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Daily Journal
     April 14, 2022      #29-104 KDJ

Kankakee School Board approves hire of new Mark

By Stephanie Markham

KANKAKEE — The Kankakee School Board approved the hiring of a new principal, internal appointments for two assistant principals and the purchase of a K-8 summer learning program during its meeting Monday at Edison Primary School.

Taiyuan Banks was hired to become principal of Mark Twain Primary School starting July 1. She will earn a salary of $102,000.

Banks was previously principal of Shabbona Elementary in Bourbonnais Elementary School District 53 from 2018 to 2020 and currently is an assistant principal at Matteson School District 162.

Banks has a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, a Master of Arts degree in educational administration and a Doctorate of Education in instructional leadership, according to board documents.

She specializes in differentiated instruction, teacher mentoring, and student safety and discipline, according to the documents.

Also approved on the consent agenda were two internal appointments for assistant principal positions.

Bonita Anderson, a learning partner with the district, will become assistant principal at Kankakee High School as of July 1. She will earn a salary of $73,000.

A graduate of Kankakee High School, Anderson has been employed with the district as an MTSS coordinator and a learning partner, according to board documents.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Arts from Olivet Nazarene University with endorsements in ELL and learning behavior specialist, according to the documents.

Anderson is currently working on her second master’s degree in principal leadership, has passed the principal test as an instructional leader, and is in the last semester at Governors State University, according to the documents.

Amanda Grace, also a learning partner with the district, will become assistant principal of Kennedy Middle School as of July 1 and earn a salary of $70,000.

Grace is a resident of Kankakee and has worked in the district since 2006. She has a bachelor’s degree from Adams State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lewis University, as well as teaching experience in middle school and high school, according to board documents.

The board also approved the purchase of LitCamp for the district’s K- 8 summer learning program for $40,456, though the amount may increase based on final enrollment numbers.

LitCamp is a literacy program that combines innovative lessons with an engaging and interactive summer camp approach, according to the proposal.

Lessons are framed around seven key strengths (belonging, curiosity, friendship, kindness, confidence, courage and hope), that are intended to build social-emotional learning skills.

Staff changes

The following positions have been filled within the Kankakee School District:

Mark Twain Primary School

Taiyuan Banks, principal effective July 1

Salary: $102,000

Kankakee High School 

Bonita Anderson, assistant principal effective July 1

Salary: $73,000.

Kennedy Middle School 

Amanda Grace, assistant principal effective July 1

Salary: $70,000

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