STEM Team Continues to Shine!

The members of our STEM Team continue to shine! After winning the CAT/Altorpher STEM competition last fall, and an impressive showing at the non-competitive Motorola event last spring, they just brought home first place from the 17-team Growmark Challenge. The competition was held at Growmark corporate headquarters in Bloomington, IL and included approximately 50 students from around the state.

The Growmark Challenge was a Job Interview Career Development event designed for students to build and demonstrate skills needed to secure employment in the agricultural industry. The event was organized by the Agriculture STEM Learning Exchange. Each member of our team participated in a formal interview process associated with one of the following positions:

  • Marketing Intern
  • Agronomy Intern
  • Precision Technology Intern

STEM Team members participating in the event included Hunter Aldred, Haley Smith, Garrett Wight, Josh Lacayo, Genesis Poplett, and Ben Warner. It was a tremendous experience, as all developed and displayed the skills necessary to secure a position in the world of work. At the event, our 6-member team was split into two groups for competition. During competition, the group of Hunter Aldred, Haley Smith, and Garrett Wight secured 1st place on behalf of the team. A special shout-out goes to Haley Smith who earned individual first place by scoring higher than all other participants! Great job Haley!

"Their preparation (cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation and research) really paid off," said STEM coach Kathy Wight. "The written feedback our kids received from the judges was extremely valuable. What a great experience for our kids!" Genesis Poplett voiced that there is a lot more prep work that goes into a job interview than she expected. But she quickly pointed out that "it is always better to be over-prepared!"

Huge thanks to Kent Rigg and Kathy Wight for the time and effort they invested into helping our kids get ready. We would also like to express gratitude to everyone who contributed letters of recommendation and to community members Jeff Stiers and Jeff Manthei for helping with mock interviews to prepare our kids for competition. It takes a village. We couldn't be more proud!

Now...time to prepare for the next STEM Challenge. Good luck team!


Who are the Billtown Bombers? Where is Williamsfield Schools? I'm glad you asked...

"It's not just a small school. It's a community. It's a family. These are our kids." - Mrs. Lori Secrist, Life Science Instructor 

 Click the pick below to view us on Google Maps

STEM Team Presents in Chicago

Check out the pics from the STEM team presentation in Chicago. Their work was featured on WGN and in a variety of publications throughout the state. Great job everyone!

Federal, State, and Local Leaders visit Williamsfield Schools

Williamsfield Schools recently played host to a variety of federal, state, and local leaders. The event was part of the US Department of Education's 2015 Back-to-School Bus Tour which was led by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a senior member of President Obama's cabinet. Upon arrival, Secretary Duncan was treated to a Smartgrid presentation from members of our STEM team, after which Mr. Duncan paused so Hunter could get a selfie of the group (a pic that turned out to be one of the Secretary's favorites from the multi-state bus tour). After the student presentation, Mr. Farquer led a round-table discussion with a group of educational leaders. The focus of the conversation was "Open Education Resources (OER)" and how OER is being utilized to enhance teaching and learning in our classrooms. Round-table participants included:

  • US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • US Congresswoman Cheri Bustos
  • IL Secretary of Education Dr. Beth Purvis
  • President of Carl Sandburg College Dr. Lori Sundberg
  • Associate Director of the Center for Workforce Development Jeanne Kitchens
  • Williamsfield Schools Life Science Pathway lead Lori Secrist
  • Williamsfield Schools Business Pathway lead Kathy Wight
  • Williamsfield Schools Principal Zack Binder
  • ROWVA CUSD Superintendent Joe Sornberger
  • Galva CUSD Superintendent Doug O'Riley 
  • Knoxville CUSD Superintendent Steve Wilder
  • Williamsfield Schools Superintendent Tim Farquer

The event included the naming of Andrew Maricnek as the first-ever 'Open' Resources Adviser by the Department of Education. Andrew's role will be to help states and districts make a transition similar to ours, from conventional textbooks to more dynamic openly licensed learning resources. This announcement was a very big deal within the "open" community. The announcement indicates additional federal support for the open sharing of information, knowledge, and ideas. Williamsfield Schools is very honored the Department chose our school and our community as the location to make this historic announcement. A few of the national news stories that followed the event can be viewed by clicking the hyperlinks below.

The high profile nature of the event brought many state and local leaders to town in addition to those who participated in the round-table. Prior to the event, many of them were treated to campus tours by student ambassadors from 4th, 8th, and 12th grade. The feedback we received from VIP tour participants was outstanding! Everyone left extremely impressed with our students, our building, and our staff. Please enjoy a few of our favorite pictures from the event. We can't wait to host additional dignitaries as we continue to strengthen the innovative learning opportunities we provide our kids.




Contact Us

325 Kentucky Avenue
Williamsfield, IL, 61489
School Office: (309)-639-2216
District Office: (309)-639-2219