"School days, school days, dear old Golden Rule days, 'reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic, taught to the tune of the hick'ry stick." Another year of school in Shelby County starts in earnest this week.

The hickory stick is long gone, the Golden Rule has been expanded, and there is a lot more added to the curriculum besides reading, writing, and arithmetic as the six main school districts educating Shelby County students begin classes.

The six main school districts are Shelbyville CUSD #4, Stew-Stras School District, Central A&M School District, Cowden-Herrick School District, Windsor School District, Okaw Valley School District.

Shelbyville has two new administrators. Denise Bence retired as the superintendent. Shane Schuricht, who was the high school principal, is the new superintendent and Kyle Ladd, who was a teacher, is now the new high school principal.

Schuricht has been in education for 24 years, and was the principal of Shelbyville High School for three years. Prior to being an administrator in Shelbyville, Schuricht was formerly at Mt. Olive and then Clifton Central School District. Kyle Ladd grew up in Shelbyville and is a SHS alum. He began teaching social studies in the district in 2011.

Shelbyville has a teacher institute day on Wednesday, August 14 and students arrive on Thursday, August 15 with a 2 p.m. dismissal. Orientation at Main Street Elementary School, Moulton Middle School and Shelbyville High School and the Kindergarten Center is on Wednesday, August 14.

Main Street Elementary School will host "Back to School" night from 5-5:45 p.m. Moulton Middle School Orientation will begin at 6 p.m. Fourth-Fifth grades will report to the gym from 6-15 p.m., then visit classrooms from 6:15-6:45 p.m. Sixth-Eighth grades will visit classrooms from 6-6:30 p.m., then go to the gym from 6:30-6:45 p.m.

Freshman Orientation at Shelbyville High School begins at 7 p.m. It begins in the auditorium. From 7:30-8 p.m. students can find their locker, walk their schedule and meet teachers.

The next day, classes begin at 8 a.m. and students will be dismissed at 2 p.m. The first full day of school is Friday, August 16, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cowden-Herrick CUSD #3A will hold a Teacher's Institute Day on Wednesday, August 14. The first day of school with students will be on Thursday, August 15. It will be a full day, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Superintendent Seth Schuler will begin his second year in that position. He took over last year as superintendent after six years in the district as a 6th grade teacher, then two years as a the grade teacher and 3 years as the junior high/senior high principal.

"This is my 13th year in the district and I have enjoyed it," said Schuler. "I was pleased how my first year as superintendent went."

Cowden-Herrick has two new staff members. is adding another section of 3rd grade this year. Lindsey Kerby, a 3rd grade elementary teacher and Chad Ruot, the high school custodian.

"It has been added to ensure class sizes remain small, particularly in the primary grades," Schuler said. "Two new elective courses will be offered to high school students (Advanced Health, and Business/Technology Concepts)."

He also announced the purchase of multiple 3D printers and robotics kits with grant funds. The district also completed building and grounds projects over the summer.

The improvements were two drains added to the Herrick campus parking lot, two repaved asphalt pads on the playground and lighting upgraded to LED, along with painting the gymnasium.

At the Cowden campus, The main drive way was asphalt paved and repairs were made to the gym roof. The floor is scheduled to be refinished.

"The Student Council added multiple building finishes to bathrooms, hallways, and the cafeteria," Schuler said. "That promotes school spirit and a positive climate."

Windsor CUSD #1 will hold a "Pack Your Locker" Day at the Junior/Senior High School on Wednesday from 4- 6 p.m. Students can bring their supplies and check out their lockers and their classrooms. It is geared to new students, but all students are welcome.

The first day of classes will be Monday, August 19. That first week students will have early dismissal and attend from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., daily. There will be an Open House Monday, August 19 from 5:30-7 p.m.

WHS has new administration this year at the Junior/Senior High School and at the Windsor Elementary School. Jennifer Bridges is the principal at the Jr./Sr. High and April Drake the principal at the Elementary School.

Originally from Decatur, Mrs. Bridges received her undergraduate and Master's Degree (History) at Eastern Illinois University. She taught Social studies at Neoga High School (2014) and was named Teacher of the Year by her peers and by the Neal Foundation (2019). She received her Masters of Education at EIU and has taught two at online universities for several years. She, her husband, and their children reside in Mattoon. Ms. Drake comes to Windsor from Mattoon.

Okaw Valley CUSD #302 held a Teacher's Institute Day on Monday, August 12 and the first day of school for students is Tuesday, August 13. It will be a half day of school. The first full day will be Wednesday, August 14. Their freshman orientation was held on registration day, August 1.

Central A&M CUSD #21 has their first day of classes on Tuesday, August 20. It will be a half day starting at 8 a.m.. There will be dismissals at 11:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday August 21 will be the first full day with dismissals at 2:45 and 3:08 p.m. They will have a "Back-to-School" day at the elementary schools on Monday August 19. It will be at Bond Elementary from 6-7 p.m. and at Gregory Intermediate School from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Stewardson-Strasburg CUSD #5A holds a teachers institute on Thursday, August 15. The first day of school will be held on Friday, August 16. Stewardson-Strasburg has an interim superintendent this year.

Dr. Michelle Lindenmeyer resigned to go to the Milford School District. Kenneth Schwengel will then serve as the interim superintendent for next year. Schwengel has been a principal at Shelbyville and served in the regional superintendent's office. He has also been the superintendent at Arthur-Lovington/Atwood Hammond.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

Back to School tips: A4, A5

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