CHARLESTON — Some of the best-known names in education in Charleston are helping as “celebrity servers” for the Rotary Pancake Day fundraiser this week, according to a press release.
The event to fund new laptop computers at Charleston High School is from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Charleston Middle School cafeteria.
On the roster as volunteer celebrity servers are Excellence in Science Teaching Presidential Award Winner Tim McCollum, Legacy Leader recipient Jeannie Walters, Charleston School District Superintendent Todd Vilardo, Charleston High School Principal Trevor Doughty, and Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman and Provost Jay Gatrell.
All proceeds will be used to purchase laptop computers for CHS. The goal on Saturday is to raise $3,000 toward the Rotary Club’s overall goal of $10,000. Tickets are available at the door at $6 for adults and $4 for kids 12 and under.
McCollum is a retired Charleston High School science teacher, a Golden Apple Fellow, and served as lead teacher for numerous NASA and National Science Foundation educational initiatives. He has also taught at EIU, and was a finalist for the NEA National Teacher of the year.
Walters, also retired, has been a teacher, teaching principal, principal for Mark Twain School where she implemented full-day kindergarten, and Charleston School District assistant superintendent for curriculum. She is credited with implementing Reading Recovery programs, and helping create the centralized sports complex between CMS and CHS.
Vilardo has also served the Charleston school district in many capacities, most recently moving from assistant superintendent to being named superintendent in 2017. In his 25 years in education, Vilardo has also served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, athletic director, summer school director, and principal, all in Coles County.
Doughty became CHS principal in 2014 after serving as assistant principal at Charleston Middle School. Before his stint at CMS, Doughty served 23 years at CHS, including time as assistant principal and basketball coach.
Glassman was named the 12th president of EIU in 2016. Before coming to EIU he was a faculty member, associate dean and chair of anthropology at Texas State University, professor of anthropology and dean of liberal arts at the University of Southern Indiana, and was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bradley University.
Gatrell joined the EIU administration in 2017, coming to Eastern from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., where he served as vice provost and professor in geography. He also worked for over a decade at Indiana State University in various roles.
The CHS laptop project can also be supported by making a donation to the Charleston Rotary Charitable Foundation at the event or sending in a check. More information is available by phoning 217-345-6530.
This is the third year the Charleston Rotary Club, along with the Excellence in Education Foundation, has raised funds to help with the Charleston school district’s technology needs. In 2016, Rotary and the foundation partnered to buy interactive SMART tables for Mark Twain and Ashmore elementary schools. Laptops for a mobile computer lab were purchased for Jefferson School with funds from last year’s breakfast.
The need to assist the Charleston School District to enhance its technology equipment was identified through a community survey the Charleston Rotary Club conducted in 2015. Since then the school district has provided the club with specific needs to be met through each year’s fundraising projects.
The Charleston Rotary Club meets at noon on Tuesdays in the Rotary Room of the Charleston Public Library. The club’s local service focuses on youth. In addition to the school district technology projects, Charleston Rotary presents leadership awards to Jefferson Elementary School students, sponsors the Charleston High School Interact Club, offers a scholarship to CHS graduates attending EIU, and sponsors Rotary Youth Exchange students.