Stump is one of 16,000 students across the country who qualified as a semifinalist based on his PSAT/NMSQT scores in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. He will continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalist must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain a finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the Merit Scholar title.

“This means a lot in terms of achieving something outside of the normal academic classroom that gives you recognition for the hard work you’ve put in,” said Stump. “It also means a lot to share this achievement with these peers around me. We’ve been in the same classes and working together for a long time.”

Although Ramsey and Aktuna will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, they are two of about 34,000 students throughout the nation who are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.

“It’s a cumulation of hard work and it didn’t just come without any effort,” said Aktuna. “It’s proof that we’ve all worked hard and did the work to achieve this.”

“To share this special achievement for something we did outside of the classroom and the school is really special,” added Ramsey.

The trio also commended their teachers for helping them to earn this honor.

“The enthusiasm our teachers bring is very helpful,” said Stump. “When they are excited about something, we get excited about it and it’s not just homework we are doing, it’s something we are doing so we can have a discussion about it in class.”

“Our teachers are very passionate about what they do, and they make it a very positive learning environment,” said Aktuna.

“Every teacher has a true passion for what they do,” added Ramsey. They love to teach and love what they teach. That makes us more invigorated and interested in the class.”

All three are still finalizing their future plans, but Stumpf would like to do something in cyber security, while Aktuna would like to be an aerospace engineer. Ramsey enjoys biology and history and plans to pursue a career path in those areas.

EHS Art Students Showcase Work at Edwardsville Art Fair

The Edwardsville Art Center once again graciously allowed students to have their own booth at last weekend’s Edwardsville Art Fair. Over 12 students represented EHS at the booth, while several other students volunteered for the EAC to run other aspects of the event.



Teacher Tuesday: Amy Crony, Glen Carbon 1st Grade

Amy Crony is in her 16th year of education, which has included 10 years in District 7. She has spent the last five years teaching first and second grade and is currently a first-grade teacher at Glen Carbon Elementary.  

Education wasn’t her first career, but many of her family members were teachers and she enjoyed hearing how rewarding it was.  

“I wanted the same experience. I had worked in several positions in another career before education, and teaching is the most rewarding experience for me because I get to help students succeed in their education.” 

It’s the children that she enjoys the most.  

“I enjoy watching children interact with one another and grow in their learning. I am very excited when my first graders master beginning reading and math skills.” 

Crony said her fellow educators are what help keep her in education.  

“I work with a great group of teachers at Glen Carbon Elementary, and I am always eager to learn new skills to help my students.” 

When she’s not in the classroom, Crony enjoys spending time with family, cooking, exercising, and reading.  

Caroline Marcus Sworn In as Board of Education Student Rep

Edwardsville High School senior Caroline Marcus was sworn in Monday as the student representative to the Board of Education for the 2022-23 school year.  

Glen Carbon mayor Bob Marcus administered the oath of office for his daughter.  

Marcus will represent all District #7 students to the Board of Education, serving as a liaison between students and the school board. She will provide a student voice on policy and procedures as well as a voice on student issues, questions and successes.  

As part of her role on the Board of Education, Marcus will provide a monthly student report, participate in Board discussions, and attend all Board of Education meetings and work sessions.  

Marcus is currently involved in various school organizations, including president of Student Council, president of Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society, National Honor Society English, CEO program, and EHS girls’ lacrosse.  

Pictured from left to right: District #7 Superintendent Patrick Shelton, Caroline Marcus, Glen Carbon Mayor Bob Marcus, and District #7 Board of Education President John McDole.

Friday Feature: Scot Ambuel, Nelson SSO

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations and Communications Coordinator

Scot Ambuel, Nelson Elementary SSO

Scot Ambuel may have retired from District #7 in 2014 after 35 years as a speech pathologist, but he remains a familiar face in the district.  

Ambuel is in his sixth year as the SSO at Nelson Elementary. After his retirement, he subbed for three years as a special education assistant before taking on the SSO role.   

“I’ve been around a long time. As an example, Mrs. Edwards (Nelson principal) was a student at Leclaire when I was teaching there!” 

Ambuel said he is not one to sit around and watch TV or read a book. He enjoys being active with things such as vegetable and flower gardening, hiking, animal watching, and tennis, but those activities are limited in the winter.  

“Being an SSO gives me the opportunity to stay active, both physically and mentally. I have a theory that when one retires, you either stay active or live and sit around and die. I’m not ready to die!”

