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School board to appoint new member Monday

Staff writer

Two candidates for USD 398 Board of Education made presentations before the board Monday.

They are filling the position vacated by William Spangler, who resigned at the December meeting.

After deciding to vote on a candidate last night, the board changed its mind during a 10-minute break and decided to vote on a new member at a special meeting 6 p.m. Jan. 16.

“I think either could be a good board member,” board member Tony Zappone said.

Shayla Clark, 49, is a title examiner and closing agent with Hannaford Abstracts in Marion.

“I deal with the end with purchase and sale of final lot and prorate taxes,” Clark said.

Clark was formerly a teacher. She graduated from Fort Hayes State with a teaching degree.

Clark has one daughter, Hadlye, 9, at Peabody-Burns Elementary School, third grade. Her middle daughter, Bayleigh, 20, graduated from Peabody-Burns High School.

“I want to help the board in a time of economic hardship,” Clark said. “We’re losing a lot of funds for school.”

Board members were interested in Clark because she lives in Burns and could provide a different perspective.

“I feel I can be a catalyst for new ways of thinking,” Clark said in her speech.

Jarrod Gaines, 36, is the other candidate. He grew up in Peabody. He said moved back to the community after graduating from Kansas State University.

He is a regional sales manager for Machinery Link.

“I do know what forecasting and budgets are and how they need to be kept,” Gaines said.

Gaines said he was not a focused student at Peabody-Burns High School and a particular teacher pushed him to go to college.

“The teacher pushed me to be a better person,” Gaines said.

Gaines was part of the parent advisory committee with the school.

He has three children in the USD 398 district: Devin, 12, Morgan, 9, and Weston, 6.

“A community can grow with a school,” Gaines said. “But if the school is having challenges, the community will to.”

In other business:

  • The board approved a replacement water softening system at PBHS. The bid from Hall’s Culligan of McPherson for about $5,120, including 16 hours of labor was accepted. Ray Savage told Superintendent Demitry Evancho he would demolish the old system himself, with a Hall’s Culligan representative overseeing the process, saving the district about $1,000.
  • The board approved substitute teaching contracts for Jaci Kepler and Virginia Yunker.
  • The board approved renewing membership in Schools for Fair Funding. The membership cost $753. “I’d say support it,” Evancho said. “You’ve been in it a long time.”
  • The board approved the beginning of negotiations with the faculty association for the 2012-13 contract year.
  • The board discussed a Technology Excellence in Education Network telephone system to upgrade the entire system for the district. The current system is analog and replacement parts would not be available if the 10-year-old system were to break down. For PBHS it would cost $7,636 with about $1,825 for installation costs. PBES would cost $6,996 with about $1475 in installation costs. The board decided to look into e-rating the plan through the Federal Communication Commission, which could save the district $3,000 on each bill. If the federal government denies the application, the board would consider the TEEN system again, Evancho said.
  • The board discussed the project-based learning program at the high school. A committee has been established for the program, which includes Evancho, PBHS principal Tim Robertson, teacher Marc Grout, curriculum director Kathy Preheim, social worker Sara Grout, and community representative Lynn Berns. With a board established, they have worked on a manual for the class that the board will approve at a future meeting.
  • Evancho gave the board an updated superintendent search timeline. The application is scheduled to close Feb. 15 and the board will begin interviewing candidates Feb. 23-29. Board president Terry Eberhard brought up a proposal from the White City-Hope district to share a superintendent. The board decided to continue the superintendent search as before. “It’s doable but there’s a lot of things that won’t get done or done well,” Evancho said.
  • PBJHS football coach Brian Simmonds went before the council to detail his job duties as a coach and to ask the board, when the district has more money, to hire an assistant coach.
  • Bus driver Tammy Britton asked the board to consider a field trip where she would take the students on her northwestern bus route to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City at the end of the year. No decision was reached Monday.
  • Evancho talked about Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal for school funding, which includes eliminating much of the weighting that aids districts like PBHS. “The ones that that will strike us are at risk and special ed,” Evancho said.

The next USD 398 school board meeting is 7 p.m. Feb. 13.

Last modified Jan. 11, 2012

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