Brown resignation creates school board vacancy

by nathan oster

The resignation of Selena Brown from the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees has created an opportunity for anyone thinking about a run for school board this fall to give the position a try for a few months.

The board formally accepted Brown’s resignation at its June 14 meeting and the district is currently seeking letters of interest from anyone in the school district who is interested in completing Brown’s term, which expires at the end of the year.

Brown’s is one of four seats on the school board that will be up for election this year; the others are currently held by Mike Wirtzberger, Steve Hoblit and Dale Nuttall.

The filing period for all four of the expiring seats opens Aug. 10 and closes Aug. 29.

Brown and her husband, Dr. Brendan Fitzsimmons, are moving to southwestern Wyoming.

In addition to serving on the school board, Brown is also the executive director of the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce, which is also looking to hire her replacement.

Brown joined the school board in June of 2011 when she was appointed to step in for Darcie Wisehart, who had resigned. She won a four-year term in the 2012 election and served five years in total.

Supt. Barry Bryant said even though the election is just five months away, state law requires the school district to try to fill the position within 30 days. The deadline for those seeking the temporary appointment is Tuesday, July 5.

 

Personnel

While it was an unusually light agenda, the school board did make several personnel moves.

Rana Hoffmann was hired as a para-educator at the elementary school, Deanna Werner was hired as a para-educator at the middle school and Michelle McColloch was hired as an assistant middle school girls basketball coach.

The only resignation — Jordan Hunter’s decision to step down as the head middle school boys basketball coach — was actually more of a transfer, as he is moving up to the high school program to be Nolan Tracy’s assistant. Tracy is replacing longtime head coach Jim Prather.

Open positions that have yet to be filled include transportation supervisor and two assistant middle school football coaching positions.

 

Other news

  • Bryant was among the school officials from around the state who recently attended a Wyoming High School Activities Association forum on the future of activities-related transportation costs.

Bryant said that since official contracts have been awarded and the schedules finalized, changes would not happen immediately. But he emphasized that he sensed a real willingness to change from WHSAA officials, who are going to try to do a better job of not sending teams across the state for regular season competition.

  • The board awarded the bid for the remodeling of the Quigg Building to Diamond Point Construction. The company will do the work called for in the base bid and in alternates one, two and five, which come to a grand total of $485,520.

The district will use major maintenance dollars from the state to pay for the project.

Bryant also sounded a hopeful note about proposed improvements to the exterior of the Quigg building, suggesting that it ranks No. 3 on the state’s list of projects. The district is angling for $300,000.

  • Board members perused a governing scorecard prepared by district staff. One question that came up was an increase in teacher absences from the previous year. Bryant explained that a high percentage of them were associated with either activities or professional development.

Bryant said that by reducing travel, districts would also reduce teacher absences. While one of his ideas — eliminating the regional basketball and volleyball tournaments — failed to get any traction from WHSAA officials, there is apparently going to be added scrutiny on football travel and the length of the speech season. “Out speech kids miss more time than anyone else,” he said.

  • Several donations were recognized, including two from Georgia Pacific Foundation — $590 for the GHS art program, $295 for Empty Bowls — as well as a $750 donation from Overland Express Mart for the GHS boys basketball program.
  • A home-school registration was recognized.
  • An out-of-district request from a family living in Basin that has been sending its three children to Greybull schools was approved for the 2016-17 school year.
  • A special budget modification hearing was set for Tuesday, June 28 at 6 p.m.
  • The school board authorized Bryant to conduct an excess property sale. The district would like to rid itself of eight welders and possibly other equipment and has already begun advertising for sealed bids.