On October 21, the Kingsland School Board held an informational meeting at 6 p.m. in the Kingsland Café, on the topic of the upcoming levy referendum, which will be on the November 5 ballot. Superintendent James Hecimovich opened the meeting, and stated that although the attendance was small, the board feels it’s important to offer such meetings, so that any interested citizens have an opportunity to learn about the issues and ask questions. All board members were present (board chair Jackie Horsman, Maranda Emig, Natasha Howard, Tiffany Mundfrom, Leah Stier, and Kyle Rader).
During the informational meeting, Hecimovich shared basic data about Kingsland’s request to voters, including information shown on the Kingsland “Fast Facts” handout that has been used throughout the summer and fall. Regarding the upcoming vote on November 5, he stated that “We’re doing an operating levy. It is not a building bond… we’re not putting any brick and mortar or anything else into this facility.” He explained that the prior levy will expire in 2020, and that Kingsland currently has the lowest per-student levy among any of the area school districts.
Hecimovich stated that the levy allows Kingsland to offer programs which are not feasible if state aid were the only revenue the school received. He said, “We have Ag, we have Industrial Tech, we have foreign languages, we have Art, we have our music programs, we have our Project Lead The Way programs in the elementary and high school,” and he said these may be eliminated or partially cut if adequate levy revenue isn’t approved.
Regarding Kingsland’s plans to expand education in various trades, Hecimovich shared that, “Only 30% of the jobs out there require a four-year college degree.” Sheldon Steele also spoke in favor of training for the trades, saying it helps the local economy by having local workers, rather than far-distant contractors coming in to perform work in the community.
Hecimovich said he and the board cannot tell people how to vote, but he also encouraged citizens, “If you want real information, call me. I’ll give you real information, instead of the hearsay that’s percolated out there.” The public informational meeting ended around 6:30, and the board’s regular meeting began at 7 p.m., after a short break.
The board approved the hiring of Dominic Kinzler (fulltime evening custodian), Jim Hubka and Jordan Beck (head coach and assistant coach for 7/8 grade boys basketball), and Luke Rath, Julee Warren and Jim Wernimont (basketball volunteers). The board also gratefully accepted a donation of $780 to HOSA, from Rack’s.
Business Manager Amber Uhlenhake gave a budgetary update on fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2020, and Building and Grounds Director Jason Thompson updated the board on the status in his area. The board heard from two students representing the FFA Club (including upcoming fruit sales), and Matthew Schwanke told of recent and upcoming happenings in the Key Club. Schwanke said the Key Club, of which he is vice president, now has 26 members, which is an all-time high. He told of the recent ditch clean-up event along Highway 63, and he also stated, “We went door-to-door collecting food for the food shelf, and we did a lot better than expected. We collected over 250 pounds of food that was all given to the Spring Valley Food Shelf.”
Regarding the LTFM IAQ project (Long-term Facility Maintenance, Indoor Air Quality), which was largely completed over the summer, Jason Thompson shared that the HVAC controls are being set up. This will allow Thompson, Hecimovich, and any other authorized users to adjust the heating and cooling controls from remote locations. Hecimovich said this will be much handier than requiring someone to physically come back to the school to turn on/off fans in the evenings.
The next board meeting will be a work session on Monday, November 4, at 6 p.m. in the elementary conference room. The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the choir room. As always, the public is welcome at all open meetings.