Wirtzberger joins school board

by nathan oster

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees on Wednesday tapped Michael Wirtzberger to fill the seat vacated by Dave Haller until the next school board election in November of 2016.

Wirtzberger was one of two local residents to express interest in the position.

Jean Petty was the other. A resident of Shell, she was a member of the school board up until August of 2014, when she resigned, citing personal and work-related reasons in her letter of interest to the school board.

While thanking Petty for her past service and her interest, the board went with Wirtzberger. It was his third attempt to join the board in recent years, having come up short when the board chose Cheri Edeler to replace Petty one year ago and then again in the 2014 general election, when he came in fifth, just behind Haller, in a six-person race.

Wirtzberger was born and raised in Glasgow, Mont. He and his family moved to Greybull during his sophomore year of high school and he graduated with the GHS Class of 1970. After that, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving four years during the Vietnam War.

Wirtzberger has lived in Greybull for 47 years and is a longtime Wyo-Ben employee. His familiy has deep ties to the school district, as his mother taught English at GHS for nine years and was head of the English Department. All three of his children graduated from GHS and he currently has five grandchildren enrolled in Greybull schools.

In other business discussed during Wednesday’s special meeting:

  • The school board approved one modification to the 2014-15 budget, transferring $20,000 from Total Instruction to Total Support Services.

The district’s cash carryover is as healthy as it’s been in several years, with a balance of $1.173 million. That’s about $73,000 above the district’s goal of $1.1 million. The overage was attributed to a final refund payment of $93,073 from WSBAIT.

  • Tim Kershner Construction was awarded the bid to pour the concrete for the new parking lot on the south side of the GMS Gym. The area is going to be used as a drop-off and pick-up location for school buses. Kershner’s bid came in at $43,266, nearly $20,000 below that of the other bidder, A.W. Hunt Construction.