Shiloh rejects junior high sports co-op

By Nancy Zeman
Posted 3/23/20

HUME — Shiloh Junior High School athletes will not be Titans but will continue to be Raiders following action by the Shiloh Unit 1 School Board Monday, March 16, meeting.

On a vote of 4-3, …

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Shiloh rejects junior high sports co-op


HUME — Shiloh Junior High School athletes will not be Titans but will continue to be Raiders following action by the Shiloh Unit 1 School Board Monday, March 16, meeting.

On a vote of 4-3, the board members voted against the school’s junior high teams joining the sports cooperative with Kansas and Oakland. Shiloh’s high school sports are a member of the cooperative.

Board president David Smith made the motion to join the cooperative following an extended discussion by board members. The motion was seconded by Tara Barrett-Duzan. They were joined by Renee Henry in voting in favor of the cooperative.

Voting against joining the cooperative were Aaron Richardson, Brian Rhode, April Morris and Justin Wood.

The board members have been discussing the possibility of joining the cooperative for the last couple of months and seemed to be leaning in that direction. Smith joined interim Superintendent of Schools Allen Hall and principal Beth Harbaugh at a co-op meeting earlier this month.

Rhode, who in previous discussions appeared to favor the co-op for junior high, withdrew his support Monday after he discovered joining the sport co-op would move Shiloh from Class 1A to Class 2A. The Tri-County junior high cooperative plays in Class 2A as set by the Illinois Elementary Association.

Rhode said moving the Shiloh athletes to Class 2A would mean they would play larger schools such as Crestwood and Casey-Westfield. He said it would be hard to compete in that class.

Shani Weiss, who coaches both the junior high girls volleyball and basketball teams, in speaking against joining the co-op, noted there is a discrepancy in discipline between Shiloh and the other two schools. She noted joining the program might help the Titan high school athletic programs but emphasized fewer Shiloh students would get the opportunity to play.

Hall said Kansas and Oakland are open to Shiloh joining the co-op and added they would like the school to also co-op its scholastic bowl team. Shiloh team sponsor Terry Sullivan said it has been a struggle to get four or five high school students to participate.

While one of the first things that would have to be tackled, Smith reported, was what school would host what sport. Smith said he supports rotating hosting the sports every year.

The co-op members also requested the schools consider having only one athletic director beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, Smith said.

“There would be a lot of logistics to work out with that,” he said.

Richardson said he is against joining Tri-County for junior high sports.

“We wouldn’t be competitive,” he said, also emphasizing there are some concerns Shiloh has expressed about the high school co-op that needs to be fixed.

Barrett-Duzan said she favored the change, noting the parents who have contacted her or spoken to her overwhelmingly favor joining the co-op.

Morris again expressed her concern that joining the junior high co-op would prevent junior high students from experiencing sports at the junior high level. Her daughter, who is just over five foot, played junior high girls basketball and said she might have never found out how much she enjoyed basketball without the opportunity to play as a younger student.

Harbaugh reported the staff spent the in-service on Friday preparing to support Shiloh students learning outside of the building.

In addition, the school will provide a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch for students who sign up for the service. The meals will be delivered to points in each community. To sign up for the service, parents must call the school and leave a message. Aramark is providing the food, she said.

The board also asked Hall to look into the cost of reviving the school’s drug testing programs for extracurricular activities.

Rhode said the school needs to do drug testing to try to get a handle on the vaping problem. Vaping is a huge problem, Rhode emphasized, not just outside school but during school. He estimated 90 percent of Shiloh high school students are vaping.

Hall said he would send out the past policy for the board members to look over before the next meeting.

In other business, the board:

-Heard from elementary students about their experiences learning about agriculture through their cross-curriculum experiences including making butter, visiting Danke Farms near Martinsville and meeting a reindeer, making crock pot applesauce and tasting Terry Sullivan’s local honey.

-Heard the school’s Envirothon team took second place at the recent competition. The Ag team also did well.

-Hired Pam Evans as a new science teacher.

-Instructed Hall to purchase a two-sided electronic sign for the front of the school at a cost of $27,000.

-Declined an offer from Ormstead Wind Farm to erect a wind turbine on school property.

-Instructed Hall to trade-in/purchase or lease a driver’s education car. The current car is a 2007 model.

-Agreed the Shiloh scholastic bowl team will co-op with the current Tri-County team.

-Accepted the bid from O.E. Schrock of Arthur to renovate the biology and chemistry labs for a total of $120,989.