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Black History Month Highlights - February 2021

On January 25, 2021, the School Board wrote a Proclamation Recognizing February as Black History Month.
WHEREAS, the Sun Prairie Area School District Board of Education, administrators, educators, staff, parents, and community members of the Sun Prairie Area School District are committed to a vision that “reflects the cultures of our diverse community” and a mission to “inspire and prepare every child, every day, by providing relevant, engaging and innovative learning experiences in and out of the classroom”; and CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROCLAMATION.

The Sun Prairie Area School District is proud to partner with the Black Student Union, African American Parent Network, and our community to celebrate Black History Month.

In honor of Black History Month, the Black Student Union (BSU) held a T-Shirt fundraiser where all proceeds went to BSU and MSAN, a drive-thru Soul Food Night, and a Book Drive! Throughout the month, we also posted read-alouds on our District Facebook page.

Each year at Westside and Northside Elementary Schools, we celebrate the school, community, and family with an engagement event that was created back in 2004 in honor of National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID). Read Your Heart Out is an event in which we engage family and community members as guest readers. This year looked a little different as our wonderful readers connected with our Elementary students over Zoom rather than in the classroom. There was still so much excitement and joy as stories were read.

We had some pretty special guests join in on the fun. Thank you to Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes for being a part of this event!
The Sun Prairie Public Library celebrated Black History Month with a read-aloud every Monday at 4:30 and Thursday at 6:30! They can be viewed on their YouTube channel. The books range from short ones lasting just a few minutes to long ones that are 10 minutes. 

We are proud to acknowledge the 37 Sun Prairie students that received a 2021 MLK Outstanding Young Person Award. This year, over 250 students across Dane County were selected for this award and were recognized during an online event held on Sunday, Jan 17th. This award, presented by the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM), recognizes middle and high school students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, and community service.

Information about the Urban League of Greater Madison can be found at

Patrick Marsh Middle School:
  • Aniya Wilson  
  • Boubacar Sow 
  • Kiera Place
  • Nevaeh Morris 

Prairie View Middle School:
  • Quentin Whitmore
  • Jekori Hill
  • Jahleel Weah
  • Taylor Holmes
  • Brandon Watkins
  • Kaydarian Rivera-Rodriguez
  • Nyairra Bray
  • Dejay Montgomery
  • Layla Maggit
  • Riya Gaikwad
  • A’Jaylah Williams
  • Abdoulie Sallah
  • Benjamin Shotwell
  • Srikeerthi Komanduri
  • Cecily Humphrey
  • Aryana Moore
Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School:
  • Daneisha Acklin
  • De'Maria Posadowska
  • Kendra Stacy
  • Malykai Glass
  • Naaliyah Currie
  • Naveya Jackson
  • Oluwatimileyin Arowosegbe
  • Saanvi Gandhari

Sun Prairie High School:
  • Isabella McColl (Sophomore) 
  • Eastlan Shields (Sophomore) 
  • Sophia Monforte (Junior)
  • Kaden Triggs (Junior)
  • Azarae Hanger (Senior)
  • Reena Katta (Senior)
  • Cierra Sercye (Senior)

Prairie Phoenix Academy:
  • Frantasia West-Carter
  • Trinity Johnson-Felton
Scholarship Recipients #AVIDPROUD
Congratulations, Jillian!

Jillian, a senior in our AVID program, was recently awarded the Horatio Alger State Scholarship and will receive $10,000 for post-secondary school!
Congratulations, Britney!

Britney, a senior in our AVID program, was awarded the Herb Kohl Scholarship. Britney will receive $10,000 for post-secondary school to pursue her dream of becoming an athletic director.
Professional Development: "Combatting Curriculum Violence"

Sun Prairie Area School District staff and Black Student Union Scholars participated in professional development with LaTrice Lyle on Saturday, February 20, 2021.

The session was called “Combatting Curriculum Violence.”
Westside Elementary Muralist/Artist in Residence
Mural Artist, Mike Lroy, joined Westside Elementary School as their Artist in Residence throughout the month of February. Mike is an incredibly talented artist who has painted many of the murals that adorned the storefronts on State Street this past summer. Mike has been working with Westside students to design and paint a large mural.

