South Hamilton band fundraising reaches goal

JEWELL – The South Hamilton school board members were served a thank-you dinner at the school courtesy of instrumental music staff Tom Klaver and Matt Schutt before their regular monthly meeting on Monday evening.

The teachers were celebrating “Strike Up the Band” reaching its goal of $120,000 and the board’s commitment to match the total amount of contributions generated by the campaign up to $60,000. As of May 2014, the fundraising campaign received $60,825.73 in donations. With the board contribution, the goal has been met. A long list of new instruments has been purchased, and a number of other instruments have been repaired, with new cases and mouthpieces.

Getting to the agenda for the evening, the board heard reports on Iowa Assessments, looked at summer maintenance projects, considered renewal of a contract with Mid-Iowa School Improvement Consortium, and received bids for the Stanhope bus barn.

In personnel matters, the board approved hiring for two high school openings. Lindsey Gelder will be the new guidance counselor. Loyal Winborn was approved to be the new tech director. Also, Cole Swenson was hired to coach 7-8 baseball. Teacher aide Angie Robinson was approved to supervise high school summer school. Also, the retirement of part-time food service worker Elaine Olson was approved.

In another personnel issue, the board discussed Doug Hatch’s involvement with Infinite Campus. Hatch has resigned as guidance counselor for a similar position in Knoxville. The board approved paying Hatch for his work at an hourly rate of $37.25 with Infinite Campus scheduling beyond his contract this summer.

“It was a good finish to the school year, and we’re looking forward to next year,” reported elementary principal Paul Hemphill. Hemphill shared student achievement on Iowa Assessments, which showed higher results than a number of other states. “We are one of the few schools not on a watch list now,” he stated.

He also said that elementary summer school has started, with better participation this summer.

Secondary principal Scott Dryer reported that 7-12 Iowa Assessment results were also very encouraging.

Dryer made a point of telling the board that he appreciated Hatch’s “leadership and relationships in both buildings at South Hamilton. I really appreciate the work he has done for us,” Dryer noted.

Summer maintenance projects were discussed by Curt Stoecker, buildings and grounds director. Major projects on softball and baseball complex are complete, and he is finishing up projects on fire safety grants. Soil testing is done. Both the elementary and high school gyms will be closed for floor resurfacing July 21-25.

Three bids were received for the Stanhope bus barn, which the school no longer uses. Bids were reviewed, with a public hearing on the sale set for the July board meeting.

Also on Monday, the board:

Learned that the $17,000 literacy grant applied for has been received.

Decided to keep the fee for laptop insurance the same at $25, with $125 deductible.

Approved a one-year contract with Mid-Iowa School Improvement Consortium, at a cost of $2 per student.