Goessel board welcomes new principal and board member

The Goessel school board welcomed Marc Grout as the district?s new grades six through 12 principal at its July 9 meeting.

Grout grew up on a farm near Mankato and received both his bachelor?s and master?s degrees from the University of Kansas.

He taught junior high and high school English at Centre for eight years and last year served as the assistant principal at Lakewood Middle School in Salina.

Grout has made numerous educational presentations at the state and national levels. He has also coached track and basketball.

Grout and his wife were married at Alexanderwohl Menno?nite Church near Goessel last summer. His wife is a social worker in Newton and has relatives in the Goessel community.

In addition to administration, a number of teachers and board members were involved in the interview and selection process.

The board also welcomed Darla Meysing as a new board member. Meysing replaces retiring board member Richard Drake. Meysing was appointed as Goessel?s representative to the Marion County Special Educa?tion Cooperative board, a position Drake had held.

John Fast, superintendent and K-5 principal, said, ?I?m confident you?ll do a fine job.?

Since this was the first meeting of the new fiscal year, other appointments also were made. Lynel Unrau and Mary Rosfeld were reappointed president and vice president of the board, respectively.

Also continuing in their positions were Patsy Schmidt as board clerk and Denise Nickel as the alternate, Peggy Jay as treasurer, John Klenda as attorney, Unrau as the Kansas Association of School Boards governmental relations representative, Dewayne Voth as representative to the Learning Consortium board, Dan Miller and Lynnette Duerksen as representatives to the meet and confer committee.

The board also approved Fast for duties such as freedom of information officer, food service representative, K-5 truancy officer and homeless coordinator, in addition to Title I, Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 coordinator.

Schmidt is the freedom of information clerk and is responsible for KPERS duties. Grout was appointed sixth- to 12th-grade truancy officer in addition to hearing officer for free and reduced meal applications.

In other business, the board:

  • heard Fast report that track coaches Sandy Banman and Vanessa Schroeder had been named Kansas State High School Activities Association Class 1A Boys? Track Coaches of the Year.

  • accepted the resignation of Schroeder as track coach.

  • heard Fast report that summer school had begun and is scheduled for three weeks with Mary Schmidt and Sheri Janzen as the teachers for the 18 K-5 students.

  • heard Fast inform the board that the elementary school will be 50 years old in 2009. It opened in August 1959 with 189 students in grades one through eight. A 20th anniversary celebration was held in 1979. Fast is suggesting a 50th anniversary celebration and would like to make some improvements to get ready for that event.

  • heard Fast review the need for a storm shelter at the elementary school. Meysing said, ?As a mom, I am very much interested in that.? Fast said there is a better chance of receiving a grant if a storm shelter would be made available to residents of the mobile home court and Sunflower apartments.

  • heard Fast describe water stains on grade-school ceilings. ?We now have a major section of the roof repaired,? he said and suggested this would be a good time to replace damaged ceilings.

  • heard Fast also explain the need for renovating the grade school restrooms. Fast had talked with an architect who was impressed with the structural integrity of the building.

  • discussed the one-block portion of Church Street that runs along the west side of the high school. It was pointed out that three city residents can access their driveways only by driving on school property. The city maintains the street and bills the school.

    Fast has been in conversation with Mayor Peggy Jay. They are suggesting the school deed the street portion to the city, with the parking area to remain under school ownership. The board did not make a decision on the issue at this meeting.

  • reviewed new policies as required by the state. One policy prohibits bullying at school, on school property, in school vehicles, and at school-sponsored events. Bullying can be reported to local law enforcement officials. In certain cases, the school is required to report bullying.

    Character education will address the issue of bullying, and staff will be educated on the prevention of bullying.

    Board member Maynard Knepp wondered how bullying is determined. Fast quoted KASB wording: ?intimidation that is intended to create fear and puts down another person….?

  • discussed cheerleading. It is too late to reinstate a cheerleading program for the coming school year, but it will be considered for the following year.

    Rosfeld said, ?We need to know why it has failed in the past.? Discussion led to the question of how to sustain a viable cheerleading program in a quality manner.

    Miller raised the question of ownership: ?Who will sustain it?? Fast suggested comparative studies with other Class 1A schools. It was pointed out that cheerleading does not directly relate to student learning.

  • listened to Fast describe problems with the fire alarm system that has been activated when dust is in the air, causing the volunteer fire department to be deployed.

  • heard Fast read from Drake?s written MCSEC report. Drake wrote that Kent Stewart had met with the MCSEC to discuss the need for facilities. Stewart is a retired superintendent and a retired co-op director who is considered very knowledgeable and has worked across the state.

  • recognized higher gas prices and set the reimbursement rate for mileage at 40 cents per mile, which is an increase over the previous 35 cents per mile rate.

  • approved the financial statements of $125,533, which included scheduled track upkeep. High-wear traffic areas of the track needed patching, as well as the edges. Fast reminded the board the track was built four years ago.

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