‘Be Kind, Be Nice, Be Thoughtful’ at Carlinville
By ERIN SANSON
Carlinville Intermediate School was a place busy with activity after school on Monday Sept. 13. The Carlinville School Board changed its usual meeting location from the High School Media Center to meet at the intermediate school.
Principal Roy Kulenkamp and many of the teachers working at the intermediate school were present at the meeting so they could show off the redesigned and re-imagined spaces of the school.
A presentation from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers was given to the board after their discussion period. The teachers shared with the board what a typical day in the life of a CIS students looked like, from breakfast to classwork, lunch, and recess, the teachers described what their kids were doing throughout the day at school. A tour of the school concluded the board meeting, with teachers proudly showing off their colorful and newly decorated classrooms.
Kulenkamp introduced the cosmetic changes to the building at the meeting saying the teachers were the driving forces behind the redesign. Kulenkamp noted that the teachers told him, “We want to bring some color that we feel represents what radiates from us when we’re here with our kids.” A statement he followed up by saying, “and if you were here during the summer when we had summer school and earlier this year when the kids came to school and probably I think, some of the teachers will tell you, when some of our former students came back, the looks on their faces just confirmed we made the right choice in how we were moving forward to welcoming 3rd grade and making some of the changes that we have.”
One of the items of pride to come from the renovation was in the lobby. The west wall of the lobby now features a large blue frame with the word ‘Be’ in large print. The students at CIS were then asked to create a tag with a word to follow ‘be’ with. Examples include words like unique, loyal, and unstoppable.
Kulenkamp credited STEAM teacher Melissa Suits with much of the design, Suits in turn credits administrative assistant and, former CIS secretary, Theresa Gwillim with being a long time inspiration for the design, as an embodiment of the school’s motto: Be kind, be nice, be thoughtful.
Kulenkamp finished his speech to the school board saying, “We know how important academics are, boy they are vitally important, no one is ever going to deny that, but we just think back to March 2020 and where we are today, and our students when they come back to this school, 280-something kids, depending on the day, are going to get a ‘good morning’, ‘how ya doing?’, …In the morning, whether they’re being dropped off, they’re walking over, they’re coming on the bus, the people here are greeting them. …When they leave, they have someone saying ‘we’ll see you tomorrow…’
As important as their academics are, its getting them back, to realize this is a safe place, this is a place where they learn, this is a place where they grow, and with this group of teachers we have here and with this team, this family, we have at CIS, I couldn’t be prouder because you see that every single day.”
For the complete story, see the September 16th edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.