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Kenmare School Board offers positions to six new teachers

Kids will see new teachers at Kenmare Public School in August, after the Kenmare School Board addressed several staff changes during the April 17th meeting.

4/25/12 (Wed)

Two teachers resign

By Caroline Downs

Kids will see new teachers at Kenmare Public School in August, after the Kenmare School Board addressed several staff changes during the April 17th meeting.

Elementary physical education teacher Molly Terveen notified the school board she would not be returning for the 2012-2013 school year, and thanked the board for the opportunity to teach in Kenmare.

Longtime vocational agriculture instructor and FFA advisor Cameron Young resigned his position effective July 2nd to take an ag education position in Edgeley, which will also involve starting a new FFA program at that school. In his letter of resignation, Young expressed his gratitude to the administration, school board and parents for strong support of the FFA students through the years. He also praised the hundreds of students with whom he had the pleasure of working during his time in Kenmare.

The board approved both requests, then turned around to approve six new teaching contracts.

Kacy Keysor was offered a position at the elementary school, Shannon Grondahl and Michele Devoss were offered secondary science positions, Brock Zietz was offered the high school physical education position, and Mitchell Becker was offered the vocational agriculture and FFA advisor position. Jessica Gesvalli was offered the new preschool and kindergarten special education position.

Current secondary physical education instructor Courtney Seime will move to the elementary physical education position.

Business manager Renae Murphy reminded board members these contracts would be issued according to the district’s current base salary and would be subject to revision, depending on the outcome of salary and benefit negotiations with the Kenmare Education Association (KEA).

In related news, KHS principal Dobie Thom announced his recommendations for several coaching positions, including Seime as head football coach, Zietz as assistant, Mitch Greenwood as 7th and 8th grade football coach and Guillermo Santizo as volunteer coach; Tim Wallstrum as head volleyball coach, with Faye Alexander as assistant; Zietz for varsity girls basketball and Thom for 7th and 8th grade girls basketball; Keysor for varsity boys basketball and Lenny Rodin for 7th and 8th grade boy basketball; Greenwood and Dennis Kaatz for wrestling; Keysor as head track coach; and Mike Johnson as head golf coach.

The announcement was made for the board’s information. No action was taken to approve any coaching contracts.

New budget tops $4 million
The district projects expenses of $4,020,950 for the 2012-2013 budget, with board members receiving copies of the preliminary budget to review.

Revenue for the district was estimated at $3,897,094, including just over $1 million raised from property taxes and nearly $1.5 million from state Foundation Aid. The state also provides the district with $701,994 in property tax relief funds, which allows the Kenmare district to assess 110 mills on property taxes instead of a higher amount.

At this point, deficit spending for the 2012-2013 school year was projected at $123,856.

Murphy said the budget could be adopted at the May school board meeting, pending the outcome of negotiations between the board and the KEA. “There will be adjustments to this after negotiations are over,” she said.

High cost for
ceiling tile project
The Building Committee has prioritized removal and replacement of the ceiling tiles in the high school commons area for more than a year, but no bids were received earlier for the project. In a second request for bids to be opened at the April board meeting, ICY Industrial Services of Washburn submitted a bid of $118,877 for removal of the tiles, which includes asbestos abatement.

Board members were surprised at the high cost for simply removing the tiles and asked Superintendent Duane Mueller to contact the company about replacing the tiles as well.

Murphy noted the bids were advertised in The Kenmare News and the Minot Daily News. “We got calls from places in Minnesota and New York. They got the specs,” she said. “This is the first bid we’ve ever got [for this project].”

The board took no action, pending clarification by ICY Industrial Services representatives of the work included in the bid.

In other business:
• Board members approved minutes of the March meeting and the district’s bills for payment, as presented.

• Murphy reported the general fund was running a balance comparable to last year at this time, with the hot lunch fund also doing well.

• Negotiations and Finance Committee chairman Jan Kostad reported the committee had met twice with Kenmare Education Association (KEA) representatives, with the next meeting scheduled for April 24th.

• Wellness Policy Committee chairman Michele Nelson reported on that committee’s first meeting, with members drawn from the staff, parents, administration and students. Nelson noted the group reviewed the policy and discussed the lunch program, the low number of students participating in school sports programs, and improving the appearance of new areas in the high school, among other topics.

• Board members noted a public meeting was held earlier that evening regarding the district’s long-term demographics, as required by state law.

• Murphy announced the school board election was scheduled for Tuesday, June 12th, at the Kenmare Memorial Hall in conjunction with the city, county and state elections. Polls will be open from 7 am to 7 pm that day, and patrons will also vote on publishing the board’s minutes in the official newspaper, The Kenmare News.

Murphy reported incumbent Lenny Rodin filed for re-election to the at-large seat he currently holds, while Blaine Huff, Doug Miller and incumbent Mike Zimmer filed for two rural at-large seats up for election this year.

• The board approved the 2012-2013 calendar on first reading. Classes are scheduled to begin August 21st, with the last day of instruction on May 22, 2013, and graduation planned for May 26th.

• Board members Nelson and Rodin expressed their concern about the need for a second coach or adult volunteer to supervise and assist the junior high football team during games, given injuries that occurred to players during the first game of the season last year. “We need somebody there to direct these kids,” said Rodin.

Board president Lars Christensen suggested the Activities Committee take up the matter.

• Superintendent Mueller reported 23 parents enrolled their children in the 2012-2013 kindergarten class during a registration event held at the school, with two more parents calling in their registration information.

• Mueller noted more lockers would be necessary at the high school to host the third grade classes moving to that building for the next school year. He received a quote of just over $7,000 to purchase another bay of lockers for the elementary grades. He also announced that in order to accommodate the third grade lockers, the sixth grade students will use the lockers with the students in grades 7-12 next year.

• Mueller said he had checked prices for installing security cameras into the route buses and expected to pay about $2,500 per bus for one camera in the front and another in the back. “This would be for the safety of our driver and students on the bus,” he said. “That’s something we need to hash over.”

• The board discussed plans to address the gas odor that permeates one of the science classrooms at times. “They’ve got it narrowed down to one area,” Mueller said. “We know in the wall where it’s at. We need to shove a camera down there and take a serious look.”

• The Negotiations and Finance Committee, with members Kostad, Ellsworth and Johnson, was scheduled to meet April 24th at 7 am with KEA representatives.

• The Policy Committee, with members Christensen, Johnson and Kostad, planned to meet April 24th at 8:30 am to discuss the district’s new bullying policy.

• The Transportation Committee, with members Ellsworth, Nelson and Christensen, scheduled a meeting for April 24th at 9 am.

• The Building Committee, with members Zimmer, Kostad and Rodin, will arrange a meeting with representatives from Northland Coal to discuss options for a dual heat system with coal and electric sources.

• The next regular meeting of the Kenmare school board will be Tuesday, May 15th, at 7 pm at the high school. All regular meetings and committee meetings are open to the public.