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Ag program plows ahead with delivery of tractor

Trustees grant 2.75 percent raises for staff

IVCC ag students recently checked out new equipment available to the program including a Case IH M340 tractor. They are McKenzie Cain (from left) of Princeton, Catie Nowakowski of Hennepin, Jon Yaklich of Princeton and Gavin Garcia of DePue.
IVCC ag students recently checked out new equipment available to the program including a Case IH M340 tractor. They are McKenzie Cain (from left) of Princeton, Catie Nowakowski of Hennepin, Jon Yaklich of Princeton and Gavin Garcia of DePue.

OGLESBY — Illinois Valley Community College’s agriculture program was recently bolstered when coordinator Willard Mott took delivery of a new Case IH Magnum 340 tractor through a Case IH School-Program, President Jerry Corcoran announced at the May 9 board meeting.

Use of the tractor was facilitated by Kyle Dooley of CNH International, and a vertical tillage tool has also arrived compliments of Stoller International Equipment of Ottawa.

Corcoran said Stoller also donated a utility tractor to support research being conducted on college land in partnership with University of Illinois Extension.

“Thanks to CNH, we may soon have a planter for some of our own work and the hardware needed to collect field data from the tractor and combine,” he said.

“It has been a great partnership. Our ag students are the beneficiaries of this tremendous support. We have everything we need to prepare the seedbed and monitor field conditions. Willard is now working on how to control the weather,” Corcoran said with a smile.

Mott said earlier this week, “Our partnership with CNH Industrial’s agriculture brand Case IH will have a profound impact on students as they will be driving a new M340 tractor, working the field with a new vertical tillage tool, and planting both corn and soybeans. Our program has been elevated to a new level thanks to Kyle Dooley and CNH Industrial.”

In other business, trustees approved a medical assistant certificate program to begin in spring 2020, pending approval by the Illinois Community College Board. IVCC has partnered with neighboring Kishwaukee College in Malta as both colleges launch the program, Corcoran said.

The program will prepare students for certification as a medical assistant and entry-level careers in physician’s offices, clinics and other medical settings. The 29.5-credit certificate includes seven new courses such as Medical Assisting Skills I through IV, Introduction to Electronic Health Records and Clinical Externship.

The board approved:

• Hiring Richard Marko as automotive technology instructor beginning Aug. 13.  Marko is a graduate of IVCC’s program and Southern Illinois University’s.

• One-year extensions of the contracts in place for President Jerry Corcoran, Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Anderson.

• The resignation of developmental mathematics lab instructor Emily Lesman effective Aug. 10.

Following closed session, a 2.75 percent salary increase for all employees not affected by a negotiated labor agreement — contingent upon evaluations and grant support.

The board also approved special salary adjustments for four employees identified as warranting in fiscal year 2020.

The board learned:

• About 80 employees were honored at the 23rd annual Employee Recognition Event April 18 in Utica.

• Del Baracani is the new maintenance department groundskeeper and Jayna Leipart Guttilla has been hired as collection development and access librarian.

• Duplication Center operator Sandra Kosciewicz is retiring June 30 after 33 years. “I will take many fond memories and friendships with me,” Kosciewicz said in her retirement letter.

• Allied health instructor Linda Pinn will retire at the end of the spring semester, adult education instructor Tracy Makransky will retire after eight years, Terumi Scully, administrative assistant for Project Success, submitted her letter of resignation effective May 16, and women’s basketball coach Tom Ptak resigned April 30.

• The theatre production of “Mama Mia!” — playing over two weekends in April in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre — broke attendance records, Corcoran said.

• IVCC geology instructor Mike Phillips was recognized May 2 at the Regional Office of Education’s 31st annual Excellence in Education awards banquet for his many years on the Lostant School Board.

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