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R-P names McBroom new high school principal

Fri, May 30th, 2008
Posted in Education

RUSHOFRD - There will be a new principal at the helm of Rushford-Peterson High School. Shane McBroom of Chatfield was offered and accepted the principal position, it was announced at an R-P school board special meeting May 28.

McBroom replaces Brad Johnson who announced his retirement earlier in the year. In addition to his principal duties, McBroom has agreed to teaching one block per semester, beginning after his first semester.

McBroom's background fits in nicely with the district's goal to increase business class offerings. With a masters degree in business and marketing education, McBroom will develop business and management courses for R-P.

Since 2002, McBroom has been employed at Century High School in Rochester. In addition to teaching business and marketing, he served as 9th grade boys basketball coach and most recently, since September 2007, was an Assistant Administrator for Rochester Public Schools.

McBroom attended the special meeting with his wife, April, a teacher in Chatfield, and daughter Aspen, six months old.

The board approved without discussion the resignation of 6th grade teacher Jonathan Pettit.

Also on the agenda were a couple of land rental issues. Karen Wilkemeyer was present to explain why she and husband Tim would like to rent approximately a quarter acre from the field behind their house. The Wilkemeyer's need the additional space for their home daycare, but neighbors attended this and the previous meeting to speak out against the idea of the school renting the land to the Wilkemeyers.

Wilkemeyer appeared well-prepared with notes and answered all questions put to her. She said she'd spoken to a number of professionals, including her daycare inspector, who approved of the plan. According to Wilkemeyer, she'd also been given the "green light" regarding the safety of any chemicals that might be used in the surrounding bean field.

Neighbors had a concern that an unsightly fence might be used, but Wilkemeyer told the group they'd decided to use a cedar split-rail fence for its attractiveness and because it's the type used by many daycares.

Superintendent Ehler appeared to support the rental to the Wilkemeyers, but when board chair John Nitecki asked whether there was a motion, nobody on the board said a word.

In Roberts' Rules of Order, an issue cannot be discussed unless there's an actual motion on the table, so the effect of having no motion is that it prevents any discussion. The issue died for lack of a motion and thus was not discussed by the board.

Next was the issue of renting a small portion of the new school land to a local organic farmer who lost the use of much of his land temporarily, due to the flood.

Ehler raised the issue at a previous meeting as a way to generate some income for the district and to avoid the cost of mowing the entire area for the summer.

The board previously gave Ehler the go-ahead to investigate the issue and to pursue a variance from the city of Rushford to zone the area for agriculture. Ehler did so, and on May 27 the Rushford City Council granted the variance.

Ehler told the board he'd met with this farmer and discussed the issue in depth. Ehler felt the farmer had "done his homework" and planned to use farming practices that made him a worthy land steward.

When asked directly by Nitecki what he recommended, Ehler said he hoped the board would give serious consideration to the issue and that he thought it "advantageous to move forward with a rental agreement."

Nonetheless, when asked for a motion, the board again remained silent, ending the issue with no discussion.

Ehler also brought forward the issue of raising "user fees" for student activities, primarily sports. An example would be that for a fall activity fee, R-P students grades 9-12 pay $50 while the average in R-P's conference is $64, according to Ehler, who proposed raising that fee to $60.

Fees for 7th and 8th graders are currently $25, compared to an average of $37 in the conference. Ehler proposed a raise to $30 for this fee. The board approved all the increases. (Non-athletic activities, such as drama, are less than the fee to play sports.)

Ehler reported on a meeting with Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes on Friday, May 25. The district learned that in addition to a $51 funding increase per student, they will also be allowed to transfer an additional $51 per student out of their capital reserve account.

Erickson-Ropes also informed Ehler that the district will receive an additional $153,000 for flood recovery. Specifically, this money will be used to offset the loss of approximately 11 students, displaced by the flood.

The board's next regular meeting will be June 19.

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