His favorite part of being an SSO is getting to be an ambassador for his school and the school district.

“For most parents, I am the first district employee they encounter face-to-face. That gives me the opportunity to welcome them and to set their impressions of the school where their child will be educated, as well as that of ECUSD7.” 

Not only did Ambuel spend his entire teaching career in District #7, but he was also born and educated here, making District #7 extra special to him.  

“I enjoy the camaraderie of the teachers, talking with parents, and I enjoy helping/teaching children, whether it is tying their shoes, or teaching them things like the life cycle of the endangered Monarch Butterfly.” 

While he was hired to maintain the safety and security of the children and staff at Nelson, it is much more than just sitting and watching the front door.  

“It involves screening those individuals coming to that door and maintaining the security of the playground and the school’s perimeter. I am also part of a team that makes sure the children get home safely at the end of the day.”  

When he thinks back on his own teaching career and how things have changed and that there’s a need for SSOs now when there was a time that there necessarily wasn’t, he is also grateful for what the position provides.  

“Next year I will have four grandsons in four different buildings. It is comforting for me to know that there are SSOs in those buildings keeping them safe during their educational day.”  #d7proud 



Friday Feature: Dr. Beth Renth

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator

Before she retires at the end of this calendar year, Dr. Beth Renth is sharing the knowledge she gained during her 22-year career as principal of Worden Elementary with others, by wrapping up her time in District #7 as a principal trainer and mentor for the new elementary principals in the district. She stepped down as principal at Worden in May.  

“I do a lot of visiting the schools and walk through with them the different components that are important for principals, whether it be district procedures or even things like emergency plans – things they may not have had experience within District 7 yet.”  

With many new elementary principals in the district, her insight and years of experience has been valuable.  

“They have really welcomed me with open arms, and we’ll talk through things. But they also do things differently. They are their own person and their own leader, but I am there to help them figure out what is best, especially for the kids.”  

Dr. Renth began her career in District #7 in 1995 as a teacher, spending two years at the old Edwardsville Middle School. She left for a year to take a job as a principal in another district, but quickly returned to Edwardsville Middle School as the assistant principal for two years before accepting the role as Worden principal.  

Ironically, Dr. Renth did not have plans to become a principal, but one of the previous districts she had worked for asked her to come in as principal and it’s a role she never left.  

“I knew I was a good teacher; I just didn’t know if I was going to be a good principal. So that was scary at the time, but now I don’t know where the time has gone. Suddenly, I’m looking down on retirement. But it’s been great. I was able to impact more than just those 20 students in my classroom and impact a larger group of students.” 

Those students have also been what’s she has enjoyed the most.  

“I’ve told people over the years that, depending on Worden’s enrollment, I have 285 children. Three of them belong to me and the other 282 I borrow, but they are still mine. Secondly, there are just a lot of great people in this district. I’ve made some great friends, who also are committed to the kids.” 

Her investment in the District #7 community is what has kept her here for nearly three decades. Two of her own children have graduated from Edwardsville High School, while one is still at EHS. Her husband was also an Edwardsville police officer.  

“This has just always been home. And I’ve also felt, and still feel, like Worden is a family.” 

Dr. Renth is looking forward to more family time in retirement, especially spending more time with her own children.  

“I’d like to be able to visit them and get to know each of them as adults.” 

As for what she will miss, it is the energy of being in a school building.  

“Even now when I walk into a building, I feel that energy and it energizes me. I am going to have to find something to keep that energy going because it is so incredibly special.” 

It might be hard to sum up a career like Dr. Renth’s, but in short, she has made an impact.  

“Whether it was with the students or the teachers. It has always been important for me to be driven towards goals. I feel like I have met many of those and contributed to make a difference for someone, either a student, a teacher, or a staff member. And that is what is important.” #d7proud 

Three Teachers Awarded Grants from IRTAF

Three Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 teachers have been named recipients of a grant from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation (IRTAF). The IRTAF recently awarded $36,500 in grant money to public school educators (PreK through 12) statewide.  

Laura Brennan and Tyler Slaby of Liberty Middle School and Shanyra Cox of Woodland Elementary School were all awarded an IRTAF grant.   

Below are summarized paragraphs of the project in each of the three’s own words.  

Laura Brennan, Liberty Middle School ($750)
My class would benefit from purchasing a SRA Reading Laboratory Kit. SRA supports a growth mindset within every student. Students are interested in their own learning with self-monitoring progress, which is an integral part of student success. Students are motivated through self-guided, cross-curricular reading selections that connect their reading level with their topics of interests. This instills a love of reading and learning.  

