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Blaine Huff and Doug Miller newly elected to school board

Two new board members and one incumbent were elected in the June 12th school district election, while a second incumbent lost his seat in the balloting.

6/20/12 (Wed)

By Caroline Downs

Two new board members and one incumbent were elected in the June 12th school district election, while a second incumbent lost his seat in the balloting.

Newcomers Blaine Huff, Donnybrook, and Doug Miller, Kenmare, will represent district patrons for the next three years as rural at-large board members. Huff captured 203 votes in the election, while Miller had 179.

Mike Zimmer, the incumbent rural at-large director running for his second term on the board, received 149 votes.

The other incumbent rural at-large director, Roger Johnson, chose not to run for re-election this year.

Nine individuals received write-in votes for the position.

Lenny Rodin, the incumbent at-large candidate, was re-elected to the position with 200 votes. Zimmer received 54 write-in votes for the seat. Eight other individuals also had write-in votes on the ballot.

Voters approved publication of the board’s meeting minutes in the school district’s officially designated newspaper by a margin of 264 to 16. A total of 288 ballots were cast in the election.

Zimmer will serve on the Kenmare School Board through the July 2012 meeting. At that meeting, scheduled for 8 am on July 17th, the board will re-organize with Huff and Miller seated as directors.

New activity bus
will arrive this fall

Kenmare students will soon be traveling around the state in the district’s new activity bus. Craig Ellsworth, Transportation Committee chairman, reported the committee met May 30th to discuss bids received for the bus with representatives from Trucks of Bismarck and Harlow’s Bus Sales.

Ellsworth said the committee reviewed several options for each bus, including air conditioning, storage, seat material and bus color. The bid for the Harlow’s bus came in at $98,510.00, while the bid for the Trucks of Bismarck bus topped out at $101,675.00.

The committee approved the purchase from Harlow’s, and the new bus has been ordered for delivery later this fall. The bus will carry 44 passengers and features overhead storage and a hitch package. The new bus will be painted white with the school name and mascot painted in color on the sides.

A portion of the total cost for the bus has been paid from the balance of the 2011-2012 budget, with the remainder to come from the 2012-2013 budget.

New gym plan
waiting on architect
Building Committee chairman Mike Zimmer reported he and committee member Jan Kostad met with architect Doug Larson of Davison Larson Architects in Minot regarding delayed preliminary sketches for the proposed gymnasium addition to Kenmare High School.

The committee originally contacted Don Davison at the firm in March 2012 about the design for the addition. “We’re looking for a basic, colored sketch we can present to the public,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer and Kostad said Larson was helpful, although he had not worked on the KHS project.

Board members talked about seeking another architectural firm for the project but agreed they would like to continue with Davison Larson. “They’re a very good architectural firm, and they’re very busy right now,” Ellsworth said. “It might be a fair question to ask, ‘If we gave you the project, are you going to be able to do it?’”

The board agreed Zimmer should contact the firm to obtain the preliminary design sketches by the committee’s next meeting on July 2nd.

In Other Business:
• Board members approved the minutes of the May meeting and the district’s bills for payment, as presented.

• Business manager Renae Murphy reported the district started the fiscal year with a balance of $586,000 and will end with a balance projected at more than $700,000. In response to board members’ questions, Murphy explained the district had to return a portion of federal Title II funds that went unused this year because some teachers did not attend the professional development workshops for which the funds were intended.

• Murphy also reported the hot lunch fund balance was strong. “Next year, we may not have to transfer any money into that account,” she said.

• Board members approved the Acceptable Use policy for technology, Bullying policy, Extracurricular Participation policy and the extra-duty salary schedule on second reading.

• The board approved a tuition waiver request for a student from the Mohall-Lansford–Sherwood school district. The student will be a junior at Kenmare High School.

• Board member approved contracts returned by 20 of the district’s continuing teachers for the 2012-2013 school year. Four teachers’ contracts and two administrator contracts had yet to be returned, with a due date of June 15th.

• The board approved the contract returned by Janis Gerding of Minot, hired for the principal’s position at Kenmare Elementary School. Superintendent Mueller noted Gerding’s contract would run 10 months each year. He said she had a background in special education and had earned the necessary administrative credentials for the Kenmare position.

• Board member accepted the resignation letter submitted by KHS business and technology instructor Tarra Froseth, who taught four years in the Kenmare district until accepting a position in another school district. She noted her resignation would be effective upon completion of the drivers’ education program she is currently instructing and the trip to the FBLA national convention with Kenmare students.

• KHS principal Robert Thom reported local artist Jane Kalmbach agreed to do a painting project to replace the district, conference, regional and state title plaques hanging in the school’s gym. Kalmbach will paint those records on the gym walls, beginning later this summer. Thom asked Activities Committee members Johnson, Zimmer and Lars Christensen to consider the events and records to be included. “Knowing Jane, she’s going to make it look nice,” Thom said.

• In response to board members’ questions, Thom said no summer conditioning program is taking place for the high school students. Compensation for the position is included in the district’s extra-duty salary schedule, but no individual has been hired for the program. He also noted Pastor John Fetterhoff has been supervising students for informal basketball activities at the school.

• Superintendent Duane Mueller reported the route bus usually driven by Roger Johnson developed transmission problems during an FFA trip earlier in June, and was waiting for repair work in Minot.

• Mueller announced the Outreach Committee, with members Christensen and Ellsworth, was asked to meet with representatives of the Burke Central school board regarding the schools’ co-op football program.

• Board members discussed a request Mueller received from Ward County Emergency Manager Amanda Schooling regarding the use of the high school building as a tornado shelter. “We’re already designated as a shelter after the fact,” Mueller said. “Both [school] buildings are.”

Board members talked about use of the building and coordinating access with the Kenmare Fire Department for storm emergencies. “If it were me, I’d rather be over here than in the trailer park,” Johnson said, “and I would rather offer [those residents] something for their safety.”

• The board adjourned into executive session to discuss legal and negotiations issues.

• Following the executive session, board members re-convened to approve a motion to pay a salary of $77,000 for the secondary principal position.

• The Building Committee, with members Zimmer, Kostad and Rodin, will meet Monday, July 2, at 9 am to discuss the marquis sign and the proposed high school gymnasium addition.

• The next regular meeting of the Kenmare school board will be held Tuesday, July 17th, at 8 am at Kenmare High School. Rodin asked for that meeting’s agenda to include discussions about revising the district’s budget and about the federal No Child Left Behind law and the standardized testing procedures and benchmarks required for the district.