Check out Westside Elementary's Facebook page for updates throughout the process as their students collaborate with this amazing artist to create a beautiful mural of their very own!
District Equity Leadership Team
On Wednesday, January 27, 2021, members of our District Support Center staff spent an afternoon together continuing with our race and equity work. The sessions will continue monthly and will focus on our District’s Equity Framework, the Board’s Preamble, and the Board’s Resolution in Support of Black Students, Staff, Families, and Community Members.  
The DELT (District Equity Leadership Team) worked with Luis Versalles of the Pacific Educational Group to continue our collective learning about anti-racist district leadership. Luis facilitated learning related to our strategic planning and instructional framework. We will continue to meet as a DELT monthly for the remainder of the school year. (Picture of Luis and family below)
Meet the New Principal for Sun Prairie West High School
The Sun Prairie Area School District is excited to announce the hiring of Ronald (Terrell) Yarbrough as the inaugural principal of Sun Prairie West High School. Terrell will officially begin his work as principal on July 1st, 2021, and will be working throughout the 2021-2022 school year to build relationships with staff, students, and the Sun Prairie community, while collaborating on setting the direction for Sun Prairie West to open in the fall of 2022. 

Terrell comes to us after serving as principal of Harlem High School in Machesney Park, Illinois since 2013. He has held leadership positions in Machesney Park, Beloit, and Milwaukee including principal, assistant principal, and dean of students throughout his career, and has served as a school administrator at all levels, including elementary, middle, and high school. Terrell holds a bachelor’s degree in history from UW-Milwaukee, a teaching certificate, and a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Marquette University, and will be defending his dissertation next month as a doctoral candidate at Aurora University. Terrell’s experience and focus on relationships and equitable outcomes for all students will allow him to be an effective leader within our school community and lead the staff of Sun Prairie West in creating a welcoming and engaging learning environment. 

The comprehensive process for selecting the principal for Sun Prairie West High School began in December when our position was posted using multiple statewide and nationwide services in order to garner a diverse applicant pool. Our process included phone screening interviews of all applicants throughout December and January, followed by a first-round interview on February 3rd. Six applicants were selected for the first round interview, and all six had previous school leadership experience. Three applicants were then brought back for a second-round interview with a diverse panel representing students, parents, staff from Sun Prairie High School, Prairie Phoenix Academy, and Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School, and administration. Finally, the third round of interviews took place with senior leadership, which led to the final selection of Terrell for the position of principal of Sun Prairie West High School. We extend our sincere gratitude to the interview teams for volunteering their time to help with this incredibly important decision. 

Please join us in welcoming Terrell Yarbrough as the inaugural principal of Sun Prairie West High School.  
Meet the Associate Principal at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School, Nikole Sconiers
I am Nikole Sconiers, new to the Sun Prairie Area School District but not new to the world of education. I have 20+ years in the field of education and across most grade levels. I have worked in Illinois and Missouri in different positions, which has influenced me in being an empathic listener, relationship builder, and always open to learning from others. I believe that positive relationships amongst the students, families, and staff is the key to success for students. I am excited to be a part of the C-Heights/CHUMS community.
Meet the Bilingual Assistant at Token Springs and the District Support Center, Dania Cannon
Hi Sun Prairie Families,

My name is Dania Cannon, I have worked in the Sun Prairie School Area District for four years. I have previously worked in the district in the kitchen at Westside and Northside Elementary schools. I recently became the Bilingual Assistant at Token Springs. Also, I translate documents for The District Support Center and help with Enrollment. I am happy to take phone calls, answer questions, help translate, connect you to resources, and Zoom with you.   

I have three sons, Joshua, Daniel, Isaac, and my husband Quinton. I have been married for twenty-one years. I live in Sun Prairie, I enjoy taking walks when it's warm outside. I was born in Chicago and grew up between Puerto Rico and Chicago. I love to cook, dance and laugh. If you see me in the community, please say hi.   

I am not only here to help our students but I am here to support the families. I look forward to working with our Sun Prairie families, connecting families to the community, to aid in better communication with teachers, principals, and the school district. It is my honor and privilege to serve and assist you, Thank you so much. 

Sincerely, Dania Cannon | Office: (608) 478-5132 | Cell: (608) 513-8879
Meet our new Mandinka/Wolog Bilingual Assistant,  Isatou Sanneh
On Feb. 25th Isatou Sanneh joined our District as a Mandinka/Wolof bilingual assistant. Recognizing the growing population of students in our District whose home language is Mandinka, we created a position to support our students in the classroom and create primary language school-to-home connections through the role of a bilingual assistant. At first, we didn't have any responses from our traditional approaches to job posting so we reached out to all of our Mandinka language households directly to offer the posting description. From that direct outreach, we received applicant interest and were able to interview and hire Isatou.
Meet our New Community School Coordinator for C.H. Bird Elementary School
We are excited to welcome Shenika Moss, Site Coordinator for our new Community School location at C.H. Bird Elementary.
Hello, my name is Shenika Moss,