Tyler Slaby, Liberty Middle School ($570)
I am currently needing math supplies for our 6th grade math students to better support them in the classroom when it comes to understanding multiplication and division. I am on the search for base ten blocks that can be used for 330 students in our middle school to support their learning of fractions, multiplication, and division. 

Shanyra Cox, Woodland Elementary School ($679.78)
As part of the technology curriculum, I will introduce coding to the 3rd-5th graders. I would like to enrich the coding unit by allowing them to see their coding skills in action with a Dash and Dot coding robot with challenge and enrichment accessories. Students will not only have to understand block coding but will have to problem solve together to code their robot to perform a task. The Dash and Dot robot will teach the kids block coding, provide them with opportunity to problem solve, use critical thinking skills, as well as spark their creativity. 

The IRTA Foundation designed this program based on the idea that educators often do not have additional revenue sources available for unique student projects or classroom materials.   

Applicants were required to meet the proper criteria and to submit their proposals by early June. The IRTAF Board of Directors selected the grant recipients and awards are being presented now. The Illinois Principals Association played a vital role in assisting IRTAF with the promotion of this program. 



#FridayFeature: Nancy Stahlhut, Columbus Elementary Head Custodian

Columbus Elementary head custodian Nancy Stahlhut is a staple in the district.   

Stahlhut has been with District #7 for more than 30 years, not including her school years.  

“I love it. All my life, beginning with kindergarten through 12th grade, I have been with the district.” 

Stahlhut began working for the district because of the convenience in having the same schedule as her two school-aged children.  

She started at the junior high snack bar and then became the head cook at Columbus for three years. After a year, a year as the food service delivery driver, Stahlhut again returned to Columbus as the head custodian in 1996, becoming the first female to hold that title in the district.  

“When I was the head cook, I had the summers off, so I had to find other employment and at times I was working four jobs. This was one job that I could do where I did not need three other jobs. I was able to work full-time and raise my children without having to rush to another job and had weekends off.” 

Stahlhut said her favorite part of working for the district is the students.  

“Year after year it is their smiling faces. I love being able to interact with them and see them grow.” 

She also enjoys interacting with the teachers as well and makes popcorn for them daily.  

“In the beginning, I was told by previous custodians to never go in the teachers’ lounge. That they will bombard you with things to do. Well, I made it a point to go into the teacher’s lounge. You become a friend and they are used to seeing you. Being able to have that rapport with students and teachers alike is important.” 


Dr. Duncan Named IPA Southwestern Region Middle School Principal of the Year

Liberty Middle School principal Dr. Allen Duncan has been nominated for and selected as the Illinois Principals Association Southwestern Region Middle School Principal of the Year.   

To be named the Illinois Principals Association Southwestern Region Principal of the Year is an amazing recognition,” said Duncan. “It’s always nice to be appreciated for working hard and giving it your all. But this recognition isn’t just about me. It’s about our Liberty family. This award recognizes the efforts of my staff, students, and all the families that have supported our school over the last couple of years. We truly have something special at Liberty, and I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to work here every day.         

Dr. Duncan was nominated by Dr. Tron Young, principal at Joseph Arthur Middle School in O’Fallon, Ill. 

In his nomination, Dr. Young said, “Dr. Duncan, your commitment to giving your very best each and every day to the students and staff who attend Liberty Middle School is worthy of recognition. You have created an environment that allows students to connect and thrive as part of a house system that brings community and engagement to life. He has developed a school culture that inspires his staff to build meaningful connections to student learning, demonstrating increased student achievement. In addition to the work in his building, he was part of the inaugural steering committee for the I-Grow Summit, which looks to grow, retain, and recruit educational teachers and leaders of color.” 

Dr. Young presented Dr. Duncan with news of his selection on Thursday morning in the Liberty gymnasium surrounded by his students, teachers and staff.  

Dr. Duncan is in his third year as principal at Liberty Middle School and his 18th year overall in District #7.  







Harkey Sisters Earn Bronze Medals in Ireland

Not many students can say they spent their summer in Ireland winning a bronze medal. But that’s what Lincoln eighth grader Gwen Harkey and her sister Eliana (Ellie), a fourth grader at Columbus, did.  

Each won a bronze medal in the World Championship competition for Irish Music in Mullingar, Ireland, in Irish Lilting in August. 

