Urbana’s new schools are priority as new board of education takes shape


Two new school board members and two incumbents will soon be sworn into office after winning seats on the Urbana School Board of Education.

Incumbents Darren Thomas, Tim Lacy and political newcomers Amy Paul and Sarah Finch will sit on the board that will be tasked with making decisions about how the district utilizes a new high school and elementary school - both that could be open within a year.

RELATED: Urbana school board candidates debate future of city schools

“I feel honored that enough people thought that I was the right person for the job,” Thomas said.

Thomas was appointed to the board after board member Warren Stevens was killed in a car accident. Thomas ran for a four-year seat in the election while Sarah Finch won Steven’s unexpired two-year term. She will have to run again in 2019 if she wants to stay on the school board.

MORE: Urbana buys $925K property for new elementary school

“I am excited and looking forward to moving the kids into a new school and watching them continue to grow and develop,” Thomas said.

Urbana voters approved $31.3 million bond issue in 2014 and the schools are currently being built. The new high school is near the current high school while the new elementary school is being built on U.S. Highway 68. The high school is expected to open over the 2018 spring break and the elementary school could be open as soon as next school year.

Paul was the leading vote-getter in the race that had nine people running for three spots. She garnered more than 15 percent of the vote. She is currently a principal at Simon Kenton Elementary School in Springfield and worked in the Urbana district for a number of years.

RELATED: Urbana school construction back on track after delays

“It’s very humbling and I appreciate the support from the community,” Paul said. “I am very excited about stepping into a position on the board. I hope to use my experience to benefit Urbana children.”

She’s not sure what caused her to be the leading vote-getter other than she relied on her experience in education to discuss important issues with voters throughout her campaign.

Only School Board President Jan Engle did not have his seat up for grabs this election.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Missing 15-year-old Kentucky girl found safe in Louisville, police say
Missing 15-year-old Kentucky girl found safe in Louisville, police say

A 15-year-old Kentucky girl who left school to leave with an unknown person has been found, WKYT reported Thursday. Amber Renae Wagers was found safe in Louisville, the Berea Police Department said in a Facebook post. Wagers, 15, walked out of Berea Community School around 10 a.m. Wednesday to leave with an unknown person, police said. Investigators...
James Shaw Jr. raises $170,000 for Waffle House shooting victims
James Shaw Jr. raises $170,000 for Waffle House shooting victims

James Shaw Jr., who disarmed a gunman who opened fire at a Waffle House in Tennessee on Sunday, has raised more than $170,000 in a fundraiser to help the victims’ families, CNN reported. Shaw, who wrestled a rifle away from the gunman and tossed it over the counter, launched a GoFundMe campaign that easily topped its $15,000 goal. Four...
Kim Jong Un steps over border, meets with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in
Kim Jong Un steps over border, meets with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in

In an electric moment, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stepped over the heavily fortified demilitarized zone to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Reuters reported Friday. Smiling and holding hands, the Korean leaders met for the first summit between the two nations in more than a decade.  It’s the first time since...
Subway announces it will close 500 stores in US
Subway announces it will close 500 stores in US

Subway announced that it will be closing nearly 500 stores in the United States while adding more than 1,000 shops worldwide, WPVI reported Thursday. The chain, which got its start in August 1965 when founder Fred DeLuca opened a shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has nearly 27,000 stores in the United States and 44,000 worldwide. According...
3-year-old run over, killed by lawnmower in Washington
3-year-old run over, killed by lawnmower in Washington

A 3-year-old boy died Thursday evening after the child was run over by a lawnmower near Snohomish, Washington, deputies said.  Crews responded after reports of a person under a lawnmower.  Deputies said the was riding on his father's lap when he fell off and went under the lawnmower.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  Deputies...
More Stories