Summer Work

District Strategic Goal #2 is:

To Obtain a Satisfying and Productive Classroom and School Teaching Environment

District Strategic Goal #3 is:

To Obtain a Satisfying and Productive Classroom and School Learning Environment

Summer is traditionally a break for staff and students, but there has been a lot of activity at DGS this summer. The Custodial staff at Dunlap Grade has been busy this summer to ensure that the building is ready for learning and teaching come August. Mr. Eads, Mrs. Riekena, and new custodian, Mr. Horrie, have been working diligently. Work that has already been completed includes deep cleaning of all classrooms and common spaces, painting of the office area, principal’s office, teacher work room, three classrooms, staff bathroom, and gym office, landscaping and mulching of the entire campus, removal of wooden fencing, planting of entry flower pots, organization of common storage areas, delivery of classroom materials for transferring teachers, organization and delivery of K-2 new math curriculum materials, painting of the bike rack, individual teacher requests, and attention to many details throughout the building.

Additional building improvements that will be completed before the start of the school year will be installation of the Parent’s Club purchased picnic tables in the front of the building, new signage on the front of the building, installation of a media display center, power washing of the exterior building, and continued detail cleaning and maintenance details.

Our maintenance and custodial staff are an essential part of our team in ensuring that we meet our strategic goals. We are grateful for their time, energy, and motivation to creating an atmosphere and environment conducive to learning and teaching! Thank you, Mr. Eads, Mrs. Riekena, and Mr. Horrie!

DGS Receives Recycling Grant

District Strategic Goal #5 is:

To Ensure a Satisfying and Productive Partnership with Families and the Community.

Dunlap Grade School has been awarded a recycling grant for the 2012-2013 School Year. This grant will aide in DGS becoming better stewards of our environment and its resources. In addition, the grant will educate students on the importance of being involved in recycling efforts. The grant, awarded through Peoria County’s Recycling & Resource Conservation, will supply DGS with environmental education programming in addition to the resources needed to recycle at DGS. We will receive

10:  7 gallon containers

20:  10 gallon containers

3:  35 gallon cart

1:    Can Crusher

 Dry Erase markers

Congratulations DGS and Thank YOU to the Recycling and Resource Conservation Department. The DGS Community looks forward to its partnership with Peoria County’s Recycling and Resource Conservation department and implementing a recycling program at the start of the school year.

Chillicothe Times Bulletin Article

I am officially one full week into my job as principal at DGS. I am frequently asked questions like, “Are you excited for your new position?” or “What are you most looking forward to as principal?” Chillicothe Times Bulletin approached me for an interview and asked those same questions. I was able to share with them a little bit about me and my vision for my work ahead and DGS. You can read the article here:

Mandy Ellis Prepares for Dunlap Grade School



Prairie Flowers Bring Joy

District Strategic Goal #5 is:

To Ensure a Satisfying and Productive Partnership with Families and the Community.

As I opened my email this morning, I was delighted to have a message waiting for me from Ms. Elizabeth Gray. As a photographer, she had been on the Rock Island Trail photographing the wild flowers that the Dunlap Grade Students have planted over the years. As she photographed, a gentleman approached her and told her that the flowers were a result of the students at Dunlap Grade School. The flowers that now bloom along the trail provide beauty to those that use the trail as well as habitat for wildlife that inhabits the region. It is wonderful to know that individuals continue to appreciate the hard work and dedication by the students that planted the flowers. She shared with me some of her images.

Right at School Registration Open

Goal 4- Partnership With Families and Community; “Right at School” Enrichment Program to be Implemented This School Year!

Goal 4 of the District Strategic Plan reads “To Ensure a Satisfying and Productive Partnership with Families and the Community.”

The Dunlap School District recently surveyed elementary parents to determine if there would be interest in bringing Right At School, an after school enrichment provider, to our schools this Fall. The response was overwhelming and we are pleased to announce that Right At School will be offering enrichment classes and extended day opportunities right in our school every day that school is in session until 6:00 PM.

Registration is now open at RIGHT AT SCHOOL’s Website.

New Hires Approved

Dunlap Grade School is excited to welcome three new classroom teachers to our team. Each new teacher has a passion for teaching and children. With individual strengths, each new teacher will make an excellent addition to our team.
In addition, Mr. Horrie was hired as our full-time custodian. Mr. Horrie joins us at Dunlap Grade from Banner Elementary School where he has served as the night time custodian for the past 6 years. Mr. Horrie has also served as a manager at a local grocery store for many years.
Welcome to the team, Mrs. Erikson, Miss Mahrt, Mr. Eckert, and Mr. Horrie!
Read on to learn more about our new teachers!

