Make your own free website on








Annual Report

(number 9)

President’s Message



Dear Alumni and Foundation Supporters:


It has been an exciting year for Oblong Community Unit #4.  An overwhelming majority approved the referendum for the new addition at the elementary school.  The children's excitement has grown as the buildings have taken shape, and they can at last realize what just a year ago was only a drawing.  The construction remains on schedule to be completed in August, as well as the remainder of the renovations to the original school building.  The citizens of the school district have every right to be proud of the opportunities they have given the children through their generous support.


The Academic Foundation enjoyed a successful year as well.  Over $6000 was used to fulfill requests from the Oblong teachers to expand the tools needed to educate our children.  Some of the moneys spent went to help maintain the successful Accelerated Reading program at the grade school, video equipment for the classrooms, and support for the Perfect Attendance Program at the grade school. The Academic Foundation fulfilled their promise of support for the new school addition by presenting the first of two checks for $10,000 to the school at the groundbreaking ceremony.


As the foundation looks ahead to the future, we are examining new ways to encourage academic success for the students.  There is no better use of our monies than toward the education of our children.   They are our future.  The foundation's success has only been possible by the generous donations and participation from area businesses, alumni, and friends of Oblong Unit #4.  For that, we send all of our supporters a heart-felt thank you.


Mitzi Slater Martin

Foundation President

Golf Outing


The Oblong Schools Academic Foundation held it 7th Annual Golf Outing in August at Oak Glen Golf Course. Once again we had a very successful outing and raised over $4,700.00, thanks to all the Hole Sponsors we had. Several of the sponsors have been with us all seven years and again in 2002 some even came and had a team. What a nice show of support for ALL the students of the Oblong School District. Our golfers had a nice lunch and then enjoyed an afternoon of golf, games and fellowship. As with the hole sponsors many of the players have played all seven years.


If you are a past graduate, attended school at sometime in Oblong or would just like to know that you can help all the students in the Oblong School District, why don’t you show your support and plan to play or sponsor a hole at the 2003 Golf Outing to be held Friday August 1, 2003 at Oak Glen Golf Course. For more information or to be put on our mailing list please contact the Golf Committee, Oblong Schools Academic Foundation  P. O. Box 205  Oblong.  62449


2002 Hole Sponsors -Anderson Machine & Welding - Oblong, Lawrence Sand & Gravel - West Union, AAA Electric of Terre Haute - Terre Haute, IN, Law Offices of Thomas & Lane - Robinson, Angelo Iafrate Construction - Indpls, IN, Louis Oches Chevy-Olds - Newton, B & S Plumbing - Terre Haute, IN, Marcella Slater - Robinson, Balfour & Taylor - Carbondale, Main Street Realty - Robinson, Bradford Supply - Robinson, Miller-Tracy-Braun-Funk & Guenther LTD - Monticello, CDI Construction - Terre Haute, IN, Cox-Phillips-Weber-Tedford - Robinson, Miller Office Equipment - Olney, Connor & Conner - Robinson, Nolan Worms Insurance - Casey, Crawford County Insurance - Oblong, Oblong Food Center - Oblong, Charley, Inc. - Robinson, Pulliam Funeral Home - Oblong, Citizens for Dale Righter - Charleston, Pat Reed Trucking - Marshall, Citizens for Roger Eddy - Robinson, R & L Ready Mix - Robinson, Daybreak Landscape - Oblong, Robinson Rural King - Robinson, First Crawford State Bank - Oblong, Rusty Nail Hardware - Oblong, First Robinson Savings Bank - Oblong, Sam White ROE #12 - Robinson, FGM Inc. - Mt. Vernon, Senco Construction - Robinson, Harmon’s Drug Store - Oblong, Superior Welding - Robinson, Irma Coats - Oblong, Sparks Auto Care - Oblong, Ickes Chevy-Olds - Robinson, T-Graphics - Oblong, Jerry Ping Trucking - Oblong, Weber Insurance & Realty - Robinson, Leohr Oil Company – Yale, Rosborough & Associates, Inc – Oblong



Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation may do so by sending a check to:

Oblong Schools Academic Foundation

P.O. Box 205

Oblong IL 62449


2002 Scholarship


Community support of the Foundation was made possible by two $750.00 scholarships to the class of 2002. These were awarded to Cody Bliss and Samatha Madlem.                                                                     


Cody Bliss is the son of Marion and Marsha Bliss. He is attending Lincoln Trail College and plans to attend U of I where he will major in Physical Therapy or Civil Engineering.  While attending LT he has been elected as a peer counselor and serves as the president of the College Republicans.

