The Bluffs and Winchester Athletic Committee held another town hall forum to hear from the community about the proposed drug testing policy for students. The committee then met and discussed public input and made several revisions and/or updates to the policy. The policy is still a work in progress. The revised policy is attached.
Dr. Kevin Blankenship, dual superintendent of Scott-Morgan CUSD #2 and Winchester CUSD #1, has been named 2020 Illinois Superintendent of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.
The award was presented Saturday (November 23) during the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago co-sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) and IASA. Nominees are judged on the following criteria: leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement.
“I am extremely honored and privileged to serve as superintendent of two tremendous school districts. Both school communities work hard every day to provide the best education possible for our students,” said Blankenship, who has been an educator for 26 years and superintendent for the past eight years. “Illinois has so many outstanding superintendents that I also view this award as a reflection of the work that all superintendents do on a daily basis.”
This school year, Blankenship took on the unique responsibility of also leading Winchester CUSD #1 as part of a shared-superintendent agreement the two school districts in Scott County entered into locally. Combined, the districts serve about 900 preK-12 students in west central Illinois.
Blankenship is one of two superintendents in Illinois to lead two unit districts. He typically spends the morning in one district and the afternoon in the other in order to maintain strong visibility.
“Dr. Blankenship was the right choice to lead our district forward,” said Trista Freeman, school board member in Winchester CUSD #1.
“He’s been great as far as communication with the board as well as maintaining visibility at both districts.”
Scott-Morgan CUSD #2 has seen significant improvements since Blankenship was hired in 2012. The accomplishments include:
Gary Westermeyer, School Board President in Scott Morgan CUSD #2, said Blankenship has brought stability to the district with his leadership skills.
“During a period of financial uncertainty, Kevin’s financial oversight and budgeting ability kept our district in great financial health,” Westermeyer said. “In addition, his desire to get our district into current times propelled us into a technological one-to-one initiative, which has paid rich dividends to our students.”
Dr. Brent Clark, executive director of IASA, described Blankenship as a tremendous leader who works tirelessly to improve the educational environment for students.
“Kevin is a tremendous worker,” Clark said. “He’s smart. He’s perceptive, and he will do whatever is necessary to get the job done correctly. That’s Kevin. He will outwork almost anyone else around him.”
Blankenship currently serves on the IASA Board of Directors (Two Rivers Region) and is one of a handful of superintendents in Illinois who is also a certified police officer. He is a board member for the Bluffs Education Foundation, Village of Bluffs TIF Joint Committee and is a founding board member of Morgan-Scott Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO).
Blankenship received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, his Chief School Business Official Certification from the University of Illinois Springfield and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He and his wife, Julie, have two daughters.