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Jim Masters

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Jim Masters grew up on 191st Street in Lansing. He attended Nathan Hale Elementary, was a member of St. Ann Church, graduated with the first graduating class at Heritage Middle School, and graduated from TF South High School in 1981. Inspired by his journalism teacher Joe Hyde, Jim earned a BA in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. He has more than 25 years of experience as beat reporter, specializing in government, politics, criminal justice, human interest stories, and education.

District 215 honors new teachers in pinning ceremony

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (October 3, 2021) – Thornton Fractional Township School District 215 administrators are quite proud of their first- and second-year teachers — and want to show it. The District 215 Board of Education meeting on September 28 was an occasion to honor those educators for their service...

Coolidge Elementary to host vaccination clinics October 2 and 23

BY JIM MASTERS LANSING, Ill. (September 26, 2021) – For those that haven’t gotten their COVID-19 vaccinations yet, Lansing School District 158 has a remedy. District 158 will be hosting vaccinations clinics at Coolidge Elementary from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 2 and Saturday, October 23. The school is...

Sunnybrook District 171 looks to approve $17.2 million budget

BY JIM MASTERS LANSING, Ill. (September 25, 2021) – Sunnybrook School District 171 is eyeing a $17.2 million budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which began July 1. In his presentation to the District 171 Board of Education on September 20, Business Manager David Shrader said the budget would cover operations,...

New District 158 building serves as PPE distribution point for surrounding schools

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (September 25, 2021) – South Cook County region schools seeking essential supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) made their way to Lansing on Thursday and Friday. Lansing School District 158’s new maintenance building on Greenbay Avenue served as the main distribution site for the PPEs, providing...

Monica Terry steps in as newest District 158 Board member

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (September 23, 2021) – After a months-long application process, Monica Terry recently accepted appointment as a member of the School District 158 Board of Education. Terry is serving the remainder of the term vacated by Dr. Sarah Wallace, who moved out of town. “My husband Brandon and...

District 215 electrical, cosmetology, barbering, and education programs put focus on career development

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (September 16, 2021) – For local students thinking of becoming an electrician or a licensed cosmetologist or barber, Thornton Fractional High School District 215 can now fast-forward their careers. Over the summer, District 215 launched its new Career Development Department with the aim of providing TF...

Heritage to return to in-person learning after remote week due to COVID cases

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (September 11, 2021) – Heritage Middle School students spent last week remote learning due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests, but they are all expected back in school Monday. District Superintendent Dr. Erika Millhouse-Pettis had informed parents via email and robocalls of the switch to remote learning...

Oak Glen principal Mike Earnshaw publishes book on successful education ‘recipes’

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (September 4, 2021) – Combine a “punk rock skateboarder” with an elementary school principal, and you'll get an out-of-the-box thinker, master motivator, and now, published author in Mike Earnshaw. Yes, that Mike Earnshaw, principal of Oak Glen Elementary and author of "EduCulture Cookbook: Recipes & Dishes...

Heritage Middle School employee contracts COVID-19, no ‘prolonged close contact’ with others

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (September 3, 2021) – A Heritage Middle School employee tested positive for COVID-19 this week, but the exposure is an isolated incident according to school officials, and school is proceeding normally, albeit with students and staff masked as they have been since the start of...

District 215 adopts new policy to boost dual credit hours

by Jim Masters LANSING, Ill. (August 31, 2021) – Many TF South students take advantage of courses that offer both high school and college credit, but sometimes they fail to properly register for the dual credit. The Thornton Fractional School District 215 Board of Education recently adopted a new policy to...