Samantha Madlem is the daughter of Tony and Susan Madlem. She is attending Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Samantha plans to attend medical school and someday own her own pediatric clinic.


Note: Anyone interested in checking the mailing list for a class can contact OHS or the office of the superintendent.



Donations allow the Foundation to provide extras for students and faculty at OHS/OES.  We wish to give special recognition to donors in 2002:


M/M Harry Williams

M/M Richard Bidle

M/M David Martin

Class of 1950


Oblong Ruritan Club

Tom Moore, Kemper CPA Group

Mont Eagle Mills Inc

Marilyn Kirtland

Class of 1942

M/M Victor Calvert

Bob Harris

Craig Harris

Steve Clark

Wabash Valley FS (Oblong Plant)

John W. Collings

Dana Corporation

Joan Knollenberg


The Foundation diligently tries to acknowledge every donor.  If we missed anyone, we apologize.



Foundation Members

Mitzi Martin, President

Tim Attaway, Vice President

Karol Newbold, Secretary

Louise Purcell, Treasurer


Amy Angle

Howard Bilyew

Joe Campanella

Gene Dart


Lori Davis

Danny Deatherage

Earl Deckard

Chad Harmon

Donna Henry

Jodi Littlejohn

Todd Musgrave

Kathleen Moore

Sarah Ping

Fannie Roberts

Lisa Yager







Interested in finding other Oblong alumni?

Check out .

There are over 600 OHS Internet Alumni listed by class.



Grade School Building Addition



High School Library Collection


Grade School Accelerated Reader


2 Computers via Dana Corp.


Buzzer/Lockout Systems for J.H. Scholastic Bowl


T.V./VCR Players-3rd Grade Students


Recorded Books on Tape/AR


Thursday Club After School Program


Band Uniforms


Attendance Program/OES


Accu/Cut Die Cuts


Paper Folder


Breakfast/Lunch promotion at OES


2 Audio CD's from McDougal Littell


Accelerated Reader Awards


"Earobics" computer program


US Const./Bill of Rights video set


Dictionaries for Spanish Classroom


Farm Dayta Machine


Custom Reading Practice Quizzes for A.R.


Tennis Balls for Chair Legs


Karaoke Machine


Skeleton Anatomy Kit


Spelling Bee Trophies / Medals















2002 Memorial Listing

Wanda Shock: Harmons’ Drug Store

Jack Wade: M/M Bill Rosborough, M/M Bill Holt

Clyde Randolph: Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, M/M Don Lewis, Ben Lewis, M/M Brady Lewis, M/M C.R. Simpson, M/M Mike Higgins, M/M Chad Harris, Betty Veach, M/M harold Sholders, Gladys Brown, M/M Don Newbold, M/M Bill Holt, M/M Howard Newbold & family, Fannie Roberts & family, M/M Jack Gallion, Mac McCoy

Carol Marie Dart: Class of 1983, M/M John Larrabee, M/M Randy Sholders & family, M/M Harold Otey, M/M Harold Sholders, M/M Jim Kirts, M/M Bob Glezen, M/M Robert Weck & Dan, M/M Chuck Baker, M/M Dean Dart & family, M/M/ Mike Dart, M/M/ Steve Bell & family, M/M/ Scotty Chiddix & family, Leah Chiddix, M/M Gene Dart, Marathon Oil Company, Gallatin River Communications

Lorene Randolph: Shirley Utterback, M/M Bill Holt, M/M Ken Russell, M/M Chuck Baker, M/M Gene Dart, Leah Chiddix & family, Betty Veach, Friends & Neighbors, Lee Tolten, GE Mattoon Lamp Plant, M/M Jack Gallion

Ruth Baker: M/M Chuck Baker, M/M Jim Kirts, M/M Alan Potter, Shirley Utterback

Patricia Miller: Class of 1951

Darlene Burr Kendall: Class of 1957

Mary Newsome: M/M Lonnie Kesler, Jane Sloan, Polly Lowe

Jim Mitchell & Gilbert Deckard: Oblong Class of 1953


Farm Plot Supporters

Thanks to the following who graciously donated time, services, materials and/or money:



Bob & Craig Harris


Planting & Harvesting


Steve Clark



Harvesting & Hauling


Wabash Valley FS Oblong Plant


Purchasing the seed, fertilizer, chemicals and fuel.

