School board approves contract assignments

First meeting of reorganized district held Monday night

At the first meeting of the reorganized Webster City school board on Monday, Jessica Hector was named principal at Northeast Hamilton Elementary in Blairsburg.

Hector is a veteran of Webster City schools and had served as Associate Prinicipal at the WC Middle School for the past three years.  She replaces Mike Kruger who resigned in June to take the position of superintendent of West Forks CSD in Rockwell and Sheffield.

In a related move, the board approved the appointment of William Brock as WC Middle School Associate Principal and Derek Turner as fourth grade instructor.  

The board also approved contract assignments for:

• Virginia Nilles, paraeducator, Pleasant View Elementary

• Jeff Lyons, seventh grade boys basketball coach

• Jeff Lyons, seventh grade boys baseball coach

• Kayleigh Epps, middle school PE instructor

• Heather Sanders, high school science instructor

• Rebecca Blair, NEH guidance

• Tyler Mosbach, head seventh grade boys track coach

• Bill Bertran, head varsity girls golf coach

• Derek Tuner, assistant varsity cross country coach

• Jessica Butterfield-Bailey, part-time secretary, Pleasant View Elementary

• Virginia Velasquez, part-time secretary, Pleasant View Elementary 

• Brooke Henry, paraeducator, Pleasant View Elementary

The board also approved contracts for 21 LEAD Learners.

Transfers approved by the board included:

• Sandy Ausenhus from fourth grade instructor to middle school Special Education instructor

• Jerily Hippen from Sunset Heights paraeducator to high school educator

• Kristy Peck from seven ELA/History instructor to seventh and eighth grade ELA/History instructor

• Beth Meyer from seventh Math/Science instructor to seven and eighth Math/Science instructor

• Megan Allison from seventh Math/Science instructor to seventh Math instructor

• Rebekah Eggers from seventh Science/Social Studies instructor to seventh Science instructor

• Megan Kostka-Dietz from fifth grade instructor to seventh ELA/Social Studies instructor

• Evan Mossman from middle school PE instructor to NEH Elementary and Stratford Elementary PE instructor

The board also approved several 28E agreements with neighboring school districts:

• Shared superintendent Dr. Mandy Ross with Stratford CDS

• Shared business manager Cathi Hildebrand with Stratford CSD

• Shared PE instructor Evan Mossman with NEH and Stratford

• Shared transportation director Ted Larson with Stratford

• Shared instructor and librarian Kathy Houck with Stratford and South Hamilton

• Shared school nurse Cindi Sweedler with Stratford

Shared Talented and Gifted instructor Patsy Brock with Stratford

Ross introduced the topic of a proposed increase in the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) fund with voter approval to be scheduled in November.

Currently, the Webster City PPEL is set at $0.67 for each $1,000 of taxable valuation and is one of the lowest in central Iowa, explained Ross.  

In Iowa, PPEL funds are used by school districts for maintenance of existing facilities and parking lots, construction of buildings, purchasing property, buses and technology equipment, and energy conservation expenditures.  With the rising summer temperatures, Dr. Ross pointed out that three of Webster City’s school buildings are not air conditioned.  If the heat carries on into the fall, instruction would be impossible in those buildings, she explained.  Additional PPEL funding would help address those conditions. 

She proposed the board consider increasing the current PPEL asking by five cents to $0.72 which would generate an additional $34,000 for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.  In order to be placed on the November ballot, the board must decide on the issue by September 1, she said.

In other news, Transportation Director Ted Larson reported that the district would not be able to transport three year old preschoolers for three reasons – safety concerns, no school funding to cover a 485-square mile territory and there is no state reimbursements.

Pleasant View Principal and district preschool director Mindy Mossman has worked with Larson on the issue. She told the board all parents were notified of the transportation situation at the home visits and the issue will be addressed at the parent meeting on Aug. 8.

Also, Larson told the board that all parents of enrolled preschool three year olds have been notified and understand the concerns.

Larson said that four year old preschoolers will continue to be bussed by the district.

The board also approved the North Central Consortium School contract for 2019/2020 and the students education services contract with the Sioux City Community School District.  Also approved were the procedure to ensure collection and review of course enrollment data and procedures to ensure minority and limited English Language Learners are provided access to course descriptions.  The board also approved an interfund transfer for safety equipment from the general fund to the activities fund.

The board approved the designation of depositories for Availa Bank, First State Bank and WCF Financial Bank for the amount of $8 million each.  The board also approved Iowa Schools Joint Investment Trust as a depository for $10 million.

The board viewed the third and final reading of the policy on motor vehicles.  The policy permits eighth grade students to carry a driver’s permit and that the high school principal issues those student permits.

Director Richard Stroner commended the work of students at WCTV, for their documentary work on river projects. A documentary on Doodle Bugs has also been proposed, he said.

District Business Manager Cathi Hildebrand reported that any remaining bills from NEH that were incurred before the July 1 reorganization deadline will be paid by the end of August.

Ross gave an update on the equity audit which cited major work needed on high school ramps, lobby and toilet signage, toilet stall accessibility and shower room accessibility.   She noted that as the equity coordinator for the district, she is required to attend training and that deadline has been extended to Sept. 30.

Regarding the request of a district patron on replacing trees that have been removed, the board chose to determine and evaluate tree replacement on a case-by-case basis.

Ross commended facilities director Mitch Dunham and his staff for the work done at the Jefferson Gym.

Ross also reported that on-line registration is running smoothly and that four stations have been opened at the district office for patrons without on-line access.  She commended the efforts of superintendent secretary Mary Ellen Draeger and registrars Lynn Neibergall and Lanette Willems for their work in the process.

As a formality at the beginning of the meeting, Ross suggested that school board secretary Cathi Hildebrand be sworn in as it was the initial meeting of the new, reorganized school board.

The meeting adjourned at 7:08 p.m. The next meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m.