School Board hears ‘rah-rah’ reports on activities

Posted November 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm

The Miller School Board met Monday, Nov. 12.

Prior to agenda items, visitors were recognized.

Lee and Cleo Kleinsasser were present to inquire about purchasing a small parcel to the north of their home in the Donlin Addition, so they can move or remove trees there. Jerry Johnson, not in attendance, also had the same request.

Board chair David Fremark noted the board is not against the request, but could not give a final answer until the school project reaches that point, noting right now the focus is getting the new elementary building enclosed.

Jim Bevers, with American Bank & Trust, presented a check for $707.16 to the school, which is the amount earned when customers use their Miller Rustlers Spirit ATM/check card. An award of $532.68 was made in May.

FFA advisor Mark Ketelhut announced two MHS students, Dani Ellsworth and Leanne Koeck, had attended the National FFA Convention, and they will give a report at the December meeting.

K-6 principal Tammy Caffee reported the all-school assembly Veterans’ Day program held that afternoon was well done and was well attended. She is presently working on teacher evaluations, and also reported CBM Managed Services, which administers the school lunch program, is currently providing “wellness education” to the elementary students.

The kinderstart program is working well, Caffee said. Ten children are presently enrolled in kinderstart.

Steve Schumacher, 7-12 principal, noted parent-teacher conferences have been held, with a 65 percent parent turnout in senior high, and 77 percent turnout in junior high.

Schumacher reported students would be decorating a Capitol Christmas tree over the weekend, as the school will be represented in this year’s display.

He is continuing to get prices and information regarding the school’s public address system, which is in need or repair/replacement.

The second “Student Spotlight” has been published in the newspaper, and Schumacher said it would be a monthly recognition of students who have been nominated by their teachers.

Superintendent Mike Ruth said he periodically would provide “Rustler Rah-Rah” reports on positive things that have taken place at the school. He cited Jacob Joy’s receiving a gold medal in Special Olympics bowling; the Veterans’ Day assembly; and athletes who have made All-Conference football, including Lee Sivertsen, Wyatt Strasburg, Johannes Gimbel and Blaze McMurtry.

Ruth also reported on election results, noting both Initiated Measure 15 and Referred Law 16 had been defeated. He didn’t offer an opinion about what might happen next regarding school funding, but said, “I think there is a big disconnect between the governor and legislators, and educators.”

The board and the Food Service Committee, consisting of Mike Runge, Natalie Bertsch and Cindy Rombough, discussed the portion-size of entrees, which are federally mandated. Discussion was held about lowering the cost for second servings. Presently, a second helping costs $1.25. Chairman Fremark suggested board members eat lunch at the school frequently.

Presently, the CMB food service crew is fully staffed.

Discussing the elementary building, board member Kurt Pfeifle reported the floor in the new gym has been poured. Construction meetings continue to be held each Tuesday.

Pfeifle said the roof deck on the gym is installed, and work is moving forward on the elementary building roof deck. “They will be putting the ‘skin’ on the walls,” Pfeifle reported, and added that large, portable heaters will be supplied so construction work can continue during the winter. The board anticipates holding a public tour once the building is enclosed. Completion date is still targeted for June.

Superintendent Ruth said consideration is being given about office and storage space available since the National Guard no longer uses the armory. The Rustler Roost has indicated interest in more space, and the kinderstart program may need extra room, Ruth said.

He also said the board needs to determine what steps are necessary regarding the old elementary building, and what to do with it. The first step would be to talk to the school attorney and find out proper procedure for selling/turning over a school building and/or school land.

The board took action on the following items: approved waiver of fees to use of commons and kitchen by Hand County Ambulance Group for hunter’s breakfast held October 20-21; approved waiver fees for use of commons for 4-H potluck November 18; waived fees for March 2-3 Tour of Tables, Hand In Hand Daycare; approved travel to FFA National Convention; and accepted snow removal quote from Evans Construction.

Also approved was the resignation of Renae Phinney as custodian, with commendation, for 30 years of service to the district. Payment application #6 was approved for the elementary building project, totaling $564,030.52.

Following an executive session, the board approved a work agreement for Dwight Aymar as a full-time custodian, at $11.50 per hour, and approved Jake Cawthorne as a .75 junior high wrestling coach. Approved as volunteers were Matt Englund, volunteer coach, wrestling; Mike Ruth, volunteer assistant, boys’ basketball; and Kim Blackwell, volunteer assistant, girls’ basketball.

The next meeting was tentatively set for a noon meeting Monday, Dec. 10.