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Mt. Zion Region News
Mt. Zion , Illinois
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February 29, 2012     Mt. Zion Region News
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February 29, 2012
 

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-i I I 1 "'1 ,,hlh,00111,11,1'1.'".h 217 ._ .,,,; ra.-64=226-"-' $.L ON "-" Region News .I Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Vol. 53, No. 9 Board Board re information about the please call Judy at 864- [5424; email at If , stories or pictures to share, or [ like to donate era type [ such as desks, books, [ we would love to] contact !.or email m i Hold Free Zion Library will host finance workshop 1:00-2:00 p.m. will Ig, 11; and willbe by the Illinois comparison shopping, and tracking and Lions Club I1 eat pancake and on Saturday, PBIS, McGaughey students for good bus in December were: ael Ieuan i;Brooksi Coleman, ;Davis, Maci;Deering, ;Detmers, Dodson, Taylor;Drayton, Josiah;Gilbert-Sexton, Samud;Grohne, Hamilton, l.aikas ;I-Iarbison, Joie ;Harrison, Dalton;Hensley, Kyle;Hines, Rollin Jr ;Kyburz, Lane, Julia;Matthews, fail ;Mayberry, Jessi ;Mose, Oliver, Mason; Petty, Chiren; Pfeifer, page 3 Mt. Zion FFA Hosts Annual Breakfast In Celebration Of FFA Week photo and story by Crystal Reed In celebration of FFA week, Mt. Zion FFA held their annual FFA breakfast early last Wednesday morning. Community members, local farmers, school district employees and FFA members enjoyed breakfast while listening to Stu Ellis, veteran agricultural speaker. Ellis spoke about a paper authored by educational specialist Dr. Laurence Shatkin and freelance author Terence Loose combined to create an article that stated that degrees in agriculture, horticulture and animal science were three of the most five worthless college degrees. They stated in the article that US Labor Department statistics indicated that employment in those areas was significantly declining and that jobs were few and far between. Four deans from various universities created a resppnse to this. During their investigation, Georgetown University research found that there are lower unemployment rates in agriculture and natural resources than in engineering and other concentrations. There is also a shortage of college graduates in agriculture to fill the need. Ellis stated that the USDA's employment projections for 2010 to 2015 projects that annually 53,000 students will graduate with degrees in agriculture each year and will be going into 54,400 jobs in agriculture, food systems, renewable energy and environment meaning that 900 of those available jobs will go unfilled. Ellis stated that in a recent study by Michigan State University on recruiting showed that no sector appears stronger than agriculture and food processing with an annual increase in hiring of 14%. Agriculture has also had an effect on economic growth. The Patel Institute found that agriculture and ag biosciences are generating economic Mt. Zion High School FFA hosted their annual FFA Breakfast last Wednesday. From left to right: Ben McChristy, Noah Johnson, Mary Hubbard, Troy Parkhurst II, Kevin Richards, Mr. Das. Not pictured: Aaron Speasel. growth and job creation in the north central US. Many of the jobs in that area being created include specialty crops, biofuels, health and bio based products. There are also new opportunities in agriculture within small scale and local food production and those wanting to launch new businesses. The Bureau of LaboStatisties aled that an increasing number of small scale farmers have developed market niches involving personalized direct contact with customers many finding opportunities in horticulture and organic food production and are among the fastest growing areas in the country. According to Ellis, if you do an internet search there are over 48,000 responses to the article Loose authored. Ellis stated that at first he was one of those that criticized the article but that he now believes that the world of agriculture owes a debt of gratitude for creating a lively discussion about the employment opportunities available. "Sirtce their claim backfired -with biblical proportion- it should be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the greatest success ever in disproving what they set out to prove," Ellis said. Ellis next told the attendees that the family farm has become an endangered Mt. Zion School District Hires New High School Principal species thanks to federal refusal to address estate tax laws. The current law exempts the first five million in asset value, this will decline to one million next year. The tax rate on the nonexempted portion will rise from 35 percent this year to 55 percent next year. As land prices rise, families are finding that their farm may die with the death of the present owner. The estate tax law could be the death of the family farm because it may have to be liquidated to pay the tax. Ellis stated that federal tax law would be the continued on page Greg Bradley has been the principal at Mt. Zion High School for 19 years, but this is his last year. As Mr. Bradley looks forward to his retirement, another young man looks forward to the opportunity to fill his shoes. At their regular board meeting on February 21, the board announced that Kraig Garber will be the Mt. Zion High School principal beginning July 1, 2012. Mr. Garber is currently the principal of Carrollton High School in Carrollton, I11. He received his undergraduate degree in History and Secondary Education with a minor in Political Science from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 2002. He began his first full time teaching position as a social studies and English teacher at Carrollton High School in August 2003. While teaching at Carrollton, he also coached junior high girls' basketball for five years, 5 th and G h grade boys' basketball for three years, and he assisted high school boys' track and field for three years. In 2008, Mr. Garber completed his Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. In 2009, after six years in the classroom, Mr. Garber became the assistant principal for grades 6-12 at Carrollton. In 2010, he moved into the high school principalship• When Mr. Garber assumed his first administrative position at Carrollton, the district was facing an increasing number of low income students, financial problems that letd to significant budget cuts, and low state assessment scores• As a result, Mr. Garber played an important role in working with limited resources to turn the academic program at Carrollton High School around. He helped institute the use of Professional Learning Communities to create a collaborative culture focused on looking at data to improve academic achievement. He was involved in implementing an Inquiry Based Learning model at the high school. Inquiry Based learning is designed to make learning authentic by getting students to think at deeper levels using 21 ' century technology. These two programs along with many other efforts helped Carrollton High School gain recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education for academic improvement. This was achieved because their high school assessment scores on the Prairie State Achievement Exam improved 19% in reading and 21% in math between 2009 and 2011. Mr. Garber will be moving to Mt. Zion with his wife, Jami and their two children, Lucas (6) and Haley (3). First Annual Bridal Expo And Fashion Show Held At Convention Center photo and story by Crystal Reed Brides to be could begin their wedding planning with access to everything from formal wear to selecting a do and photographer last Saturday at the convention center. There were 50 vendors at the event covering everything a bride needs for the perfect wedding. There was also a fashion show that showcased bridal gowns, tuxes, flower girl and ring bearer outfits and everything for the wedding party. Formal wear for the fashion show was provided by Marina's Bridal and the Brass Horn. Shirley Kuster of Shirley's Flower Shop was one of the vendors in attendance. "It think it was well attended, we didn't know what to expect," Kuster said. She also stated that the event provided a wide variety of vendors with everything you would need to plan a wedding. There were two grand prizes given away at the event for 1/2 off room rental and 1/2 off catering. Amy Watson was the recipient of the 1/2 off room rental and Colleen Jordan the recipient of the 1/2 off catering. Upcoming events at the convention Fachel AIIwood and Danelle Binkley listen to Kirby Ball explain some of the services that his business Ball Potography provides. More photos of the Bridal Expo and Fashion Show on page 10. center include a Spring Craft Show this 17, buffet is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and St. Patty's Day Buffet are $19.95 plus Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. the band Ball and Chain will play from tax. aad a St. Patty's Day Buffet on March 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tickets for the