DeKalb County Briefs

Chronicle Media Staff


Sycamore High School Jazz Band will perform at the annual A Note To Remember fundraiser to be hosted by the Sycamore Music Boosters Feb. 11.



 State has shortage of substitute teachers 


If you are looking for a part-time job, you may want to consider being a substitute teacher. Illinois has a shortage of substitute teachers.

According to a recent study conducted by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, or IARSS, schools across the state are unable to cover more than 3,000 teacher absences per week — 18 percent of total absences and 600 classrooms per day.

On average, the study found, Illinois school districts are looking to cover more than 16,500 teacher absences each week with substitutes. The IARSS surveyed around 400 school districts on the subject. In an area that includes DeKalb County schools, a total of 2,146 absences are reported per week.

As one measure to combat the shortage, the governor recently signed legislation that will lower fees to get substitute licenses.





Mayoral candidates to speak at forum 


The four DeKalb mayoral candidates will square off Feb. 6 in a public forum hosted by the Kiwanis Club of DeKalb. The forum will be held at the DeKalb Elks Lodge, 209 S. Annie Glidden Road.

The forum is being held to help the public to get to know each candidate, their vision for DeKalb and qualifications for office. The four candidates in April’s election are incumbent Mayor John Rey, community leader Jerry Smith, local businessman Michael Embrey and DeKalb County Board member Misty Haji-Sheikh.

Doors will open at 5:45 p.m. Each candidate will give a five- to 10-minute presentation, followed by a public question-and-answer segment. From 7 to 7:45 p.m. there will be an informal public roundtable discussion with the candidates.





Fundraiser to benefit SHS music program


Music education will be in the spotlight as the Sycamore Music Boosters will hold the ninth annual “A Note to Remember” fundraiser. The event will be held at Blumen Gardens, 403 Edward St., Sycamore, from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 11. The Sycamore Music Boosters is a volunteer group of families and friends of students enrolled in music education classes in Sycamore schools. This fundraiser will aid in the purchase of instruments, uniforms, scholarships and more.

The event will feature the Eric Montzka Trio, Craig Mathey, the Sycamore High School Jazz Ensemble, SHS Jazz Choir and other SHS ensembles. A limited number of tickets is available for this adult-only event at $30 per person, which includes musical entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and coffee bar. A cash bar also will be available. Raffle and silent auction prizes will be available, donated by local businesses.

Tickets are on sale at the Sycamore High School main office; Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists, 3266 Resource Pkwy., DeKalb; Kar Fre Flowers, 1126 E State St., Sycamore; Shawn’s Coffee Shop, 204 Somonauk St, Sycamore; via email at or by calling Clare Dempsey at (815) 751-8388.

Sponsorship and donation opportunities are available. Visit or follow the group on Facebook and Twitter for more information.



Historian to bring Deere to life at fundraiser


John Deere will lend his name to a fundraiser to benefit the Sycamore History Museum when historian, author and actor Brian “Fox” Ellis brings Deere to life during an educational, interactive and entertaining evening.

At the Feb. 17 Sycamore History Museum’s Winter Fund Raiser, Deere will reflect on the history of his self-scouring plows, will share some of his personal struggles, and then turn to the future and the great changes in agriculture that he foresees in the vision of his son, who is about to transform the company and the future of farming.

Ellis will cover a century of agricultural history and then lead a discussion on the future of farming. Raising issues such the pros and cons of agriculture versus agribusiness, the roles of technology and mechanization, and the significance of small family farms, centennial farms, and community-supported agriculture, this program promises to engage the audience in a complex conversation about the directions that ongoing efforts to feed the world might take. Turning the conventional question-and-answer session format on its head, a substantial portion of this presentation will consist of John Deere asking audience members questions about their family roots in agriculture and where they think the future will lead us.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s Memorial Hall, 322 Memorial Hall, Sycamore. Tickets are $20 per person and $10 for children under the age of 10. Tickets are available at the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, Sycamore History Museum or online at





Library holds special winter sale

Make a free-will donation and take home an item from the Kingston Sharing Library, 126 S. Main St., Kingston. All books – fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks and children’s books – as well as audiobooks, VHS tapes and DVDs are available, and need to go in order to make space for recently donated materials.

The sale will continue through February during regular hours: 3 to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The library is supported by Hand in Hand, a nonprofit organization, and operates entirely with volunteers and donations. The library is open to anyone, regardless of residency, for checking out books and other materials.