Niles school board takes meeting on road; honors football player, coach

Published 2:23 am Tuesday, January 13, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles Community Schools Board of Education honored standout running back Lonnie Jones and Niles High School football coach Dave Janicki for their outstanding year at Monday night's meeting.
The meeting took place last night because their regular meeting date would have fallen on Martin Luther King Day next week.
And school board members took their meeting on the road, holding it at Oak Manor Elementary School.
Robin Hadrick, principal of Oak Manor, began the meeting with a school report on Oak Manor's multicultural program.
She said the program, which began a few years ago, teaches students about different cultures while tying in the arts.
Hadrick introduced the multicultural class teacher Nicole Mollison, who elaborated on her work with the program.
This led to a tap dancing performance from a group of Oak Manor fourth and fifth graders.
Athletic Director John Danaher then presented Niles High School running back Lonnie Jones with a plaque for his record setting season.
Jones, who was named class B player of year, "set all of the Niles' records from touchdowns to yards," said Danaher.
He said Jones' accomplishments were "something that has never occurred in Niles history."
As Jones came up to accept the plaque, he received a standing ovation from the board and the public in attendance.
School Board President Mary Crayton then asked Coach Dave Janicki to come forward to accept a framed letter for his team's outstanding achievements.
Crayton, who read the letter to Janicki, said "the board wants to recognize you and your coaching staff for the outstanding work you are doing with the young people in Niles. You have made us all very proud."
In addition to winning Niles' first ever playoff game, the team also won two state awards for their exceptional work.
The team was named First Team Academic All State and was one of five schools to receive the prestigious Steve Spicer Leadership Award. This year, Niles' top 11 football players had a GPA of 3.92, the second highest of any school in the division.
Janicki also received a standing ovation.
The board then moved on to approve a food purchasing co-op resolution, which will make a greater variety of foods available to the food service program.
They also approved the purchase of a 20 passenger Mini-Bus. This is the third and final bus to be purchased under this year's budget.
The meeting closed with Superintendent Doug Law presenting the school board with a certificate of appreciation and a gift certificate to the school store good for one item of school clothing.