JEWELL - Monday evening's monthly meeting for the South Hamilton school board started off with adjournment of the old board and a call to order for the new board, following last month's school board election. Board members Marie Johnson and Will Johnston both ran uncontested and took the oath of office.
Following that, there was an election of officers. Board members elected Will Johnston as their new president, replacing Mike Grove, who remains on the board. Joely Swenson is the new vice-president. Terms for Grove and Swenson both run until 2015. Monthly board meetings will continue to be held the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m.
In their business meeting, the board approved the retirements of two veteran teachers, looked again at a policy on protective athletic equipment, approved a recommendation for an architectural firm to work with the facilities committee, and approved final payment of the kitchen/commons remodel project.
Joan Walker, elementary teacher, and Jim Klein, high school business instructor, have both submitted their retirement plans for the end of this school year. Combined, the two veteran teachers have 84 years of service to the South Hamilton district. "What wonderful careers they have had," commented Superintendent Tim Johnson.
In other personnel matters on the agenda, the board accepted the resignation of elementary library aide Sandy Bell. Special education aide Leah Consier was approved to change from full-time aide to half-time special education teacher and half-time aide. Sarah Utara was hired as a one-to-one aide full time. There is another opening for a one-to-one full-time aide.
Athletic director Todd Coy spent considerable time discussing with the board a policy on protective athletic equipment. Currently there is not one in place at South Hamilton. Coy has looked into similar policies in other districts. In the end, the board came to consensus that they will change the academic eligibility policy at South Hamilton and will look into that further with Coy at their November meeting.
The recommendation from the facilities committee to hire Angelo Architects of Des Moines was approved by the board. According to Johnson, Angelo Architects is a smaller firm that has good recommendations and is familiar working with smaller projects. The committee will be working on a ten-year facilities plan.
With official enrollment count day on Oct. 1, the superintendent reviewed preliminary enrollment counts with the board.
In his report to the board, middle/high school principal Scott Dryer reviewed ACT data for 2013 graduates, which were well above the national average. Dryer said that he is pleased with the Junior Achievement program for students in grades 7-9. He hopes to get more people involved from outside the school.
Also on Monday:
Snow removal bids for this winter were reviewed. The only bid received was from Seamless Pro's of Jewell, who was awarded the contract at $60 per hour, the same as last year.
Paul Hemphill and Tim Johnson were appointed as teacher quality administrators
The board was informed of problems with the roof of the Stanhope bus barn. Johnson said that Dave Stoecker, director of buildings and grounds, will assess the situation this week.
The board was reminded of the state school board convention on Nov. 21.