Bryan Vogt: Welcome back to Ready, Set, Sold. I’m your host, Bryan Vogt, and today I am so excited. We have a special guest that was on the previous segment, and that is the Mayor of Shiloh, Illinois, and that is the Honorable Jim Vernier.
Hey, thanks for staying with us, Mayor.
Jim Vernier: Thank you, Bryan. I’m happy to be here.
Bryan Vogt: What we want to talk to you … we kind of left you with is, is the sense of community that Shiloh has, and I think that makes it a unique place to not only work, that we talked about last segment, but also the idea of a sense of community, meaning is, it has all these things, but it still has some, shall we say, small town values in the sense of just community and people looking out for each other. One of those things, and I know you wanted to talk about, was the school systems that you have that are just phenomenal in Shiloh, correct?
Jim Vernier: Yes, Bryan. Again, we get an A for our schools that we have in Shiloh. Shiloh district 85, I want to point out, is in the top 10% of our area schools in the form of testing. They’re doing a great job. They’ve got the middle school and the lower classes, kindergarten through grade four, and then we have a middle school, but they scored top 10 of the area schools. O’Fallon High School is the school that Shiloh district 85 and central district 104, which also has students in Shiloh, they feed into the O’Fallon Township High School, and that high school was ranked 49th out of the top 100 in the State of Illinois. So, those three schools are doing very well.
We also have Whiteside Middle School in Shiloh, and it feeds into Belleville Township High School East. I was just looking online and they too are scoring high with their testing, doing great. We have Mascoutah school district on the south side of Shiloh. That middle school is actually in the Wingate subdivision, which is one of our newer subdivisions. That’s about probably 50% built out, but the school is right there in the subdivision, and then it feeds into the Mascoutah High School, which again, those schools are all ranking top in the scale that the state uses, so we’re very proud of the schools that we have in our community.
Of course, most families, when they’re looking for a place to live, they’re number one, looking for the location, the convenience to get to their job, but I think if they have children, they’re looking for the schools, and Shiloh has some of the best in the area, so we’re very proud of that.
Bryan Vogt: Yeah, they do, and I’m glad you brought that out, because I think the other thing too is that maybe people don’t know if they’re thinking about Shiloh, is there is the diversity, that many cities and towns, look, we don’t have the abilities to … if you go to Mascoutah, you can go to O’Fallon, you can go to Belleville East. You have a variety of high schools you can choose from, depending on what you want to do.
Maybe your children are already in the East. Maybe they’re in Mascoutah. You can still move into Shiloh and keep them in the same schools that they’re in, depending on where you’re at in the Village. I think that’s a cool thing too.
You know, one thing too, and I want to take just a minute here before I forget. One thing that I’m always been so impressed with you, Mayor, and I really mean this sincerely, is the length of service that you have put in to the City of Shiloh, or I don’t know if it’s called a village, I tend to think of it as a village. Maybe it’s the size, it might be a city. But, I mean, maybe just speak on that. How long have you been involved with Shiloh?
Jim Vernier: Well, Bryan, I’ve been involved with Shiloh my entire life. I remember as a kid going down, back then it was volunteer. Our park operation was run by the Shiloh Community Park Association, and as a child, I’d go down there and help them set up stands and things for the picnic. It evolved into working with the Jaycees and being the first group in Shiloh to put up Christmas lights. That was back when the population was less than a thousand in the late 70s, early 80s.
Then I ran for Village Trustee when I was 24 years old back in ’84, and I was a Village Trustee for 16 years. We saw rapid growth as far as … we did a lot of annexation with the former mayor, was Mayor Norm Acker, and he put that into the foresight to annexing the ground around Shiloh for the future. I served for 16 years as a Trustee, and when Mayor Acker retired, I ran for mayor, and I’ve been Mayor for … I’m in my 17th year now as Mayor. The land that we annexed back then we are now building on, and it’s given us the opportunity to create what we have here in Shiloh.
I think it is one of the top locations to be if you’re in Illinois.
Bryan Vogt: I couldn’t agree with you more. Again, I’ve lived there for over 20 years. It’s a great city, and I think a lot of that has to do with you, Mayor. I really mean that. Your dedication shines through. Your love of the city, just listening to you, shines clearly through on this program.
Hey, we have to run, we have to break this up. Thank you so much again. I’ve been talking with Mayor Jim Vernier, the Mayor of Shiloh. You’ve been listening to Ready, Set, Sold. This is Bryan Vogt.