School year brings new faces
New teachers, counselors begin to learn the ropes; WC school board introduces new principals
The approach of the school year brought introductions before the Webster City School Board Monday night.
Jessica Hector, Northeast Hamilton Elementary principal, and William Brock, Webster City Middle School associate principal, were introduced during the board’s meeting.
Hector has served as the Webster City Middle School associate principal for the past three years. Prior to earning her masters in education from the University of Northern Iowa, she taught for seven years in the Southeast Webster Grand/Southeast Valley school district.
Brock comes to the Webster City School District after serving three years at Ankeny South View as the student & building support specialist. He has also served as the dean of students for three years at Edmends Elementary School in Des Moines. Prior to that, he served at Waterloo East High School for two years as an instructional coach. He has also taught at Waterloo West, Waterloo East and Waterloo Central Middle School. He has taught social studies, language arts, government and history. Brock has also coached football, middle school basketball and boys and girls track.
The Board also set the rent for the Riverview building at $1,800/month. The Riverview Early Childhood Center is housed in the district building. The Board noted that although utility costs average an additional $6,000 annually, which are not covered by the rent, it recognizes the importance of the child care center to the community.
The Board also re-established a clause in the Riverview contract that if the district asks the business to vacate the premises, it would pay off the balance of a loan from the city at an estimated cost between $25,000 to $30,000.
Appearing before the Board were Rose Messerly, director of Riverview; Webster City Council member Logan Welch, who also serves on the Riverview Board of Directors, and McKinley Bailey, executive director of Building Families.
Board members Richard Stroner and Chuck Bonjour voiced concern that the availability of childcare in Webster City is dependent primarily upon the funding from the city and the school district.
“You can’t rely on only two sources,” said Bonjour, likening it to a structure made of toothpicks which could easy collapse.
Stroner suggested that area businesses should be recruited to help sustain childcare options for the community.
The Board approved the following resignations:
— Lisa Stansfield, fourth grade instructor;
— Beatriz Olmedo, Sunset Heights secretary/paraeducator;
— Monica Trujillo, eighth grade assistant volleyball coach.
The Board approved the following appointments:
— Heidi Barrick, fourth grade;
— Emily Loughry, mentoring program facilitator;
— Kristin Hammitt, co-cheer coach;
— Monica Trujillo, co-cheer coach;
— Brandi Martin, Sunset Heights secretary/paraeducator;
— Jordan Moen, Pleasant View paraeducator;
— Stephanie Osthus, Pleasant View paraeducator;
— Chelsey Wagoner, Sunset Heights paraeducator;
— Laura Fisher, assistant seventh-grade volleyball coach.
In addition, the Board approved the 28E Agreement with Stratford Community School District, the Webster City CSD Certified Staff Handbook and the Webster City CSD Classified Staff Handbook.
As requested by the Iowa School Board Association, the Board prioritized its four goals for the year. They include focus on mental health, ensuring supplemental aid, establishing school funding policies and eliminating unfunded mandates on school districts.
“We need (federal and/or state) money to do all the things we are being asked to do,” said Superintedent Mandy Ross.
In naming other possible priorities, such as teaching financial literacy, coding instruction, computer literacy and allowing bond issues to pass with a simple majority, At-Large Director Chuck Bonjour said that all those issues need to be addressed, but the Board was only asked to name four.
Two positions are open for the Webster City School Board election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Seats currently held by District Two Director Beth Van Diest and Bonjour will be up for election. Filing for the election is from Aug. 20 to Sept. 19.
A question for an increase in PPEL funding is also being drafted for inclusion on the ballot.
Dr. Ross also applauded the new school administrators who met for an administrative retreat at the Northeast Hamilton Elementary Media Center last week.
“I am excited about the new school year, “ Dr. Ross told the Board. “We have a great team put together”.
The Pre-School Parent Night was well attended last week, reported Dr. Ross, with nearly 100 parents attending. Discussion topics also included transportation.
Dr. Ross told the Board she is optimistic about this year’s student enrollment. She noted that while registration has been successful, Oct. 1 is the official date of certified enrollment.