Grantee Corner  |  Champaign Unit 4 School District

Students and their teacher look at three computer screens while wearing headphones.
Stratton Leadership and MicroSociety Magnet School students work on computers.

A students builds a tower of wooden blocks.
Garden Hills Elementary School student works with blocks.

Three students play guitars around a music stand.
Garden Hills Elementary students play guitars during music class.

Students use three video cameras.
Stratton Leadership and MicroSociety Magnet School students use video recording equipment.

Cheryl Camacho

Champaign Unit 4 School District serves approximately 9,600 students in East Central Illinois. Champaign is also home to the University of Illinois, which provides great support as a partner to the magnet schools funded by the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant.
The district’s three MSAP elementary schools enroll approximately 1,000 students each year. These magnet schools are Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, Garden Hills Elementary School (an International Baccalaureate Primary Years candidate), and Stratton Leadership & MicroSociety Magnet School. Each school has a history of minority group isolation and an MSAP goal focused on increasing school enrollment and diversity.

Other Champaign Unit 4 magnet goals include building teacher and administrator capacity, ensuring equity within each building, increasing parent engagement, and increasing student achievement. Theme-specific professional development has been provided to teachers and administrators in each magnet building. Topics include Covey leadership, International Baccalaureate, and science education. Powerful cross-magnet training has been provided in the areas of culturally responsive education, Understanding by Design, and technology integration.

Stratton MicroSociety & Leadership Magnet was awarded the 2012 “Rookie of the Year” award by the MicroSociety organization. Booker T. Washington STEM Academy has received national recognition from the National Science Teachers Association and from a variety of universities, school districts, and organizations because of its pioneering status in the area of elementary STEM education.

Cheryl Camacho has served as Director of Magnet School Programs. Her previous assignments have included school administrator, instructional coach, and master teacher. Ms. Camacho participated in the Urban School Leadership fellowship with Chicago Public Schools, and attended seminars at Harvard University and Northwestern University. She holds degrees from the University of Illinois, a teaching certificate from Georgia State University, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

See MSAP Grantees page