Graves resigns as principal

Following and executive session, the Goessel school board voted at its June 18 meeting to accept the resignation of Curt Graves as junior/senior high school principal.

Graves wrote that he and his family have enjoyed the challenges and accomplishments of the community and school system the past three years, but are moving to Parsons, where he will be principal at the community?s Class 4A high school.

?I do want to thank the staff, students, parents and community for welcoming us and allowing us the privilege to work with each person,? Graves added. ?Goessel is a tremendous community and has a school system with staff that truly care about students? futures.?

Board chairman Lynel Unrau expressed appreciation to Graves for his years of service: ?He came to us three years ago with a lot of enthusiasm as a young administrator and brought new energy to the school district.?

Unrau noted that under Graves? leadership, programs in all areas continued a tradition of excellence. ?He will do well wherever he goes; we were glad to have him here,? he added.

Unrau also acknowledged the contribution that Graves? wife, Val, has made to the community as director of Joyful Noise Community Child Care Center.

Unrau presented retiring board member Richard Drake with a plaque for his eight years on the board. Drake has been Goessel?s representative to the Marion County Special Education Cooperative six of those years, the last two as president of the co-op.

In other business, the board:

  • voted to hire Donna O?Neill as high school science teacher. Graves said eight applicants had been interviewed for the position. O?Neill will have a master?s degree in science.

  • voted to hire Joel Hesed as head coach of junior high girls basketball. Karen Dickerson will continue as assistant coach.

  • voted to hire Bethany Trimble as assistant coach for high school girls? basketball. Trimble has played basketball and volleyball for Bethel College. Ryan Hoopes was approved at last month?s meeting as head coach.

  • voted to hire Chris Beniger as assistant football coach. Beniger grew up in California, lives in Newton, and has pro football experience.

  • Goessel graduate Tyler Schroeder was hired as the third football coach. Graves said Schroeder, a Bethel College graduate, ?will greatly assist with the lines area? and knows head coach Justin Coup.

  • met in a lengthy executive session to discuss restructuring the coaching positions for track and field. The goal is to have a head coach with a lead assistant coach and perhaps four assistant coaches. The coaches would work with junior high and high school track students. This alignment would provide continuity from junior high through high school. Details were not made public.

  • heard board member Dewayne Voth ask about wrestling. ?I was curious if it?s something that?s growing," he said.

    Graves said he knows of two Goessel students who will be in the Hillsboro program next year.

    ?Our kids are busy with stuff; I don?t see it growing,? he said, adding that the Hillsboro coach has done a ?great job? of communicating with Goessel.

  • briefly discussed starting a cheerleading program at Goessel. ?At this point, we would be looking at the 2008-09 school year,? Graves said. It is too late for the 2007-08 school year.

    When board member Maynard Knepp asked if cheerleading had been discussed with the student body, Graves said, ?There was quite a bit of interest.? Nine students had signed up for tryouts.

    It was pointed out that Goessel received the sportsmanship award at the Class 1A state basketball tournament this past year without cheerleaders.

  • heard Graves report on the state golf tournament that Goessel hosted. ?Mr. Coup did a great job of organizing and hosting it,? he said.

  • heard Graves report on the results of his meetings with every junior high and high school class. ?Students don?t want finals on the last days of the semester,? he said, and feel they have to wait too long for results.

  • heard Graves mention band and art scheduling conflicts. Some students wish they could participate in both.

  • learned that Superintendent John Fast has contacted an architect about a storm shelter at the elementary school. Fast is also checking into upgrading the elementary school restrooms.

  • learned that 20 students are enrolled in summer school with Sheri Janzen and Mary Schmidt.

  • commended track, golf, and music students for their accomplishments. The boys? track team finished second in the state, while the golf team finished sixth in the state.

  • heard of plans to recarpet the music room at the elementary school and replace countertops in the elementary school library.

  • heard Graves report that the countertops in the high school library have been finished and look ?very nice.? He said the countertops in the computer lab also are done. Custodian Norman Schmidt built a cabinet box that can be locked. All the wires are off the floor. Graves said that now the teacher can stand in the middle and see every computer screen.

  • heard Drake report MCSEC had hired two certified staff. Rhonda Martin, a speech specialist, will serve Peabody and Goessel. He also reported some resignations and he mentioned there is a ?high demand? for the services Denise Brown brings to the county.

  • heard Drake report that the Marion-Florence school district offered to sell the Life Skills building and OASIS gymnasium building to the city of Florence, with the intention that the co-op would rent the facility from Florence. The co-op offices are in a separate building and would not be affected by the sale. Drake said the Life Skills programs has six students, although none are from Goessel.

  • approved financial statements of $97,062, including ?Thinkpad? laptop computers, a Hustler mower, a used John Deere tractor mower, underground sprinkler system, student insurance, annual technical support and updates.

  • approved the 2007-08 nutrition program, including the breakfast waiver. Board Clerk Patsy Schmidt cautioned, ?We?re getting close to that 35 percent… So one of these days we'll have to provide breakfasts.?

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