I am the new Community School Site Coordinator for C.H. Bird Elementary School. Here's a little bit about myself. I am a mother of 4. Shawn (25), R'Reona (19), and Treasure and Dream (twins). Treasure passed away from a liver transplant at 22 months. Dream is now 14. She was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) at the age of 7. To dominate the statistics, I told her, her ADHD means All Dreams Have a Destiny! I would not let that label define her life. I taught her to be fabulous at everything she does. At the age of 10 Dream was diagnosed with scoliosis. A year later she had a spinal fusion. So, I joined a few organizations to expand my knowledge about children's learning and physical disabilities. The Wisconsin Office of Children's Mental Health opened the doors for me to grow as a parent advocate by being a Lived Experience Partner and I became the Co-Chair for the S.A.F.E. (Service Access Family Engagement) Committee. I also became a coalition member at Mental Health of America, a Parent Leader at The Parent Network, an Advisory Board Member for the Next Step Clinic for children with autism, and also an attendee of CPTI (Community Pediatric Training Institute) under the direction of Dr. Earnstine Willis of the Medical College of Wisconsin. All of my accomplishments are to help families. 

There are no warning signs when life takes a shift and we all need support at some time. I am a nurturer by nature and a jack of all trades. I also have my own businesses called "Kandle Freak LLC" which I make gift baskets for any occasions and of course soy wax/massage candles, essential oils, and healthful bars (soap) and "We Made That LLC" which I make T-shirts and I'm learning more of my talents with my Cricut machines. I am very grateful for this life-changing opportunity with a community that is growing and thriving. Thank you all for welcoming me. 

Remember: All Dreams Have a Destiny! Including Yours!
Secondary Handbook Revisions
The blackface incident at a basketball game in Sun Prairie in 2019 prompted a middle school and high school student-led walkout to the District Office. The students had some requests of the District, including co-creating and revising our handbook/policies, diversifying and educating staff, and enhancing the current curriculum. Over the past several months, a group of student leaders has been working with a team of administrators to update the student handbook, specifically the dress code and the area focused on discriminatory harassment.
Pictured: A team of students presented the handbook revisions at the School Board meeting on February 8th, highlighting the partnership between students, school staff, and the District.
Additional feedback was gathered from the Black Student Union. Elements of the dress code were found to be racially insensitive, were focused on girls’ clothing more than boys’, were inconsistently enforced, and conflicted with the District’s motto of

Every Child, Every Day.
Secondary Boundaries Update

  • At the last SBBTTF Meeting, Mark Roffers from MDRoffers presented a review of the options explored to date as well as the evaluation and feedback from the task force on those options. He also presented finalized documents and an overall review for what seemed to be the task force’s consensus recommendation of Pairing Option D4a for the secondary boundaries recommendation to the School Board.
  • After full group discussion, the task force was polled on whether “The finalized documents regarding Pairing Option D4a fulfill our charged task force duty: providing final secondary boundary recommendations in line with approved criteria for school board review/decision.” 91% of the task force answered yes to this question, which finalized Pairing Option D4a as the recommendation from the task force to the School Board.
  • The Secondary Boundary and Bell Time Task Force recommendation for secondary boundaries of Pairing Option D4a was presented to the School Board on Monday, February 22, 2021, and the recommendation was unanimously approved.
  • Bell time work will begin with the March 3, 2021 task force meeting.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Current School Board Member Bryn Horton will seek reelection while Marilyn Ruffin will not. This leaves two seats available. In addition to Bryn Horton, there will be two other names on the ballot, including Alwyn Foster and Becky McCright.
We are seeking to diversify our workforce. If you are interested in any of the positions listed below, please visit Frontline to apply.

  • Community School Site Coordinator
  • Account Assistant at District Support Center
  • Cross Categorical Teacher - Adult Transition Program
  • HS Math Teacher
  • Physical Education/Health Teacher
  • Elementary School Counselor
  • Long Term School Social Worker (Secondary)
  • English 8 Long Term Sub (Cardinal Heights)
  • Business/Marketing Long Term Sub (High School)
  • Social Studies Long Term Sub (High School)
  • Art Teachers-Long Term Subs
  • 5th Grade Long Term Sub
  • Long Term Sub for Music (Elementary)
  • Lead Groundskeeper
  • Early Childhood Special Education Assistant
  • Instructional Support Assistant (Secondary)
Chris Sadler, Human Resources Director    
Isabel Simonetti, Employee Relations Manager

Futures depend on us to inspire and prepare every child, every day by providing relevant, engaging, and innovative learning experiences in and out of the classroom.


To be a high performing district of choice that reflects the cultures of our diverse community.