Crump leaveing Eureka school district after 22 years

Adam Larck
Dr. Randy Crump

When Dr. Randy Crump became superintendent of the Eureka School District 22 years ago, he said he just had one goal he wanted to accomplish.

“When I left the district, I wanted to leave it in better shape in every aspect than when I came,” Crump said.

Now, a few months away from retirement, he said that he would let the students, board members, employees, parents and taxpayers decide if he achieved that goal. However, there is no denying what the district has done with Crump at the helm.

Highlights

While at the district, Crump saw only one referendum, in 1998, for additions and remodeling to the buildings in Eureka.

He said the referendum passed by a three to one ratio.

“The community’s been excellent,” he said. “Like I said, we passed a referendum very easily at a time where enrollment was kind of going down. I didn’t go and say, ‘Hey, we need this because we’re expanding.’ We just had a lot of areas that needed improvements and the community supported it.”

The improvements are still seen in the district today, and Crump said that alumni still take notice of it when they come back for homecoming and reunions.

The district went through more changes in 2005 when additions were added to the Congerville and Goodfield Elementary Schools, as well as a music building at Eureka High School through a state construction grant and district reserve funds.

Crump said that he has one more upgrade for the district in place.

“This summer, we plan to replace the grandstands at McCollum Field and install a new eight lane track,” he said.

Another highlight Crump was a part of was the “District 140 is 50” celebration in 1999.

“We did that in kind of conjunction with completing all of the building additions in Eureka at the time,” he said. “We had a big celebration and that was exciting. We had a lot of legislators and it was just a real great event. We were really proud about that.”

He added that a video was shown that a former superintendent made before the district was formed in 1949.

Other highlights Crump remembers were seeing the staff make several curriculum improvements throughout the years, as well as seeing the student accomplishments.

“I’m very proud of those accomplishments that they’ve had,” he said. “It’s always fun to read those great accomplishments that students do.”

Changes

While Crump said that there have been multiple changes to the district, including the building renovation, the biggest change throughout the years has been the technology.

“When I came to the district, my bookkeeper had a computer and there were 30 computers in a lab in the high school,” he said. “I had to correspond using a typewriter.”

He jokingly added that at least it was an electric typewriter.

Today, the district has about 750 computers, and chalkboards have been replaced in some rooms with interactive white boards.

He added that students have even started doing podcasts on the school websites about school events.

The technology transition has not always been smooth, though.

“It’s been a challenge, but we’ve always done good,” Crump said. “There’s been bumps in the road sometimes because you thought this device was the answer then you find out there’s a better one.

He said now the district is talking about possibly investing in iPads for students.

“Six months ago we weren’t even talking about that,” Crump said.

Retirement

On May 10, an open house will be held to honor Crump’s time with the district.

The event, hosted by the board of education, will go from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Eureka High School Library.

The public is invited to come and visit with Crump before his retirement. Refreshments will be served.

After retiring, he said he does not have any plans right now, but does plan to stay in the area.

“It’s a good area,” he said.

He added that he plans on coming back for homecoming next year to visit with alumni.

While no single memory about the district jumped to Crump’s mind, he said he will be taking plenty of positive memories with him from the district.

“I’m going to miss it,” he said. “It’s been a good, good place to retire. It’s been a very good district and I have a lot of good, positive memories and a lot of friends and acquaintances from over the years.”