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Fillmore Central board looks into coach hirings

Fri, Nov 2nd, 2007
Posted in Education

HARMONY - The topic of who is going to coach winter sports at Fillmore Central, as well as the process by which the coaches are chosen, was a matter of long discussion at the regular school board meeting on Monday, October 29.

Athletic Director Jane Montgomery attended the meeting at the request of the board to answer any questions. Chairman Ron Stevens said there needs to be a process in place as to how coaching candidates are interviewed and hired. Montgomery said she didn't think she was the one doing the hiring; she was only giving her recommendations to the board, which then approved the coaches. The board members have a right to make any changes or make different recommendations.

Board member Sue Ostrom said, "We really are just rubber stamping. You do the hiring. We really don't have any idea who you aren't recommending."

Stevens was concerned that each person who applies for a coaching job should get an interview, and if they do not get the position, they should then be notified. This should apply for any job that is posted or open, and it should apply to everyone, even if they have coached for the district before.

"We're spinning our wheels here and not making any progress," said Stevens. "It's time to make some progress."

Montgomery said if there was a process written up somewhere she would be glad to follow it. She added that she does make contact with applicants who are not chosen for the job, despite some of the rumors that are currently going around. She also said that one person who said they applied for a job only left her a voice message, which she does not consider an application. She also has an informal post-season discussion with the coaches to discuss any problems or concerns and see how the season went, as well as looking forward to the next year.

Stevens believed it would make Montgomery's job easier to have procedures in place, and would give board members more information about how and why applicants were chosen. The extra-curricular committee will meet with Montgomery to get an application process in place that can be followed.

Montgomery gave the board her list of recommended coaches for the winter sports. Her list included Aaron Mensink for B-squad girls' basketball and Katie Marzolf for 9th grade girls' basketball. She also added that Blaine Moe would be taking on a part-time position as a Junior Varsity Wrestling coach. He would coach twice a week and take over on some Saturday meets. Since he will be coaching less than the others, his salary will be adjusted accordingly.

Montgomery then said that if the list was approved, that she had a plan for junior high girl's basketball, but she wasn't sure if she should mention it yet. Stevens asked board member Deb Ristau, who has coached junior high girls' basketball in the past, to leave the room for the discussion.

Montgomery then stated that if the board approved her list of recommendations, she would then ask Ristau to coach junior high basketball, as she feels she is a great coach and would do a wonderful job with the junior high girls. She added that some of the girls in ninth grade have had Ristau for a coach for four years, and would like to be able to work with somebody new this year.

Montgomery reiterated that nobody has a problem with Ristau as a coach, but they would like to see a fresh face, which is why she recommended Katie Marzolf for that job.

After some discussion, the board approved the list. Montgomery spoke with Ristau in private about her decision and offered her the junior high coaching position. When they returned to the meeting, Montgomery said that Ristau would take a couple of days to think about it, and get back to her.

The board approved Montgomery hiring the junior high coach, either Ristau or the next person on her list, after hearing back from Ristau.

Facility Work

Aaron Hess from A&F Consulting spoke to the school board about the work that is needed in each of the three facilities. He prioritized the projects at each building. At the elementary school, some of the Priority One work, that which is most urgent, included controlling water run-off and the need for appropriate downspouts. Priority Two was work to the front entrance and the sidewalks, and for Priority Three he had listed work to the ceilings in the hallways.

At the middle school, Priority One work also included water damage issues, doors and damage in the boiler room. Priority Two included HVC boilers, as well as the plumbing and electrical that goes with it. Priority Three was a new electrical transformer box.

Hess recommended looking at alternative facility funding for some of the projects. He also suggested creating a timeline, making a site-by-site budget and identifying some financial sources. Some board members asked about using Health and Safety money for some of the projects. Superintendent Myrna Luehmann said that they have to apply for Health and Safety money, and it's not as easy to have a project approved as it used to be.


Lloyd Johnson, Certified Public Accountant, along with Steve Salveson, presented the Fillmore Central School Board with the 2006 audit report.

According to the PowerPoint presentation given by Salveson, the Average Daily Membership (ADM) has gone down from 747 in 2002 to 609 in 2007, an 18 percent decrease. The audit looked at the district's revenues and expenditures for the year, as well as the general fund activities, and found that while the revenue is going up faster than the expenditures, the student numbers are going down at the same time. The Building and Equipment costs have gone up due to recent facility maintenance. The Community Education expenditures have doubled since 2002.

The Food Service expenditures exceeded revenues by $8,765, and there is currently a deficit of $2,434. Community Service has a deficit of $11,313 after a transfer of $68,584 from the general fund to cover health insurance costs and the deficit.

Salveson advised the board to watch spending with the declining enrollment numbers. The expenditures for 2007 exceeded revenues by $99,141. The unreserved general fund money is currently at three percent of the district's current expenditures. Salveson stated that a better number would be around 8-9 percent.

Other business

• Board member John Torgrimson, on behalf of the Public Relations committee, presented the board with some prices for advertising for the district. To run an ad for the school at the Jem Theater for a year and to make 500 brochures at Kelly Printing will cost just under $1,000. The Jem Theater will run an ad five times before each movie, and can be changed as needed. The board approved spending the money on the advertising.

• Jackie Whitacre was approved to be the high school speech coach.

• The board approved hiring Holly Mensink for the 3/4 Preschool teacher and Martha Stellmaker and Sharon Wissing for daycare and van driving.

• Marsha Dowe will be giving homebound instruction to a student that has medical needs and won't be able to come to school this semester.

• The Master Agreement for 2007-2009 was approved. In the first year, the teacher's salary will increase 3.75 percent, and 1.2 percent the second year. There will be no increase in health insurance benefits.

The November meeting was changed to Monday, November 26 at 5 p.m.

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