July 15, 2014

District 118 gets new principal; West Junior High dean promoted

Students at West Junior High School in Belleville will have a new principal this coming school year, but it won't be a new face. Belleville School District 118 school board promoted the school's current dean of students Jon Boente to principal of the school during its meeting Tuesday night.

"I'm excited and ready to get started," Boente said following the board meeting.

Superintendent Matt Klosterman said former principal Pam Knobeloch retired at the end of the 2013-14 school year. Boente will earn an annual salary of $80,762.

Boente, 31, has worked for District 118 the last eight years. He was dean of students at West Junior High for four years, and prior to that, he was a teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.

Boente, a native of Carlinville, has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in education administration, both from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

He and his wife Amie live in Swansea with their two children.

Board members also unanimously approved hiring Kelly Harter to fill the dean of students position at West Junior High. She will earn a salary of $59,500 annually.

"I'm very excited," Harter told board members. "I know I have very big shoes to fill."

Harter previously worked as a special education teacher at Union School in Belleville.

Both Boente and Harter's promotions are retroactive to July 1.

The board hired two new teachers Tuesday night: Michelle Moran as a special education teacher at Union and Rachel Grosse as a multi-subject teacher at Central Junior High.

Board members approved purchasing 1,200 Chromebooks, a type of laptop, for students at a cost not to exceed $385,000.

"It's another step getting more technology in the hands of kids," Klosterman said.

The additional Chromebooks will allow core subject teachers in the fifth through eighth grade to have a cart of Chromebooks available for their students, said Chris McMahon, technology director for District 118.

Teachers will receive additional professional development training regarding how to use the Chromebooks effectively, according to McMahon.

"We don't want them sitting in a classroom and not being used," said Tracy Gray, assistant superintendent for District 118.

In other news Tuesday night, the district approved:

* Recalling six para professionals who were honorably discharged at the end of last school year.

* A title change for special services facilitator Susan Price, who will now be the director of special services. She will earn a salary of $80,762.

* The bid from Langhauser Sheet Metal in Highland to replace three heating, ventilation and air conditioning units at Westhaven Elementary School for a cost not to exceed $113,900.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe.

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