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Staff changes are approved at Benton

By JIM MAGDEFRAU

VAN HORNE – Several staff changes were made at the Benton Community Board of Directors meeting Wednesday, April 14 in Van Horne.

The board accepted the following resignations:

- Judy Pieper, building tech support teacher, Keystone Center.

- Jon DeGraff, varsity assistant softball coach (2010-11)

- Tanya Langholdt, elementary principal at Keystone and Van Horne, and K-6 curriculum director.

- Ben Thomsen, eighth grade assistant boys’ basketball coach.

- Becky Heilman, Life Skills Special Education teacher.

- Gene Frame, high school girls’ assistant varsity basketball coach.

- Derrick Conway, assistant junior high wrestling coach.

- Clint Geater, assistant varsity football and assistant varsity wrestling coach.

- Kory Winsor, assistant eighth grade girls’ basketball coach and assistant boys’ varsity track coach.

- Christine Petersen, dramatics choreography.

- Jan Andreesen, building tech support teacher supplemental contract.

- Kelsey Ritscher, assistant varsity girls’ track coach.

The following recommendations were approved:

- Samantha Bringmann, Title I teacher at the Keystone/Van Horne Centers.

- Megan Ledoux, assistant girls’ soccer coach.

Several transfers were also approved.

- Rachel Herman, four-year-old preschool teacher, Norway Center.

- Andrew Kauder, physical education and health, middle school.

- Kim Lynch, third grade teacher, Atkins Center.

- Kim Fisher, kindergarten teacher, Van Horne Center.

- Jared Pirkl, eighth grade science teacher.

- Sherrie Kautman, fifth grade teacher, Norway Center.

- Shawn Pfiffner, sixth grade teacher, Norway Center.

The board also approved the list of teaching and extra-curricular duties for 2010-2011. Contracts will be issued April 15. They are due back on May 6.

Other business

In other business at the board meeting last Wednesday:

- The board approved the purchase of one 71-passenger bus from Hoglund Bus Company for next year. It will be paid for from the voted PPEL fund, at a cost of $76,488.

- Student teaching agreements were approved with Mount Mercy College and the University of Northern Iowa.

- A field trip request was approved for the high school marching band to take part in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago on Nov. 25.

- Board policies were reviewed on physical examinations, personnel injury on the job, hazardous chemical disclosure, communicable disease – employees, Hepatitis B vaccine information and record, and HIV/human immunodeficiency virus policy statement.

- The budget for next fiscal year, as well as an amendment to this year’s budget, were approved after hearings were held. The budget calls for $21.6 million in revenues and $21.7 million in spending. The tax rate is $12.72 per $1,000, which is up 62 cents from this year due to an increase in the instructional support levy, cash reserve, and management levy due to the school’s early retirement plan. Director Brenda Schanbacher was the lone member voting against the budget for next year.

- An early graduation request was approved for Cody Parr.

- An update was given on the Atkins Elementary Center project. Chris DeGroot of Neumann Monson said they are ahead of schedule in some areas. He suggested having construction meetings more often as summer approaches and they face critical deadlines for completion. The board approved $13,285 in change orders. Two change orders were rejected since they were submitted too late. They hope ground will be broken on the east addition by April 26.

- In financial reports, Embray said revenues are ahead and expenditures are down as they approach the end of the fiscal year. He commended the Benton staff for being conservative with the spending.

- Principal James Bieschke presented information on the Career Edge Academies, offered through Kirkwood Community College, allowing students to explore career options and gain college credits.

In administrative reports, Bieschke reported on the prom, schedule for next year, professional development and middle school dance. Atkins Elementary Principal Jason West reported on conferences, curriculum-based testing, professional development, carnival and Donuts for Dad. Norway Principal Liz Strempke reported on conferences, Jump Rope for Heart, Muffins for Mom, a canned food drive with Atkins, and curriculum-based testing, and self-study. Assistant High School Principal Ryan Junge reported on prom, extended school year programs, and special education orientation. Activities Director Kal Goodchild reported on spring programs, spring play, WaMaC art show, FFA convention, Fill The Gym, and Festival of Bands.

UPDATED April 16, 2010 1:40 PM

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