Goessel school board welcomes new members and assigns representation to related causes

The administration and continuing board members welcomed James Wiens and Kelly Booton as new members of the Goessel school board during the regular July 13 meeting.

They are replacing Lynel Unrau and Dewayne Voth, who decided not to run for re-election.

Since this was the first meeting of the new fiscal year, Superintendent John Fast explained the various board positions, and the board made the following appointments: Mary Rosfeld, board president; Dan Miller, vice president; Darla Meysing, The Learning Consortium representative; James Wiens, government relations; Dan Miller, Marion County Special Education Cooperative representative; Kelly Booton, MCSEC alternate; Lynnette Duerksen and May?nard Knepp, meet and confer.

Fast said Meysing had done a ?great job? as the previous MCSEC representative, noting that she had weathered through the most difficult issues concerning the building renovation project.

Fast said the meet and confer committee needs two people to negotiate with teachers. He said continuity is important. Duerksen and Miller were the meet and confer representatives in the past. Fast encouraged at least one of them to retain that position. Therefore, Duerksen is continuing, while Miller is taking a different assignment this year.

Fast said the TLC board meets earlier on the same evening as the Goessel board and usually has no major issues.

With the exception of Duerksen, all the board members chose or were elected to different positions for this fiscal year.

Aside from board member assignments, other appointments were made, with no changes from previous years: Patsy Schmidt, board clerk; Denise Nickel, alternate board clerk; Peggy Jay, board treasurer; John Klenda, board attorney.

As usual, the board adopted the 1,116-hour school year and approved the remainder of the consent agenda items.

On another matter, the board briefly discussed plans for the 50th anniversary celebration of the elementary school building. Former teachers and current elementary students will have a chance to interact Friday, Sept. 25. An open house for the public will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27.

In other business, the board:

n voted to hire John Bergin as the new high school agriculture education teacher and FFA adviser. He is from Meriden, near Topeka. He graduated in May from Kansas State University, where he worked for the agronomy department and was an intern with the National Association of Agricultural Educators. H

e has experience writing curriculum at the state and national levels and served as a state FFA officer.

Bergin replaces David Graham, who has accepted a position in another district.

n heard from Grout that the junior high special education teaching position is still open. Other than that, ?All of our teaching positions are filled,? he said.

n listened to Grout?s commendation of the custodial team for their ?fantastic job? with maintenance projects at the junior high/high school building. ?The hallway floors are shiny, and we have fresh paint on many of the walls. Things are looking good.?

n heard that all sports camps are done, so the building will be closed during the rest of July.

n heard from Fast that summer maintenance at the elementary school is almost finished.

n heard from Fast that Goessel?s share of the MCSEC cost will be $129,880 for the 2009-10 year.

n heard Fast explain that the cost for TLC has been reduced in recent years. It had been $10,000 per school district, then $5,000, and then $3,000. There is a chance that the cost might be reduced even further.

n listened to Chet Roberts explain the district?s financial status. He said that while enrollment will be close to last year, Goessel will not receive as much money per student. Last year Goessel received $4,433 per student, while this year that amount will be $4,218.

He cautioned, ?We have to be very careful with expenses,? but added, ?The state said we have one of the best budgets,? thanks to the amount of ?carry-over.? But Roberts warned, ?The carry-over?s not going to be there next year.?

Fast raised the concern that 33 seniors are expected this school year, but only 21 in kindergarten, which means the following year will be even more challenging financially.

?You have to end in the black,? Fast said. ?School districts can?t borrow money.?

n spent a considerable time reviewing transportation needs for the upcoming school year.

?We are going to be transporting quite a number of students to Hillsboro and Marion this next year,? Fast said.

He said there would be two or three Head Start students who need booster seats, one PACE student, and one who requires a para to ride along to the Marion CLASS program. Including the driver, that would be a total of seven people.

The need for wheelchair accessibility was also discussed. Therefore, the board discussed purchasing a new mini bus.

?The 1991 mini-bus is in shambles,? Fast said, and no one is willing to drive it.

Grout said the school also needs another van or suburban.

?My concern is the longevity of the suburban,? Grout said. ?It?s an old vehicle. It drives and sounds like an old vehicle.?

Duerksen asked, ?How many are going to vo-tech this year??

Grout said four or five students will be in the vo-tech program in Newton. ?We should be able to manage that with a van,? he said. The board did not make a decision about a vehicle purchase.

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