by nathan oster
Big Horn County School District No. 3 on May 12 inched closer to completing its staff for the 2015-16 school year, approving the hiring of six new employees and endorsing the superintendent’s extracurricular recommendations.
The new hires included three new special education para-educators for the elementary school in Judy Sorensen, James Armel and Jordan Hunter, and one special education para-educator for the high school in Lisa Chestnut.
Shannon Armstrong was hired to fill a custodial/maintenance position.
Tim Eardley was named the new GHS Senate cosponsor.
Supt. Barry Bryant announced that with the hirings, the district has only two vacancies remaining. Both are special education positions — one at the elementary school, the other at the middle school.
In their final act of the evening, board members approved Bryant’s extracurricular recommendations for the 2015-16 school year. He had recommended everyone for rehire, although there were a couple of changes.
In addition to Eardley taking over as GHS Senate co-sponsor, Michael Jaycox is shifting to the music assignment at the elementary school, where he will be teaching next year. The high school music extracurricular post he’s vacating will be filled by Racquel Sweat, the new GHS music teacher.
In other May 12 business:
- Paige Flock provided the Student Council report, telling the board that the school raised more than $700 to help one of their own, Katelyn Shilling, with her medical expenses from a recent car accident. Election of officers was planned for May 18.
- Clerk Cheri Edeler said she was informed of a slight decline in GHS after prom party participation. Usually the event draws approximately 125 high schoolers; this year there were around 100.
Edeler also offered a round of kudos for the people behind the scenes — specifically the substitute teachers and members of the community who always step up whenever there is a need.
- In administrative reports, GES Principal Brett Suiter reported that this year’s testing is done and that the focus now shifts to compiling and analyzing the data. Shakespeare in the Schools was a success and will be returning next year, he said.
GMS Principal Scott McBride noted that members of the volleyball and football teams are planning to help move items out of the current middle school later this month. The building is going to be converted to a central office building.
GHS Principal Ty Flock informed the board that the state has moved away from the Body of Evidence that has been used in the recent years to determine eligibility for graduation. Flock said there has been talk about eliminating the senior trip and instead holding a lock-in and using the money that would have been spent on the senior trip on tech gadgets that would be given away to students and help them in their post-high school lives. Also being considered is a return of the baccalaureate service.
Flock also updated the board on recent Wyoming High School Activities Association discussions relating to player safety in football. One idea is to limit the amount of “live action contact” that takes place in practice. The other would limit kids to eight quarters per week, which as Flock noted, would mostly impact JV kids who see time in a Friday varsity game and then have JV games on the docket the following Saturday and Monday. Flock said schedules are being adjusted accordingly.
- Bryant said construction of the new middle school is going well. The contractor expects to be done around June 15, well in advance of the July 1 move-in date that has been anticipated by the school district.
- The board reviewed the preliminary 2015-16 budgets of the school district, recreation district and Board of Cooperative Education Services.
- Heather Sanford was appointed to replace Joe Forcella on the Greybull Recreation District’s board of directors.
- The board accepted bids of $22,595 from Source Office & Technology and $74,032 from Promethean for Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (FFE) items that are needed for the new middle school.
- The board approved the out-of-district requests for seven students to attend Greybull schools during the 2015-16 school year. Upon emerging from an executive session later in the night, the board rejected a 2015-16 out-of-district request for a current student due to attendance issues.
- Among several policies that were given a first reading were two dealing with benefits for employees leaving the district. Whereas departing certified employees have been getting benefits extended through the end of August, the district would like to start cutting benefits five days after the expiration of the departing employee’s contract.