Monte Eagle Mills

Storage & Marketing




Work continues on the 2003 Addition to the Grade School


Steve Woodland - A Selective Resume

     For the past 33 years Steve Woodland has been a tireless advocate for students.  While his crusade has not made the cover of Time Magazine, nor the front pages of USA Today, he has had a positive impact on hundreds of students as they have connected with Mr. Woodland in the classroom.  He has counseled students regarding academic studies, personal goals for college and careers.  He has worked with parents to give them the support they have needed to encourage students in their academic pursuits.  He has given students the information and support they need to bolster their confidence, boost their self-esteem, and reinforce their courage to make good decisions.  His theme for students is that their personal integrity and reputation is far more valuable and important than their score at a competition or achievement at a contest.

     Those valuable lessons have been very successful.  Students frequently cite Steve Woodland as a touchstone in their lives.  His courses are very difficult but students are always well prepared to face the next level at the end of each course.  They can always count on extra help from Mr. Woodland with homework or difficult assignments.  He never gives away answers, but he will always guide students through the discovery process to find the answer for themselves.  Students frequently list Mr. Woodland as the teacher who most influenced their academic career.

     There are no neat graphs or impressive statistics to quantify Steve Woodland's impact on, and service to, his students, but many former and current students would quickly and willingly attest to how he has had a positive impact on their lives.  Teaching is one of the noblest professions practiced today and no one personifies the positive attributes of a great teacher better than Steve Woodland.  He has been an integral member of the Faculty at Oblong High School where his name is most commonly linked with Math Teams.  These teams have won the Regional Trophy nineteen years in a row.  In fifteen of the past eighteen years at the State Level, the Math Teams have accumulated three - 3rd place Trophies, seven - 2nd place Honors, and Five First Place Trophies including back to back Championships in 2000 and 2001.

     These awards have earned a great deal of Community recognition for Oblong. After the 2000 win the team was invited to the Illinois State Capitol where they met and visited with Governor George Ryan.  The Governor arranged with Dr. Hazel Loucks, Deputy Governor for Education, to take the students to the Illinois State Fair to see the Beach Boys in Concert at the Grand Stand.  In 2001 Senator Bill O'Daniel invited the students onto the floor of the Illinois Senate, a rare honor.  He introduced the team from the Senate Chair and praised their accomplishments, which entered the group into the Official Record of the Illinois Senate.  Members of the Senate gave our students a standing ovation, a thrill the students will long remember.  Not every team has had the good fortune to experience such special opportunities, but they each have had the thrill of competing and putting forth their best effort.  They each will carry with them, for a lifetime, the skills they learned in the classroom, the comradery they developed with their teammates, and pride in their efforts.

     During his teaching career in Oblong Mr. Woodland has served our students and community as head basketball coach, head baseball coach, Fresh-Soph basketball coach, Fresh-Soph football coach, and physical education teacher.  He is a life long learner who focuses on students.  He voluntarily tutors students before and after school and many evenings.  He has developed a peer-tutoring program called Conspiring Minds, where qualified students are available to tutor other students in every subject area every period of the day during study hall.  He motivates students by his example and personal enthusiasm for learning.  His classes are always on task and his students are always excited about learning.  His efforts and expertise are equaled by few and surpassed by none.



Oblong Elementary will be bidding a “happy retirement” this year to a longtime first grade teacher, Ms. Carol Watts.  Ms. Watts began her career as a primary teacher in Wasco, California in 1968.  In 1970,  she  relocated to the Red Hill School District in Bridgeport, IL as a first grade teacher.  After two years in Bridgeport, followed by two years at the Hardinville school, she assumed the role of first grade teacher at Oblong Elementary in 1977, where she has remained until her retirement this year.  When asked about her chosen profession, Ms. Watts stated, “I have found teaching to be very rewarding.  Watching each child reach a sense of accomplishment has been the most enjoyable part of teaching.”

Ms.Watts positive influence on her pupils is evident when talking with some of her former students.  The adjectives “funny” and “nice” are used often to describe her personality.  Her students enjoyed a variety of subject matter, which they have carried on with them, from computer skills to dance class. Each of her students felt special when Ms. Watts gave them each their own nickname that was unique to their own personality.

Ms. Watts has been a mentor to many teachers during her career.  There is no doubt that she will long be an example for future teachers who were lucky enough to be in her classroom.  Congratulations, Ms. Watts and thanks for a job well done!