Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
By Janie Southard
Parkway co-ed cheerleaders to add stunts
  ROCKFORD - Parkway cheerleaders have the board's blessing for stunting at non-league home basketball games and pep assemblies next year. It's a whole new dimension that will boost school spirit, according to a school coach.
Cheer coach Michele Egbert and the cheerleading team, which includes two males this year for the first time in school history, performed a few lower level stunting routines at Tuesday night's school board meeting. The team is just back from Americheer camp in Columbus, where they learned the basic moves.
"What we want to do is very basic, no tossing or flipping. The team has learned four basic (stunts) and none are dangerous. ... I know the MAC has rules about stunting but it's kind of a gray area. If we do stunting at non-league games, I think that may open the door," Egbert told the board, adding the squad "did very well at camp and brought home some awards and trophies."
Stunting is a type of acrobatics or tumbling incorporated into college or competitive cheerleading. Actions include forming a human pyramid or tossing a cheerleader into the air. The Parkway cheer squad will perform neither of those moves; their moves will be lifts or mounts.
Athletic Director Doug Hughes will meet with league officials to clarify their position on stunting.
Senior Joel Cesar won the cheerleader of cheerleaders award at camp, which includes a $1,000 scholarship and an invitation to come back next year and work with the students.
Board member Kim Brandt is completing the term of board member Randy Shellabarger, who resigned last month due to work schedule changes. She made a motion to approve stunting "as long as liability insurance is OK."
Board member and former cheerleader Terry Keiser was enthusiastic about this new dimension in local cheering, saying it's a wonderful opportunity. Egbert pointed out stunting would gives local students a "foot in the door if they try out for college cheering."
In its position as taxing authority for the local library, the board approved placing a five-year, 1-mill operating levy for the Rockford Carnegie Library on the November ballot.
Bob Maurer, treasurer of the Rockford Carnegie Library, addressed the board, saying the library has suffered more than a $50,000 decrease in state funding over the past two years.
"Our only new material for that time has been possible only through donations. ... We don't look for any increases in state money during the next two years," he said. "Rockford Eagles and American Legion and the (village) historical society have supported us greatly over the past year and a half."
The levy would generate $66,000 and cost $35 a year for owners of a $100,000 home. This is the first levy the library has ever requested.
Maurer added the levy money also will enable the library to restore cut hours.
In his report to the board, superintendent Greg Puthoff said cafeteria supervisor Pam Smith is working on a school Web site inclusion on food values for calories, fat and carbohydrates.
"Some parents and students have requested calorie counts, but Pam said including fats and carbs gives a better picture, especially for diabetic students," he said.
Coincidentally, board members approved increasing the cafeteria supervisor position pay to put it more in line with other schools. The increase from $23,017 to $27,542 puts it in the mid-range locally.
Board member Tom Lyons inquired about the Latch Key program on behalf of a community member. Presently it is after school Monday-Friday until 5:30 p.m. and is funded by a grant secured by the Mercer County Educational Service Center. The cost to parents is $1 per hour per child.
Puthoff said it would be easy to incorporate a morning program if there was sufficient attendance. The school already serves breakfast 7:50 to 8:15 a.m.
"I hope anyone interested in a morning Latch Key program will contact us," Puthoff said.
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