Staff, community members voice support for Dyer

JEWELL – It was a full house in the board room at South Hamilton Monday evening when about 35 parents, teachers, and staff attended the regular meeting of the South Hamilton school board to show support for middle school/high school Principal Scott Dryer, who has been on staff for the past two school years. At issue was Dryer’s contract for the next school year.

Jim Klein, veteran high school teacher, spoke first. “Mr. Dryer is an outstanding educational leader,” he stated. “He is an excellent leader, excellent for the school, and an excellent member of the community.”

Two members of the public were allowed to speak also, including Leo Reiter, who said, “We have three children in school. I think Mr. Dryer is a great asset for the school. I support him and hope we can keep him around.”

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mr. Dryer,” said Julie Lutjen, another parent in attendance Monday evening. “He is excellent on every level. I hope we can continue to have him here for a long time.”

In the end, after the board went into closed session at the end of their meeting, all administrators were offered a contract.

Other business at the meeting included a report from athletic director Todd Coy on scheduling for the weight room this summer in June and July. Coy said that so far the numbers are good for usage in the weight room.

Coy also discussed with the board whether the school board should put in place an equipment policy. Some families are choosing to purchase protective equipment, especially football helmets, for their children rather than use school-owned equipment. Because this brings up questions of liability, the board asked Coy to look into what other schools are doing and to report back to the board.

In addition, Coy recommended setting a policy regarding a background check for all volunteer coaches. The board agreed and will follow up on that.

The board approved a request from the Band Boosters for fundraising in 2013-14. The program will encourage individuals and businesses to be a patron of the arts. Sponsorships will be based on the level of giving. The program will help the volunteer group to know what funding is available each year and what funding they will have to work with.

Curt Stoeker, director of building and grounds, was at the meeting to present information to the board regarding snow removal on school property. The job has been contracted out for several years – at a cost last year of $10,000 – but Stoeker stated that it would be more efficiently and less expensive for he and his staff to do snow removal. The school already has the needed equipment, he added. The board approved Stoeker’s recommendation.

In their reports to the board, both Dryer and elementary principal Paul Hemphill said that Iowa Assessments showed that students did very well.

Superintendent Tim Johnson told the board that he will be conducting building tours this summer as part of class reunion activities for the SH classes of 1963, 1968, and 1978. He also said that the state allowable growth rate has been changed to two percent and will go to 4 percent next year.

Also on Monday, the board discussed funding for the fruit program at school, which offers students fresh fruit as a snack at no cost. Donations are accepted at school registration to help offset the annual cost of $10,000, which comes from the food service budget. The board OK’d paying the remaining balance of $3,684 from the general fund.

The board reviewed changes to the 2013-14 school calendar and approved them. The possibility of moving the school musical from spring to fall is under discussion and is recommended by the music department. According to dance team sponsor Steph Vierkandt, however, such a change would make the dance team fall schedule difficult if not impossible. No decision was made on Monday, but Dwyer will seek some input from dance team parents before the July board meeting.

In personnel matters, Monday evening, the board approved the resignation of Karen Waid, 7-9 special education teacher, who has accepted a position with the AEA.

“She has been an outstanding team member and staff member,” stated Johnson.

Also, the board:

Approved hiring Kris Flaugh to fill Waid’s position.

Approved volunteer football coach Paul Skartvedt, pending a background check.

Approved Jeremiah Ubben and Doug Sogard to coach junior high basketball.

Approved the 2014 high school trip to Spain.