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SH Schools receive bequest

Longtime teacher leaves $97,000 for scholarships, books

November 14, 2012
Billie Shelton ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

JEWELL -Students at South Hamilton Schools will be enriched by a bequest left to the school by the late Deb Witte, school board members there learned at their regular monthly board meeting on Monday evening.

Witte taught 5-6 language arts for 32 years at South Hamilton before retiring in 2005. She passed away in December 2011. Witte left $97,000 to South Hamilton elementary, to be used for books, and the same amount to the high school for scholarships. A committee of elementary teachers is at work compiling a list of books to be purchased with the memorial money-both classroom books and library books--which must be done within one year.

Several facilities issues were considered by the board on Monday, as well. A representative of Haila Architects of Ames gave the board an overview of the condition of the visiting locker rooms, but no action is required at this time.

A bid of $13,500 from Classic Designs for new trophy cases was considered by the board. New cases are needed because of the condition of the old ones, which also no longer fit since the cafeteria has been remodeled. After considerable discussion on the matter, the board decided to get two additional bids before reviewing them at their December meeting. Funding will come from physical plant and equipment funds.

Also on Monday, the board received an overview of the South Hamilton basketball reunion planned to celebrate fifty years of South Hamilton basketball. All former varsity Hawks and Hawkettes are invited, along with coaches and managers. The event will be on Friday, December 21, between the boys and girls basketball games. The girls' basketball state tournament champion team of 1965 will be recognized.

The board again looked at the school retirement program, with plans to take up the matter again at their December meeting. A deadline of December 21 was set for teachers who plan to participate in the retirement plans for the 2012-13 school year.

Tom Klaver, in his first year as high school instrumental music instructor, has assessed the needs in his department. He reported that $115,000 is needed to update equipment in the band program, which he is looking at for a three-year plan. Consensus from the board is to support the upgrade.

Reviewing enrollment figures for the current school year, Superintendent Tim Johnson reported that the number of students living in the district declined by 12 for 2012-13. But due to open enrollments in to the district, that decline equals four students.

In other business Monday evening, the board voted to reinstate the fruit program started several years ago when a grant was secured at the school to pay for fruit as snacks in both buildings twice each school day. There have been some donations received to for a fruit program, and the board approved funding the remainder of the approximately $7,000 cost.

In personnel matters, the board approved resignations from Lisa Pulis as high school volleyball coach and from Rob Perela, middle school/high school science.

The board also heard an update on the technology committee and on criteria being established for an academic letter at the secondary level. High school business instructor Rusty Wintermote was at the meeting to demonstrate school videos on Schooltube. Students are also working to put South Hamilton high school yearbooks online.



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