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Chatfield school board agrees on list of candidates for superintendent

Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Education

At the Chatfield School Board's March 15 meeting, the list of fourteen candidates for superintendent was whittled down to six. The six will be interviewed soon. Chairman Jerry Chase said board members may have different parameters on what they are looking for. Some may want a superintendent with a lot of experience and some may want someone newer to the job. F. Mike Tuohy was absent.

Matt McMahon asked what has been budgeted for the superintendent, and questioned, "Are we willing to pay whatever is necessary to get the best person?" Interim Superintendent Greg Ehresmann suggested the salary would be around $115,000, which is slightly more than had been paid before. Each member listed their top choices from the list of fourteen by number and not by name to come up with the consensus of the top six choices. It was noted that not all of the people chosen may take the next step and come in for an interview.

Needed Improvements

Ehresmann recited a laundry list of fixes that he felt needed to be addressed. He said they should move forward with the bathroom remodels. He listed rewiring for cable TV, video recorders for security cameras, along with two outside security cameras for the high school, as needed items. Ehresmann said the play area should be expanded at the elementary school, especially since the kindergarten enrollment has increased from 68 to 83. He suggested two outside security cameras be installed at the elementary school. Ehresmann said they need to do some landscaping on the northwest side of the elementary school to develop a wind break.

Other issues at the elementary school involve water coming through the electric conduit piping. He said they have worked out a temporary solution but will have an electrician come in to locate the source of the problem. Other external water problems are a result of the the ground settling, resulting in ponds. He said a shelter should be built over the portion of the equipment that actively converts the fuel for alternative fuels, as snow build up has been a problem.

Ehresmann said he anticipated there would still be $175,000 to $200,000 in the contingency fund if the items he listed were done. He said the leaking roof areas have been fixed. He admitted that he and Steve Irish did not agree on what is going to be necessary for ongoing maintenance of the roof areas. Irish feels patching will be sufficient while Ehresmann thinks the board should consider budgeting for a five-year replacement program.

Ehresmann said one of the ball fields at the new school should be usable this year.

Committee Notes

Greg LaPlante noted registration for pre-school will be ongoing through April 9. He said there is an extended day option available now which has really increased enrollment. Day care services are available following pre-school for those parents who need the extended hours.

Lyman Hare explained that he and Tuohy, in joint powers meetings with the city, are working on those things that can be shared to eliminate some duplication. The school board contributes $5,000 annually for CCTV. McMahon asked about where the city stands on the issue of parking near the softball field at the high school. He noted the traffic is growing by leaps and bounds on Margaret and James Streets. Lyman said it would be good to have no parking on this side of the road. He said it is a safety issue and they have applied the last couple of years for a safe schools grant for a sidewalk. He said they will continue to work on the issue at the joint powers meetings with the city.

Other Business In Brief

•Representatives of the Student Senate reported over $1,000 was raised in four days with their Pennies for Patience fund raising. Three hundred dollars is to be donated to the senior class and three hundred dollars will be given as a scholarship to a senior class member. They are looking for donated t-shirts which will be made into diapers for Haitian hospitals, which use 600 per day. Seventh, eighth, and ninth graders are working on sewing bags with fabric donated by Tuohy Furniture.

•High school principal Randy Paulson discussed innovative ways to fund raise for the sophomores. They have been approached by a company called G-Force which will provide a 20 percent kick back of their gross sales in return for promotion on a link from the high school web page. The money would be applied to a fund for the senior class trip. A lot of different products with the Gopher logo could be purchased through students on the web page, including clothing, back packs, cups, and more. Paulson stated things are changing online and they need to step back and take a look at the options.

McMahon suggested they address fundraising as a group to come up with something better than having school kids going out as door-to-door salesmen. He suggested they consider asking for funding for special events or groups using some of the methods practiced by fire departments and churches.

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