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MHS gets another $100,000 donation from Puckett estate

  • Marion Unit 2 Board of Education President John Barwick, left, presents Mark Herren with a school bell for his retirement at Tuesday night's meeting. Herren, Unit 2's custodial coordinator, has retired after 36 years.

    Marion Unit 2 Board of Education President John Barwick, left, presents Mark Herren with a school bell for his retirement at Tuesday night's meeting. Herren, Unit 2's custodial coordinator, has retired after 36 years.
    Curtis Winston photo

  • Lincoln Elementary fourth-grader Brandon Aviles, left, demonstrates a robot for Unit 2 Superindent Dr. Keith Oates, center, and School Board President John Barwick at Tuesday's school board meeting. Lincoln teachers Mark Adkins and Jenna Stotlar received a Unit 2 Foundation grant for the robotics program. Greg Reid, Marion Junior High science teacher and robotics coach, assisted. Other students presenting were Jade Cockrum, Beckett Gebhart, Reagan Phelps, Jaxen Norris and Jordan Rester.

    Lincoln Elementary fourth-grader Brandon Aviles, left, demonstrates a robot for Unit 2 Superindent Dr. Keith Oates, center, and School Board President John Barwick at Tuesday's school board meeting. Lincoln teachers Mark Adkins and Jenna Stotlar received a Unit 2 Foundation grant for the robotics program. Greg Reid, Marion Junior High science teacher and robotics coach, assisted. Other students presenting were Jade Cockrum, Beckett Gebhart, Reagan Phelps, Jaxen Norris and Jordan Rester.
    Curts Winston photo

 
BY CURTIS WINSTON
Contributing Writer
Posted on 1/24/2020, 1:28 AM

MARION -- For the second year, the estate of Dr. Richard Puckett has donated $100,000 to Marion High School, Unit 2 Superindent Dr. Keith Oates announced at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.

Puckett's estate first donated $100,000 to Unit 2 last March, and district officials were pleasantly surprised to receive another donation this year.

"To our surprise, we received another check," Oates told the board. "We called their estate, and thought they made a mistake. But it was no mistake."

Puckett was a 1962 graduate of MHS and was a medical doctor. The son of a physician at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Marion, Puckett practiced medicine in Bloomington-Normal, were he died on December 10, 2018 at the age of 74.

The money will be put to good use at MHS, Oates said, bolstering lessons in virtual-reality technology. "We wanted to do some augmented reality, and we would like to head that direction," Oates told the board. "It would benefit kids, and keep them on the cutting edge."

The board, with President John Barwick, and members Brandi Bradley, Patti Bundren, Joseph Bleyer and B.W. Bruce, accepted the donation in a unanimous vote. Board members Cindy Gibbons and Steve Cook were absent.

In other business, the board the approved Kerry Martin for another year as MHS head football coach. Also approved were Tony Edwards and Dwain Vauple as volunteer assistant baseball coaches and Dewayne Fowler as MHS head bass-fishing coach.

A medical leave of absence was approved for Melissa Lundgren, and resignations were accepted from MHS social-studies teacher Mitchell Jordan and Jefferson Elementary secretary Lori Olson.