“It’s amazing and unbelievable,” said Gwen. “The medal means so much, but the competition and being there means just as much. The medal is the reward for the hard work.”  

“It is very special and something I am proud of, especially since I wasn’t sure how I would do,” said Ellie.  

The two got their start with Irish music just four years ago in 2018 with the St. Louis Irish Arts, and because of the pandemic, had not done many competitions and had many lessons virtually.  

Yet, they competed in the Midwest Regional Fleadh in the spring, where they both qualified for the All-Ireland (World Championship) Fleadh. There are seven regional events around the world that qualify students to attend the World Championships. Two of those are in the United States, but in Ireland, they have qualifying events that students have to go through in order to even get to Regionals, making the Harkey sisters’ medals even more impressive. 

Both Gwen and Ellie said placing third alongside each other made it even more special and that the competition and the trip is an experience neither will forget.  

“It was incredible to compete on a world stage and to be there with so many people who do the art I do,” said Gwen. 

“I liked the feeling of when I finished because it was like, oh, wow, I just competed in Ireland, and not many people get to do that,” added Ellie.  #d7proud 


Unified Sports at District #7

Unified sports are one way District #7 promotes inclusion within its District. Unified sports means that students with and without disabilities play together on the same team.
District #7 currently offers unified sports at the middle school and high school level, although some sports do allow students eight years of age or older to participate.
During the 2022-23 school year, District #7 has a goal of increasing participation across the district in the events they host, as well as providing additional sports opportunities for athletes. Unified sports offerings this year will include flag football, soccer, bowling, dance, bocce, esports, basketball, and track and field.
If you are interested in coaching or have a child who wants to be an athlete or a peer, please use the links below to sign up.

NAACP Awards District #7 Library Books Grant

During Monday’s monthly Board of Education meeting, the Edwardsville NAACP awarded each District #7 elementary and middle school a grant for purchasing books for their media centers that illustrate and educate the beauty of diversity. The year’s grant totals $3,000.  

 “The history of the NAACP embodies the spirit of collaboration and partnership, while encouraging the celebration of diversity and unity,” said Edwardsville NAACP President Walt Williams. “It is with that same spirit that we work with District #7.”  

 Williams, along with NAACP former president John Cunningham and NAACP branch member Debra Pitts presented the check to District #7 Superintendent Patrick Shelton and Board President John McDole.  

 “Representation matters. It is important for all our students to not only see themselves in our staff, but in the library when they pick up a book,” said Cornelia Smith, Director of DEI/Elementary Education. “Our partnership with the Edwardsville NAACP has afforded that opportunity and we grateful for that.” 


Early Release Wednesdays Begin August 24

On Wednesdays during the 2022-23 school year (beginning on August 24), all District 7 schools will be dismissed early to allow for consistent staff collaboration in identifying priority standards, utilizing common formative assessments, and determining instructional needs for students. This time will allow our teachers to collaborate with one another, plan intentionally and grow professionally.

EHS will dismiss at 12:45 p.m., the middle schools at 1:35 p.m., intermediate schools (grades 3-5) at 2:40 p.m. and primary schools (grades K-2) at 2:50 p.m.

Each building should have communicated with families about child care between the early dismissal time and the regular dismissal time.



Monday, Aug. 15 Office/Building Hours

Due to the District kickoff event for all staff on Monday morning (August 15), district offices will not open until 10 a.m. Additionally, school buildings will be closed until 1 p.m. for their meetings.  

District 7 to Initiate PLCs for Staff in 2022-23

Professional Learning Communities (also referred to as PLCs) are new to District 7 this year and will provide educators with the time to work in collaborative teams to have a positive impact on student learning. Nelson Elementary School reading specialist Cari Wencewicz and Edwardsville High School English teacher Nickie Pontious tell us more about PLCs, their impact and why they will be valuable for District 7.

2022-23 School Year Info

Watch the video version here


August 10, 2022 

Dear District #7 families,  

Earlier this week, I provided our Board of Education with a comprehensive update on the 2022-2023 school year as well as an update on the 2022-2023 Return to Learn plan, which is now updated on the District #7 website. We are excited about the upcoming school year and wanted to share a few highlights related to the school calendar, school day schedules, and our renewed focus on school safety.  

Last January, the Board of Education approved the 2022-2023 calendar which included an early release schedule each Wednesday. The early release schedule was adopted in lieu of any additional half days for school improvement and will allow each certified staff member to fully engage in the PLC process beginning with the 22-23 school year. Research has shown that providing teachers with the time to work in collaborative teams has a positive impact on student learning, and we are excited to be kicking off this initiative on Wednesday, August 24.   

