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    Unit 5 teamarylynn cher MaryLynn Meredith is a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year. Ms. Meredith teaches art at Prairieland and Towanda elementary schools. She has been teaching in Unit 5 for 21 years, and has also worked at Glenn, Sugar Creek, Brigham, Oakdale, Fairview, and Carlock. She is among 12 finalists vying for the award.

    “This program gives us the opportunity to meet outstanding educators at every level and recognize leadership and achievements in classrooms throughout Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Their passion, creativity and commitment to students is an inspiration. We are pleased to publicly recognize the individuals who make a difference in students’ lives every day.”

    A selection committee comprised of administrators, teachers and representatives from educational service personnel, student support personnel and past Illinois Teacher of the Year winners reviewed approximately 230 nominations this year.

    “We are fortunate to have such a talented, hard-working, and dedicated teacher to guide and shape our students,” Sugar Creek Principal Scott Peters wrote in his recommendation letter. “Demonstrating a true knowledge and passion for her craft, she has brought the curriculum to life for the students.”

    Peters added, “Extending well beyond her artistic teaching abilities, Marylynn understands the real purpose in her job is to touch the lives of the students. She maintains the highest of expectations for all, while continually recognizing their differences and the true blessings that each child beholds.” 

    The winner will be announced during the statewide Those Who Excel banquet in October


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    Several hospitals in Illinois and Missouri have recently reported clusters of severe respiratory illness in community members, especially children. McLean County Unit 5 Schools is closely monitoring the situation, and we ask everyone’s assistance to focus on prevention. 

    We are encouraging children to wash their hands, cough or sneeze into their elbow, and stay at home when they are sick. Hand sanitizer is available in each school, in addition to soap and water in the restrooms. Staff has also been reminded to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched areas.

    We are also asking parents to partner with us in keeping children healthy through a few practical ways:

    ·         Practice good hygiene at home by washing your hands often with soap and water and coughing/sneezing into your elbow.

    ·         Don’t share germs by avoiding kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are ill. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

    ·         Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine). Remember to call the school to report an absence using your school’s absence hotline and stating the reason for the illness.

    ·         Talk with your healthcare provider if your child’s symptoms become severe and if you have a child who is at a higher risk for complications.

    ·         Plan for child care at home if your child gets sick. Update emergency contact information for the school continually.

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