Written by Cynthia Goerzen Wednesday, 22 August 2007 05:12
Superintendent John Fast told the Goessel school board at the Aug. 13 meeting that enrollment head count showed 261 students for the new school year.
Fast said this number is only three students lower than last year, and the difference may be smaller yet.
There had been concern about numbers since 34 seniors graduated in May, while the new kindergarten class only has 17 students.
Marc Grout, junior/senior high school principal, told the board there are 15 new students in grades six through 10, plus six exchange students who are juniors and seniors. That means 21 new students at the junior/senior high building.
“It’s a very exciting surprise,” Fast said.
Sixty-six students are enrolled in junior high (grades six through eight) and 98 in high school. Ninety-seven students are enrolled at the elementary school (kindergarten through grade five), which is the same as last year.
“We lost three and gained three,” Fast said. “Last year’s fifth-grade class had 11 students, but that number has jumped to 16 for the same class (sixth grade) this year.”
Fast told the board the new students come from a variety of different sources. Some have been home-schooled, some are driving from other communities, and some have moved to town.
Board member Maynard Knepp wondered why the students came. Fast said there are several reasons. He said some played on the summer recreation league, and some parents mentioned cheaper housing. Grout said the music program was mentioned by some.
Board member Mary Rosfeld noted that the television spot advertising Goessel aired at a late time. Board member Lynnette Duerksen asked, “Have you considered radio ads?”
Fast said advertising has been done, but added, “I still say the best advertising is word of mouth.”
On another matter, the board approved the administration’s recommendation for reorganizing the track-and-field coaching positions. Curtis Guhr will be the head coach. Assistant coaches will be Chad Lindeman, Christa Guhr, David Graham and Sandy Banman.
Grout said the program will be evaluated at the end of the season to determine the success of combining the high school and junior high practice times.
Lynn Franzen and six high school students attended the meeting to request that cheerleading be brought back to the high school. Goessel has had no cheerleaders for a few years. Fourteen students have expressed an interest in cheerleading.
Franzen, mother of a GHS student, said she is willing to be a sponsor and knows of others who would also be willing to co-sponsor. The students said cheerleaders could help promote school spirit, pride in the community and health and conditioning.
They acknowledged there had been cheerleading problems in the past but do not want to be held responsible for those issues.
The board thanked the students for coming to the meeting, then discussed the matter further, including transportation and funding issues as well as try-outs and state regulations.
The board noted it would be too late to have cheerleading in place for the football season, but perhaps it might be possible for basketball season.
In other business, the board:
- accepted the resignation of Lois Voth, who has worked as a cook for eight years. Vickie Hiebert will be a substitute cook until a permanent replacement can be found.
- approved the administration’s recommendation to hire Amanda Kreir as assistant junior high girls’ basketball coach. Kreir will be a sophomore at Tabor College. She plays basketball and runs track.
- went to the maintenance shop to watch a demonstration of the used lift that recently was purchased for $5,500 and weighs 800 pounds. Fast said such devices usually sell for $7,400 to $9,000.
“The guys have really appreciated it,” he said. “We don’t use it that often, but we want to make sure they’re safe.”
He said it is especially helpful for changing light bulbs in the gyms.
- discussed purchasing a pickup for maintenance personnel. “The blue one Londell (Duerksen) uses has been leaving him stranded,” Fast said.
A trailer with a ramp was also mentioned as a needed item.
- heard Darla Meysing, the board represdentative to the Marion County Special Education Cooperative, report there had been some resignations and appointments.
She said quite a few positions in the county were still open. Joan Nightengale will be a new para at Goessel.
- heard patron Anton Epp suggested that seats in the stadium be marked and numbered and that numbered tickets should be sold for athletic events. He expressed concern that some fans bring coolers, chairs and blankets and take up three or four seats.
The board took the suggestion under advisement.
- listened to Chet Roberts’ financial report. “The cash summary is something we have to watch,” he said, adding that the budget process takes about eight days and affirmed district clerk Patsy Schmidt’s involvement.
- approved the following purchases were made: a projector for the high school, textbooks, carpet replacement for the music room and special education/resource room, bus maintenance, Power School computer training, smoke and fire alarms, Parents As Teachers local assessment, and Communities In Schools payment.