The high school will dismiss at 12:45 p.m., followed by the middle schools at 1:35 p.m., the intermediate schools (grades 3-5) at 2:40 p.m. and primary schools (K-2) at 2:50 p.m. Schools will provide childcare coverage on Wednesdays from the early dismissal time until the normal dismissal time – at which time parents will be responsible for picking up their child. Buses will run at the early dismissal time. Each building will communicate that process along with a sign-up form for those needing childcare. 

The school day for each of our buildings will also begin and end between five and 10 minutes earlier each day from last year to help aid in our bus transportation times. 2022-23 School Start Times   

This year our renewed focus on school safety started with the addition of our Director of Security, Michael Hubbard, but has continued with expanding our training for our School Safety Officers, expanding the presence of our School Safety Officers in our middle and high schools, and the requirement for all students and staff to wear IDs in our schools. We want to ensure that each student and staff member feels safe teaching and learning. We will also be continuing our work with local law enforcement on our crisis plans and training for all staff regarding school safety. In addition, we will be refocusing our efforts on enforcing the District #7 Dress Code and requiring that electronic devices, including cell phones and air pods, be put away during the instructional part of the school day. Our goal is to maintain a safe environment for students and staff so that our primary focus can continue to be on educating students.  

Staffing continues to be a concern, but we see improvements in our staffing forecast every day. Our certified staff positions are fully staffed with a couple of exceptions. However, we do still have many classified positions still open, although numbers continue to improve through our open interview process, recruiting at Goshen Market, and working with other agencies and institutions to recruit employees. 

To add some clarification on staffing with our Kid Zone, Kid Zone is operated as an extension of District #7, but it is run like a childcare and must follow certain licensing with the state. There are only a certain number of children allowed per adult and that adult must be 18. There are also staffing criteria for students with special needs that must be followed. 

We are also excited to welcome almost 500 kindergarten students to District #7. We invite our kindergarten families to a special Kindergarten parent orientation on Monday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. where principals will be providing an overview of the kindergarten screening process. Parents are also welcomed to bring community supplies such as Kleenex and wet wipes. Also, do not forget kindergarten open house on Wednesday, August 24! 

Registration for the 2022-23 school year is still available! This is the first year we are fully online for registration, and once the school year begins, we will be meeting to find ways to make this process easier for our families. If you still need to register, please visit  

I also want to remind our families that we will be charging for breakfast and lunch this year as the funding from the federal government which funded meals the past two years has ended.  

Finally, we are looking forward to our Mascot Welcome on Friday for students entering 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades! We are also looking forward to open houses next week and the first day of school exactly one week from today. Enjoy the last week of summer break and we cannot wait to see you next Wednesday! 

With Tiger Pride,  

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.

Early Release Wednesdays Begin August 24

A reminder that on Wednesdays during the 2022-23 school year (beginning on August 24), all District 7 schools will be dismissed early to allow for consistent staff collaboration in identifying priority standards, utilizing common formative assessments, and determining instructional needs for students. This time will allow our teachers to collaborate with one another, plan intentionally and grow professionally.
EHS will dismiss at 12:45 p.m., the middle schools at 1:35 p.m., intermediate schools (grades 3-5) at 2:40 p.m. and primary schools (grades K-2) at 2:50 p.m.

Hadley House Closing at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday

Due to ongoing construction work, Hadley House will close at 3:30 p.m. today (Thursday, August 4). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Offices will reopen Friday at 7:30 a.m.
A reminder that all registration is being done online: If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Hadley House at 618-656-1182 and our staff will assist you.

Open House Dates Set

District #7 Job Openings

July 28, 2022  

Dear District #7 families,

Like school districts and businesses both locally and nationally, District #7 is facing an employee shortage. To seek individuals to fill these important roles, we’ve increased our presence at job fairs and on college campuses, posted on a variety of sites including student job platforms at SIUE and Lewis & Clark CC, and are now recruiting at the Goshen Market. Last spring, we initiated referral and signing bonuses and are continuing to explore a variety of other incentives.  

Our employees are our greatest asset and help make District #7 the school district it is, and we will continue to seek new ways to show our appreciation and gratitude. Moving forward, we are pleased to announce that we will be restructuring our monitor and cafeteria positions to include more hours and/or the option of a full-time position.

