District 218 cheers achievements of students

Submitted photo

The Shepard High School varsity cheerleaders hold up their trophy after placing first in the Co-Ed Division at the Andrew High School Invitational.

 

On a night where local schools were honored for athletic and personal achievements, District 218 Board members were reminded that the state budget impasse continues.

With commendations aside, school board member Larry Harris spoke up about the state budget issue in Illinois — the fact that there is still no state budget or spending plans for 2017. The stopgap budget plan that was passed in June of last year expired on Dec. 31, leaving Illinois in a budgetary limbo.

Harris said that the board should draft a memo expressing their frustration with the lack of activity and motion of the state legislature about the ongoing state budget uncertainty.

Harris urged that the state legislature should hear from the school district from a local level.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we’ve gone this long without a budget, lack of support, and leadership,” Harris said.”

School board member Robert Stokas was absent from the meeting.

On a more positive note, it was a night of commendations as Eisenhower and Shepard high schools were honored for athletic and personal triumphs at the District 218 School Board meeting on Feb. 15.

First to be recognized was Taylor Burmeister, English teacher assistant and swim coach at Eisenhower High School, who was selected as the South Suburban Conference Boys Swimming Coach of the Year for the 2016 and 2017 seasons by his colleagues for reviving the Eisenhower Area Swim Club and leading the Cardinals to their most successful season.

“This is a big honor, but I couldn’t have done anything without Coach Campione and Coach Belskis, the world’s greatest assistant coaches, especially Coach Belskis who volunteers her time several times a week to help our divers,” said Burmeister. “There are remarkable things happening within the conference, especially in swimming. The teams we compete against are run by some amazing and thoughtful coaches, who are dedicated to their athletes and their programs. To be recognized by them is an honor.”

Head Cheer Coach Nicole Staehlin and the Shepard varsity cheerleaders were also recognized for their season full of success and achievement in competition this winter.

“The Astros won first place in the Co-Ed Division at the Andrew High School Invitational,” said Bob McParland, public Information specialist. “They won second place at the South Suburban Conference meet, qualified for the IHSA state finals, but took fourth in their section, and finally, among all the teams that qualified for state, the Astros took 12th place in the Co-Ed Division earlier this month at Illinois State University.”

Staehlin was not able to attend the meeting.

The board also honored Varsity Dance Coach Marion Castillo and JV Head Coach Crystal Castillo, choreographer Lindsey Lococo and the Eisenhower Cardinal Dance Team for taking the title of National Champions at Universal Studios Florida. It was a passionate dance routine to John Legend’s “Glory” that made the historic win — the first one in 30 years for Eisenhower at the major state and national team title level.

The Cardinal Dance Team traveled to Universal Studios on Florida for the Dance Team Union national finals on Feb. 5, where they won Best Choreography, Best Hip Hop Group among all divisions and Champions in the Small Varsity Hip Hop division.

Castillo was also congratulated for being selected as the 2016 Coach of the Year for the state of Illinois by the Illinois High School Association.

A video of the team’s dance routine at Universal Studios Florida that won them the national title was shown.

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