SH board to appoint new District 3 director

JEWELL – The South Hamilton school board had a busy evening at the regular monthly board meeting on Monday, starting with a hearing for the proposed budget for the district for Fiscal Year 2015. With no public questions or comments, the board approved the budget.

The board took action to follow up on the resignation of Superintendent Tim Johnson, which was submitted and approved last week. The vacancy has been posted on a job site. The board decided that applications will be received until May 5 and that the search will be handled in- house rather than securing a search firm.

With the resignation of board member Kempton Young at last week’s special meeting, the board looked at appointing a replacement to represent District 3. To avoid a special election, Young’s replacement must be appointed within 30 days of his resignation. Anyone who resides in District 3 and is interested in completing the remaining year of Young’s term can contact the school office or board president Will Johnston. If no one in Director District 3 is interested, the appointee can be from outside Director District 3.

Action on teacher contracts was tabled for their May meeting by the board, but they did act on a recommendation from the support staff salary committee. Approved was a 3.73 percent salary increase for support staff and administrators for the 2014-15 school year.

The resignation of Kathi Fisher from her duties as head varsity girls basketball coach was accepted. Other personnel action on the agenda was to approve the transfer of Leah Consier from half-time special education teacher to second grade teacher starting next fall. Paul Skartvedt was hired as assistant high school football coach, and Steve Butler and Doug Sogard were approved as volunteer golf coaches.

In his report , elementary principal Paul Hemphill told the board that the elementary carnival was a great event again this year and thanked the elementary booster club for their efforts. Iowa Assessments are completed. He shared information about elementary class sizes for 2014-15, which range from 42 to 56. Staffing for summer school is being completed.

“Could we get some data to show that we are doing the best we can with that money?” board member Marie Johnson asked of Hemphill. “I know you have anecdotal data, but we would like to hear about test score.”

Hemphill said that success for students in the summer school program “all depends on attendance.” He estimated that about 35 percent who qualify for the summer program and are invited to attend do not come. He said he would be able to get the requested data together for the board.

Middle school/high school principal Scott Dryer reported to the board that the recent prom went great. He thanked Jim Klein for his 25 straight years of service coordinating prom activities at South Hamilton and added that feedback from parents and students on the prom has been positive.

Dryer also reported on the upcoming Spring Fling. He said he would like to put more substance into the annual event. This year students will devote some time to cleanup in Jewell, and hopefully in upcoming years that will rotate among the other towns in the school district.

Curt Stoecker, director of buildings and grounds, outlined planned projects, which include concrete borders around the long jump pit, spring cleanup of the school grounds, and upgrading the baseball field, with plans to involve the high school horticulture class.

Guidance counselor Doug Hatch was at Monday’s meeting with a presentation on the bullying survey completed by 300+ middle school/high school students recently. Bullying is defined as repeated acts such as name calling, gossip, and rumors. The results showed that 221 students answered no to the question of whether they had ever been involved in bullying and also gave information on how students react to bullying. Some 94 percent indicated that bullying has decreased over the past year at the school.

Board members again discussed the Stanhope bus barn, which is no longer needed by the district for busses but is used for storage. The building is sound, although the roof needs some repair. The decision was reached to sell the bus barn, with plans to empty it this summer. Anything inside anyone wants should be claimed by June 1.