As the 2022-23 school year approaches, we are looking to fill several vacancies in our schools. If you or someone you know enjoys working with students and wants to make a difference in their lives, we invite you to apply online today! 

 District #7 currently has the following positions open:  

  • 24 Program/Extra-ordinary Care Assistants ($13.10 – $15.61/hour) 
  • 9 Monitors ($13.00 – $14.38/hour) 
  • 19 Food Service ($13.40 – $14.59/hour) 
  • 1 Secretary ($14.31 – $15.11/hour) 
  • 3 SSO ($17.70 – $18.87/hour) 
  • 9 Custodians ($14.95 – $16.80/hour) 
  • 2 Maintenance ($16.60 – $17.71/hour) 
  • 30 Kid Zone Counselors ($13.00/hour) 

Additionally, our assistant positions will now offer a sign-on/retention bonus with $500 paid in December and in May, while our Kid Zone counselor positions will offer a sign-on retention bonus of $250, also paid in December and in May. 

A complete listing of open positions and job descriptions can be found here:  

District #7 will hold open interviews on Tuesday, August 2 from 2-5 p.m. at Edwardsville High School for all these positions. No appointments are required. Please bring an updated resume.   

We are always looking for additional substitute teachers (application) and substitute classified employees (application).   

Among the many benefits these positions offer include:  

  • Working while your kids are in school 
  • Enjoying the same school breaks and holidays 
  • Great working hours 
  • Full-time and part-time substitute positions fit flexible schedules and needs 

If you would like more information about open positions that may be available at your child’s school, you may contact the building principal. If you have general questions, please contact the Personnel Department at 656-1182. We hope you will consider sharing these opportunities with friends and family that may be interested in working for the Edwardsville Community School District.  

With Tiger Pride,  

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.


Back to School Info

July 26, 2022  

Dear District #7 families,  

Welcome to the 2022-23 school year! We are excited to welcome all our students back to school on Wednesday, August 17, 2022! Our staff has been busy preparing for another exciting year and to help our families prepare, we wanted to share some information. Please note that each school will also be sharing more specific information as well.  

Registration Reminder 

If you have not yet registered your child(ren) for the 2022-23 school year, please do so as soon as possible. In order to be guaranteed transportation, students need to be registered by Monday, August 1. All registration is being done online: If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Hadley House (618-656-1182).   

School Supply Lists 

All school supply lists for the 2022-23 school year have been posted to the District #7 website. These lists may be found on the respective school page or on the student registration page: 

Open Houses 

Open houses prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year will be as follows: 

Monday, August 15
EHS (9th-12th): 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 
Middle School (6th-8th): 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.   

Tuesday, August 16
Primary Schools (1st-2nd): 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 
Intermediate Schools (3rd-5th): 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  

Kindergarten Orientation and Open House 

Kindergarten Orientation will be held on Monday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. at your child’s primary building, except for Hamel Elementary, which will be at 5 p.m. During this time, building principals will discuss the first days of school, show you our classrooms and facilities, and answer any questions you may have about the District #7 Kindergarten Experience. In addition, please mark your calendar for 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24 for our Kindergarten Open House where teachers will be excited to meet students and parents!  

Mascot Welcome 

District #7 will hold a ‘Mascot’ Welcome for students entering grades 3, 6 and 9 on Friday, August 12. Bus transportation will be provided, and more information should be coming from each school. This will be a structured time for these students to get to know their new school and campus.   

2022-23 School Meal Program 

The federal program that has allowed school districts across the country to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of income expired at the end of June. At this time, the federal government has not extended the waivers for next school year to allow free meals for all students. As a result, schools across the nation will revert to free and reduced-price meals based on income eligibility guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During the 2022-23 school year, families who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch will have to pay for school meals. Students whose families are eligible for free or reduced price breakfast or lunch will be able to access meals next school year at no cost or a discounted rate.   

Wednesday Early Release/New School Start Times Reminder 

A reminder that on Wednesdays during the 2022-23 school year, schools will be dismissed early (High School at 12:50 p.m., Middle Schools at 1:35 p.m., Intermediate Schools at 2:40 p.m. and Primary Schools at 2:50 p.m.) to allow for consistent staff collaboration in identifying priority standards, utilizing common formative assessments, and determining instructional needs for students. This time will allow our teachers to collaborate with one another, plan intentionally and grow professionally.  

Another reminder that school start times for 2022-23 have been adjusted slightly. You can see those here: School Start Times 

We hope you enjoy the remainder of your summer vacation. See you next month! 

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.