Goessel school board approves supplemental contracts

by Cynthia Goerzen

The Free Press

The Goessel school board approved supplemental contracts during its June 11 meeting

The following contracts were approved: Activities director, Brian Lightner; band, Scott Taylor; choir and high school musical, Braden Unruh; high school musical assistants, Heath Goertzen and Ryan Goertzen; cheerleader sponsor, Gretchen Schrag (and Alicia Oard if needed); concessions, Ryan Hoopes.

Elementary SIT chair, Sheri Janzen; junior high SIT chair, Megan Duerksen; high school SIT chair, Crysta Guhr; FCCLA sponsor, Brittany Hiebert; FFA sponsor, Alicia Oard.

Freshman class sponsor, Sherri Sells; sophomore class sponsor, Donna O’Neill; junior class sponsors, Harmony Gerlach and Chad Lindeman; senior class sponsor, Janna Duerksen.

Art, Kacie McGee; Model United Nations, Harmony Gerlach; forensics coach, DJ Freeman, high school student council sponsor, Har­mony Gerlach; junior high student council sponsor, Chad Lindeman.

Junior high Quiz Bowl, Donna O’Neill; high school Scholar’s Bowl, Braden Unruh; high school Scholar’s Bowl assistant, Marcia Brubaker; PDC chair, Janna Duerksen; QPA chair, Janna Duerksen; yearbook, Kacie McGee.

The following junior high sports contracts were approved: volleyball head coach, Megan Voth; assistant volleyball coach, Brittany Hiebert; football head coach, Chad Lindeman; football assistant coach, Ryan Hoopes; girls’ basketball head coach, Tom Zogleman; girls’ basketball assistant coach, Amy Flaming; boys’ basketball head coach, Garrett Hiebert; boys’ basketball assistant coach, Brittany Hiebert.

Junior high/high school track coaches will be Curtis Guhr, Crysta Guhr, Garrett Hiebert, Joni Smith and Brian Lightner.

The following high school sports contracts were approved: volleyball head coach, Crysta Guhr; volleyball assistant coach, Brooke Holloway; football head coach, Garrett Hiebert, cross country head coach, Brian Lightner; girls’ basketball head coach, Ryan Hoopes; girls’ basketball assistant coach, Brooke Holloway; boys’ basketball head coach, Curtis Guhr; boys’ basketball assistant coach, Chad Lindeman; and golf head coach, Chad Lindeman.

Food planning

The board discussed food service. John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, “Our cooks do an outstanding job.”

Board member Ben Schrag agreed: “We are running a good quality program.” He mentioned the “home-baked” food and fresh products from the school’s garden.

Board member Maynard Knepp noted, “We have a very high percentage of kids participating in sports” and mentioned the need for the nutrition that the school meals provide.

“We take pride in meeting all state guidelines,” Fast said. However, he said changes in state food guidelines will restrict what schools can serve, including limits on “home-baked” items.

He said the state requires food audits, and every dish is analyzed, every ingredient. Now the cooks have to prove there are not too many calories and not too much salt.

“We’re working with some serious challenges,” he said, adding that most people are not aware of the challenges cooks face. The state guidelines are becoming so restrictive that some schools are hiring Opaa to run their food service.

Fast said Opaa is a food management system that runs the entire the food system. including the daily operation, food charges, employees and food preparation. Much of the food is prepared somewhere else and shipped to schools. Opaa would not allow food from the school’s garden.

The board and administration expressed support and appreciation for the school cooks and food service. They wish to keep it and expressed dismay at the state guidelines.

Bus purchase

The board discussed at length the purchase of a new 72-passenger school bus, noting that it is the same size as a 66-passenger bus.

State guidelines place restrictions on how many years a bus can be used. The board talked about a list of options, such as front engine snub nose, heater in the middle (in addition to front and back), type of lights, noise reduction, type of axle, size of the diesel tank, and air conditioning.

The board discussed air conditioning, noting that none of the current buses have it. The board and administration talked about dust from open windows and how that affects students with allergies and asthma.

Bus driver Jim Schmidt attended the meeting and showed a picture documenting 120 degrees in a school bus.

The board voted to approve the purchase of a bus with air conditioning, for a cost of $115,533.

Other business

In other business, the board:

◼ heard from Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, about a substance abuse “town hall” meeting scheduled for Nov. 3 in the high school auditorium. Boden said similar events have been held in other Marion County communities.

◼ heard that work on the running track has begun.

◼ noted that the PTO had raised money for a new piece of Lily Pod playground equipment.

◼ listened to a Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Kyle Funk. He said some resignations had occurred. Also, health insurance rates will increase by 6.1 percent.

◼ heard a legislative report from board member Bryant Miller. He said schools are waiting for a June 30 Supreme Court decision on school funding.

◼ approved the purchase of track/cross country uniforms for $4,444.80.

◼ approved the purchase of 40 Chromebooks for $8,363.

◼ approved kitchen flooring for the elementary school and high school kitchens costing $11,400.

◼ approved the purchase of three large band instruments and a keyboard for a total of $16,528. Students can rent the large instruments, and they had not been replaced for a number of years.