Board members present were Kenny Golden, president; Ben Roland, vice
president; Tina Warfel; Larry Hall; Leslie Starasta; Kenda Kitner;
and Mark Mathon. Golden and Roland will be retaining their seats,
and the new board will be seated in May. Superintendent Jennifer
Hamm was also present.
The first member of the public to speak was
Heather Wolf. Wolf wanted to let the board know she commended a bus
driver for recent actions. Mary Beth Langstrom, one of the bus
drivers working under CEL, experienced a dizzy spell recently while
driving students to the school. Rather than risk the safety of the
students, Langstrom pulled over and called for assistance. Wolf
expressed her gratitude to Langstrom for making sure safety came
first, and Wolf also said that she had received word that Langstrom
is doing just fine.
Jim Rohrer was the next guest to speak. Rohrer feels that the
recent election results regarding the board of education were clear
evidence of dissatisfaction with the board's performance.
Rohrer also responded to previous comments that morale at the
school is not low. Rohrer claimed to have spoken with parents as
well as current and former employees of the school who are not
pleased with recent happenings.
Rohrer also said he was concerned as to the ethical principles of
the board in not delaying the meeting until the new members were
officially seated. Rohrer said that while the meeting was held under
legal conditions, other schools in the area were postponing their
board meetings to accommodate new officials.
Finally, Rohrer told the board members present that he hopes they
will continue to stay involved with the district in whatever manner
Finally, Glenda Roland commended the board members for the
integrity they have shown over the past few months concerning the
difficult decisions that had to be made. Roland said she feels these
decisions concerning school improvements should have been made 20 or
30 years ago. She said the board has hired an excellent leader for
the school, and she apologized for members of the community, some of
whom she felt "didn't have all of the facts and were too lazy to get
[to top of second column]
The superintendent's report followed the public comments. Hamm
said $8,536.61 has been collected from the 1 percent sales tax for
January 2013. This number reflects a higher percentage of tax than
the school is collecting, as the enrollment is actually slightly
lower than last year at that time.
Hamm also said that bond payments are being deposited into the
bank, and the school will be prepared to begin paying for school
renovations on schedule.
Hamm also said that the next board will have to make some
difficult decisions of their own concerning health insurance. The
upcoming Affordable Health Care Act will put strain on schools such
as CEL due to its wording. The law will require that any employee,
including coaches and substitute teachers, will have to be included
in the school's plan if they are found to be working more than 30
hours a week. People who have opted out of the school's health care
will be unable to do so. Hamm expects to give a presentation on this
matter at next month's meeting.
Next year, CEL will be attempting to implement a "looping system"
for the first and second grade. First-grade teacher Beth Polley will
be moving with her students to the second-grade level, and
second-grade teacher Jill Urish will be moving to the first-grade
level. When Urish's class moves ahead, she will move up with those
students. Hamm said her children went through this when they were at
this age, and it made school a much more enjoyable experience for
everyone, as the teachers are able to better understand what the
students may need in order to learn.
After her superintendent's report, Hamm told the board of some
news on the board's change orders from CTS and Christy-Foltz, the
engineering and construction companies involved with the
renovations. Change orders were made to Christy-Foltz after last
month's meeting, which removed several items from the list, coming
to a total of $88,890 in change orders, which is just slightly over
the projected savings of $88,000.
CTS also found some additional deductions since last month. The
total cost of the project is currently projected at $2,722,867. Hamm
said the combined efforts to make deductions has resulted in an
additional $11,000, which is "a step in the right direction,
[By DEREK HURLEY]