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Montezuma School Board looks to the future

Montezuma Community Schools has a new secondary principal. The Montezuma Board of Education approved the hiring of Brian Moretz, the current assistant principal at Maquoketa Community Schools, to the position. He will begin his duties around July 1.

The approval came at the board’s regular meeting held Wednesday, May 20. Moretz was selected from a pool of about 40 candidates. Superintendent Dave Versteeg said the pool was narrowed down to 11, then six, then two.

The final two interviews were completed Monday and Tuesday, May 18-19. Moretz holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education, and master’s degree in principalship, both from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). He has held teaching and coaching positions at Adel-DeSoto-Minburn Community Schools (ADM), and the last four years as assistant principal (four years) and activities director (three years) at Maquoketa Community Schools. See related article on page one in this week’s issue.

Moretz replaces Dave Schroeder who resigned in April, just shy of two years service.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• Received an overview of available bond monies should the district move forward with planned building improvements and updates, as presented at the February meeting. Rex Ramsey, managing director at PiperJaffry in Des Moines, said the district’s maximum borrowing capacity is $16.565 million. This is borrowing against the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) and borrowing against future SILO (one-penny sales tax) money the district will receive. The board made no decision, noting that this issue would have to be brought to a vote of the people.

• Discussed further cuts that may be handed down from the governor, and the possible addition of $220,000 in stimulus money during the next two years.

• Approved the hiring of Tyler Lown as boys/girls cross country coach for the 2009 season. Lown also serves as activities director and coaches several other sports including boys' baseball, assistant girls' basketball, and girls' track and field

• Received a good news report regarding the success of the industrial technology program at the recent Southeast Polk Expo.

• Received a good news report that the FFA Soils team finished 33rd out of 104 teams last week at a competition in Oklahoma City. Superintendent Versteeg noted that the kids on the soils team knew when they reported back to advisor Rick Swenson that they had made a mistake.

Swenson told the students that it was a valuable life lesson for the students, who would have finished in third-place had they got the question right.

• Discussed the district improvement plant for the 2009-10 school year.

• Accepted the low bid of Amana Society Bakery to provide bread to the district for the 2009-10 school year. The district also received a bid from Sara Lee in Dubuque.

• Accepted the escalating bid from Anderson Erickson Dairy Company to provide milk products to the district for the 2009-10 school year. Anderson Erickson was the only company to provide the district with a bid.

• Approved the second reading of 300 series board policies. This relates to superintendent and administration duties.

• Superintendent Versteeg noted that he appreciated the efforts of employees John Gallagher, counselor, and Mary Jo Steele, high school secretary, for going above-and-beyond in their job duties since the departure of former secondary principal Dave Schroeder in April.

“I really do appreciate what they did,” said Versteeg. “In general, the teachers, staff and people stepped up (to the plate). We’ve weathered some storms, but the rainbow is out.”

UPDATED May 26, 2009 4:08 PM

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