Gary Blaz was approved for hire as the new superintendent of schools at the school board meeting Monday, March 19.
Blaz will also serve as Elementary School principal with Greg Deiss moving back to the high school to take Joe Scarano’s math classes. Scarano is resigning as of the end of the school year.
The resignation of Debbie Crea as the computer room aide was accepted. She has taken a different job. Laurie Workman was approved for hire to replace Crea.
The board also approved Vikki Riener to be assistant track coach for the junior high team. They have 36 turned out for track this year, necessitating an assistant coach.
The 2006 substance use and school climate survey results were presented to the board for review. It shows there is still a serious problem with alcohol use. There was some discussion about what to do among the board members.
Depreciation funds were transferred from the general fund to the bus fund.
The negotiations committee was set with Gus Hoene to be the board member on the committee with the principals and superintendent.
Superintendent Stan Kress reported that although the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) approved Tom Luna’s school budget a week ago, there is yet to be a bill to come to the floor. Luna’s budget includes a 3% salary increase for teachers and also some extra classroom moneys to cover some of what many teachers spend of their own money.
Using the figures from Luna’s budget request, Kress and school treasurer Denise Uhlenkott have been doing some preliminary work on the 2007-08 budget. Kress reported they appear to be about $267,000 short at this point but feels there’s other places that can be trimmed.
In other legislative news Kress reported the state superintendents association is recommending lobbying against a bill that has already passed the House that would limit school elections to just 2 days, the primary and general election days.
A resolution was passed to hold a trustee election on May 15. The positions held by Gus Hoene and Della Gehring will be up for election this year. April 13 is the deadline for petitions to be filed to get your name on the ballot.
The Kantola-Morgan Scholarship was set at $200 for this year. Gehring will again be the board member on the selection committee with Lydia Deiss as the teacher on the committee along with Phil Wimer.
Laurie Karel appeared before the board to present a proposal for a trip to Mexico next year during Spring Break. This is being done through the same company that did the European trips the French Club has made in the past. This trip is geared toward the Spanish classes but would be open to other PHS students as well. The board approved the trip with Hoene voting no due to personal concerns about whether the school’s insurance would be liable if something happened.
In administrative reports Rene’ Forsmann reported on several events at the Middle School. The 5th and 6th grades visited the Pullman Science Museum on different days. This was tied in with the Mars Rover program and a grant help cover expenses for the trip.
She also reported Leah Holthaus was second and Jared Higgins third in the Farm Bureau essay contest and were presented their prizes at an assembly.
Dave Snodgrass reported the Ms. Prairie pageant was very well done and very well attended. He was impressed with how well it went.
He said he’s also trying something different with Spring sports. He was concerned last year with how much class is missed. On sports days he’s going to an 8-block day as opposed to the usual 7 so that athletes will be able to attend every class. Those still in school will get a study hall period.
They’re also running an 8-block day on Wednesday with the Prairie League meeting set for the last period. Those not in Prairie League will do a spring cleanup of the road from town to the high school.
Greg Deiss reported the 4th graders took the national test talked about at previous meetings. Tara Duclos coordinated it and the national reps wee impressed with how well it went.
He said the 4th graders went to the fish hatchery and are doing the steelhead eggs project again.
He said a dozen or so have already signed up for the Kindergarten screening.
He also reported that Colleen Sonnen will be setting up a safety program for the Elementary School. This is part of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program.
Kress reported there is a lobbying group requesting dues from schools to help lobby for continuation of the Craig-Wyden funds. It would amount to $672 for Cottonwood. There were mostly reservations expressed about doing this but action was tabled to the April meeting.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8:40 p.m.
The next regular meeting will be Monday, April 16 at 7 p.m.