Because of rising enrollment at George O. Barr and Northeast Junior High, we have hired five new teachers and other staff members for the 2013-14 school year.
- Molly Carrigan, fourth grade: She came from St. Charles, by way of Eldridge, Iowa. She attended St. Charles East High School. One of three sisters, she graduated from Western Illinois University and is following in the footsteps of her mother, a third-grade teacher in Addison.Molly was born in Texas, once lived in California, and was a diving coach at Medinah Country Club. She is engaged to Bill Hayes. A future goal is to obtain her master's degree in elementary education.
- Cassandra Smith, fifth grade: She is from Colona and attended Geneseo High School and Western Illinois University. She did student teaching at Eagle Ridge School. Soon after college graduation, Miss Smith chose a healthier life and is now an avid runner of 5K races. Future goals include traveling and starting a family.
- Elizabeth Moody, fifth grade: She is from East Moline and did student teaching last year at George O. Barr, working with fifth-grade and preschool students. A United Township High School grad, she attended WIU-QC, and works as a server at TPC Deere Run. Goals include continuing to grow her family (she is married with one daughter and another on the way) and pursuing a science endorsement. Mrs. Moody is Glenview Middle School cheerleading coach, and would like to someday do the same at Northeast Junior High.
- Megan Ullrick, eighth grade social studies and RTI: She attended Bettendorf High School and WIU-QC and student taught sixth grade at Reynolds Grade School. She lives inRock Island with her husband, Jason, and their sons, Phoenix and Roland. She hopes to obtain a master's degree in the next five to seven years and physically condition herself to participate in the 2015 RAGBRAI. A "little known fact" she related was that on rare occasion, she cooks dinner and makes a mouth-watering chicken pot pie.
- Chris Villareal, technology: He previously worked as a volunteer in Mrs. Staples' classroom, then as a special-education aide at Barr, while attending WIU-QC. Last year, the Moline High School and WIU-QC graduate began his teaching career in the Davenport system and jumped at the opportunity to "come home" to Silvis. He is taking more college classes and training. One thing that most people don't know about him is that he is a very quiet person when at home.
- Kevin Threatt, custodian: A Davenport native, he now lives in Silvis with his four children: sports lover Aubre, 9; Roshiba, 8, his "diva-in-training"; Nakevion, 5, an "observer"; and Azriel, who is going through the terrible twos. Kevin attended school in Phoenix, Ariz., and previously worked there and in the Rock Island School District. He hopes to go back to school some day and work in the computer science field or establish his own cleaning service.
- Shayla Randall, Barr playground supervisor: She's a Silvis resident with three children. Logan attends UTHS, Emilee attends Northeast JH and Sarah attends Barr. A former UT student, Shayla would like to go back to school to become a nurse or teacher. A few things that most people don't know about Shayla are that she used to play the piano, clarinet and flute, and she worked at Rosewood Care Center.
- Lori McCuddin, Northeast Junior High cafeteria server: She's from Cordova and graduated from Riverdale High School. She now lives in the Silvis School District and her daughter attends Northeast. She chose to work in the district since she already knew many of the children. Did you know she was chosen as "Best Build" at Riverdale her senior year?
Several teacher aides are being hired, and we will introduce them in coming weeks.
Today is Friday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2013. There are 18 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Merry sleigh bells jingle in our streets in the wake of a driving northwest storm of snow and rain. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Thomas Campbell was elected commander of John Buford Post 243, Grand Army of the Republic. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Thomas B. Reidy was named consul of C.W. Hawes Camp No. 1550, and L.H. Eihl was named consul of Camp 29, Modern Woodmen of America. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island aldermen last night upheld the view of a petition signed by 150 businessmen that the city should not install parking meters. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Total volume during the Christmas mailing season may reach 12 million pieces in Rock Island, according to Rock Island Postmaster Carl J.L. Wessel. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The aromas filling the air at the Rock Island Lines depot in Rock Island soon will be prime rib and roast duck rather than sawdust and plaster. A tourist train will be offering dinner excursions in mid-February or early March, according to Dan Carmody, executive director of the Development Association of Rock Island.