S Boozer

It’s a new day for learning in Unit 4,” new-to-town Superintendent SHELIA BOOZER (above) told Brian Barnhart on Monday’s “A Penny for Your Thoughts.”

Among their topics of conversation:

The statewide K-12 mask mandate, which hasn’t been a concern among students at Unit 4’s two balanced-calendar schools (Barkstall and Kenwood)

“I really honestly believe the mask issue is more of an adult concern and issue,” Boozer said. “ ... Our students will do whatever they need to do; they’re just glad to be coming back. I’m not (asking parents) not to have an opinion, I just don’t want it to rub off on our students — especially our youngest learners, because the vaccine is not available to them yet, so we really don’t have a choice but to have them wear the masks.”

The acronym CRT, which doesn’t just stand for the much-talked-about “critical race theory.”

“There’s also ‘culturally relevant teaching,’” she said. “That’s what Unit 4 (strives for). We want to make sure we’re culturally relevant in our teaching and we’re using culturally relevant pedegogy, as well. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. When you look at all the wonderful students that we have, the greatness of diversity that we have in Unit 4 ... we want to make sure that we’re reaching every student.”

As of Memorial Day, it’s “Dr. Boozer.”

A month and change before succeeding Susan Zola in Champaign, the Missouri-born, Springfield-raised mother of three successfully defended her dissertation — on restorative practices and their impact on racial inequities in PK-12 schools — from Illinois State.