Past Event

Our Resources – Where to Use Them, How to Share Them

Where do our resources go and how can communities better advocate for the things they need?

Lawmakers in Springfield are now debating changes to the state funding formula, but the issue of equitable funding has long been a primary concern for Illinois schools, parents, and students.

Join us for a look at the complex and controversial issue of school funding and learn about what you can do to advocate for your community. The evening will feature a short keynote from State Senator Andy Manar (District 48), followed by small-group discussions with local education leaders like Eric Hurelbrink (principal of Meridian High School in Macon) and Hannah Lybarger (math teacher at Eisenhower High School).

Finally, participants will gather for an assembly moderated by Teena Zindel-McWilliams (coordinator of curriculum and grants at Richland Community College) where everyone will have a chance to share their voice and hear what others thought – featuring a closing jazz performance by Stephen Decatur students.



Born and raised in Macoupin County, State Senator Andy Manar holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He also maintains Illinois teacher certification and belongs to numerous civic and charitable organizations. Before becoming a member in the General Assembly, Sen. Manar served as a Bunker Hill city councilman, mayor of Bunker Hill, and eventually Macoupin County Board chairman. He was encouraged and inspired to enter public service by the late Senator Vince Demuzio. As the current state senator representing the 48th District in the General Assembly, Sen. Manar is advocating an overhaul of our state’s school funding formula, sponsoring bipartisan legislation to make sure every child has access to a quality education regardless of her or his ZIP code.

Eric Hurelbrink is the principal at Meridian High School in Macon, Illinois. Mr. Hurelbrink began his career in education at Macon High School in 1994, prior to the district’s consolidation with the Blue Mound School District to form Meridian. Mr. Hurelbrink taught social studies (world history, economics, and U.S. government) for eighteen years, along with coaching football and track, before entering administration. He is a member of the Illinois Principals Association, the Macon County Regional High School Principals Association, and the National Association of Secondary Schools. Mr. Hurelbrink and his wife, Cathy, have two boys, Connor (17) and Drew (13), in the Meridian School District.

Hannah Lybarger is a lifelong resident of Macon County, graduating from Mt. Zion High School in 2004. From there she attended Richland Community College and received her Associate of Science degree before transferring to Millikin University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with certificate to teach. Most recently, Mrs. Lybarger has received her Master’s in teacher leadership from Eastern Illinois University in December of 2016. She has taught since January 2009 at both MacArthur and Eisenhower High Schools in Decatur. She has been the mathematics department chair at Eisenhower High School for five years and teaches classes ranging from Algebra 1 to Honors Pre-Calculus. When Mrs. Lybarger is not teaching math or watching her children play sports, she enjoys singing and playing the bass guitar at church.



Continuing Ed. is a yearlong, statewide series working with parents, schools, and communities across the state – in Chicago, Decatur, Elgin, and Jackson County to move the conversation about public education back to parents. For the complete schedule and more information, see

If you require a sign interpreter or any other arrangements to fully participate in this program, please contact at least 72 hours in advance of the event. For more information, please call (312)422-5580.