1st Grade Teacher: Mrs. Erikson
(Formerly Miss McKay)

1st Grade Teacher: Mrs. Erikson

Mrs. Erikson is excited to be joining the great families and staff at DGS as a first grade teacher! She earned an undergraduate degree in communications at Marquette University. She found her true passion lied in teaching. Mrs. Erikson received a Master’s in Teaching at the University of Southern California and completed her student teaching at Charter Oak Primary School and Harrison Learning Community Center in Peoria. This past year, she worked as a special education aide at DGS and learned and lived the values of the Dunlap community. Mrs. Erikson feels it is her job to facilitate learning for each student by personalizing the instruction, so every child can reach their potential at
their pace, while setting high expectations in the classroom. Mrs. Erikson states, “I look forward to all the wonderful experiences and memories that will be made at DGS and the relationships that will be built!”

3rd Grade Teacher: Miss Mahrt

3rd Grade Teacher: Miss Mahrt

Miss Samantha Mahrt is from Groveland, Illinois. She graduated from Morton High School in May of 2006, received an Associate’s Degree from Illinois Central College in May of 2008, and received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University in May of 2010. During her time at Illinois State University, Miss Mahrt had the opportunity to take part in a year-long student teaching internship in Normal, Illinois. Her experiences prepared Miss Mahrt to differentiate and support the needs of all students. For the past two years, Miss Mahrt has been teaching third grade at New Holland-Middletown School in Middletown, Illinois. Miss Mahrt states, “It is my goal to challenge my students while making learning fun and exciting for them. Given the opportunity and support, I believe all students are capable of success. I am looking forward to continuing my teaching career as the new third grade teacher at Dunlap Grade School! I have heard so many great things about Dunlap Grade School, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

4th Grade Teacher: Mr. Eckert

4th Grade Teacher: Mr. Eckert

Dan Eckert is not a stranger to the Dunlap community.  A 2010 graduate from Bradley University, Dan holds a degree in Elementary and Middle School Education.  Having student taught in fourth grade at Wilder-Waite, Dan is thrilled to be returning to the district.  Originally from Cary, Illinois, Dan just finished the school year working as a fifth grade classroom assistant at Fox River Grove Middle School in Fox River Grove, Illinois.  Along with his previous experiences, Dan could not be more excited to start his teaching career at DGS.  Dan is a firm believer in authentic and meaningful lessons that students can incorporate within their own lives.  With that said, he cannot wait to establish a love of lifelong learning within his students.

New Website Launched

District Strategic Goal #5 is:

To Ensure a Satisfying and Productive Partnership with Families and the Community.

To maintain an effective means of communication and provide information to our families and community, we have recently launched our new website. The website will provide families links to important websites, the ability to download necessary documents for registration, fundraisers, supplies, and much more, and provide up to date events and information.

The website will continue to receive updates throughout the summer. One major update will occur when staff are confirmed and teacher webpages, biographies, and pictures are uploaded to the teacher page. Additionally, albums of pictures from Dunlap Grade School events will be uploaded on an ongoing basis through the school year.

We are excited for this launch and invite you to visit the new page at:

 Dunlap Grade School’s New Website 


Easter Seals FUNdraiser

District Strategic Goal #5 is:

To Ensure a Satisfying and Productive Partnership with Families and the Community.

I was able to see this partnership being celebrated this week. As the new DGS principal, I have walked into DGS twice in the past week to see Mr. Etnyre on the roof of the building. The first time I saw him on the roof was for the first grade egg drop. Yesterday when I arrived, water balloons were being launched, super soakers were being sprayed, and kids were screaming with delight. Wondering if this was something in store for me in the future, I decided to investigate. As I investigated the cause of their elation, I learned that it was in celebration of the fundraising the students completed for Easter Seals. The students at DGS raised $1,257.82 for the children at Easter Seals. See the story here at CINEWS and the Peoria Journal Star


Way to Go DGS!

Jr. Olympics

District Strategic Goal #2 is:

To Obtain a Satisfying and Productive Classroom and School Learning Environment

In an effort to fulfill that goal, all students at Dunlap Grade participated in Jr. Olympics. A day of activity and enjoyment led to learning opportunities in the areas of sportsmanship, perseverance, and kindness as students participated in many different activities. Grades 3-5 participated in early May and our K-2 students had their day last week.

Congratulations to all participating students. Thank you to Mr. Combs, the classroom teaching staff, and families that made the day possible!



The Parent’s Club graciously purchased DGS a new podium to use for assemblies and special events. It arrived a few weeks ago and was shared at this week’s Parent’s Club Meeting. The podium features a lighted display, storage, and ability to connect to technology. Thanks to the Parent’s Club for their generosity and providing this podium to the students and staff at DGS!


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