Flossmoor District 161 has formally engaged BWP & Associates to conduct the search for a new principal at Parker Junior High School but a cap has been placed on the expense.

The Board of Education Monday unanimously approved spending $9,500 for BWP to help land a new principal but tabled the spending of an additional $800 to $1,200 for “other expenses.”

Board member Christine Marks said she wanted more data from the firm about how much will be spent on advertising before agreeing to the extra cost. The topic of how much is spent on such advertising was discussed when the board first hired BWP last November to conduct the search for the superintendent position.

The superintendent search is well underway. Board member John Simmons said that while the board approved the advertising expenses for that search “we may want to re-visit that” for the principal search. Simmons pointed out the district received “about a 25 percent discount” for awarding the principal search to BWP and Associates.

Vickie Person has been serving as interim principal at Parker Junior High since Sept. 19. She replaced David Kennedy who resigned on Aug. 23 three days after being placed on administrative leave. Kennedy is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge in Will County.

In other actions, the board recognized two groups of students at Parker Junior High for very different activities. Three science students and members of the seventh grade girls basketball team were lauded.

Science teacher Karen Roorda and eighth grade students Josiah Griggs, Sharon Maradiaga and Joshua Oduwole presented their work from “The Ear Project” as part of the Sound & Light Unit. According to Roorda, all students in the class were given the assignment of showing how sound travels through the ear by creating a three-dimensional model of the ear using unconventional materials. 

A video was produced by one student as were charts and models by the others utilizing items like funnels, hammers, cymbals, tambourines, clay, shells and driftwood. 

Also honored were members of the seventh grade girls basketball team, who finished their season fifth overall in the state after winning regional and sectional championships. Coach Kaleena Kessling’s team compiled an overall 18-1 record, 15-0 in their conference.

Receiving certificates from the board were players Aria Harrell, Lexis Deans, Bianca Anderson, Autumn Turner, Diamond Carrington, Isis Phillips, Jayla Brown, Lenora Houston, Yemayah Gray and Sarah Doane and managers Kaylen Williams and Makyla Smith.

  The District 161 7th grade girls basketball team.

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