Jensen, Weekes announce retirements

by nathan oster

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees accepted five resignations during its meeting Thursday night, including one from perhaps its longest tenured employee.

Ken Jensen, who joined the school district 40 years ago, is retiring from his middle school social studies teaching position at the end of the year.  His departure will also leave a void for an assistant boys basketball coach at the middle school.

Francie Weekes, …….. at the elementary school, is also stepping aside at year’s end.  She joined the district in 1994, making it an even 20-year run.

Other resignations that were accepted by the board on Tuesday night included:

• Jared Collingwood, the GHS Spanish teacher and sponsor, driver’s education teacher and GMS boys basketball coach;

• Laura Hodgson, the GMS guidance counselor and assistant coach of the Greybull Lady Buff volleyball and girls basketball teams; and

• Kallie Young, who has spent the last two years as a junior kindergarten teacher at the elementary school.

All the resignations take effect at the end of the current school year.

The didn’t have any hires to approve, but Supt. Barry Bryant reported that there’s been good interest in the elementary principal position being vacated at year’s end by Brenda Jinks.  Thus far, 29 have either applied or indicated that they would be applying.

The GHS Spanish teaching job has also drawn more than 20 applicants.

Among coaching positions that are now open, the head football spot appears most appealing, with eight expressing interest.

In other business early in Tuesday night’s meeting:

• The board recognized Pam Flitner and Jerry Ewen as its stakeholders of the month.

• Renner Sports, based in Denver, was awarded the bid for the resurfacing of the Greybull High School track.  The work will begin soon after the upcoming track season and be completed during the summer.

Renner came in with a bid of $152,971, which included an alternate of $50,116 in the event that engineers determine asphalt repairs are needed underneath the current track surface. The hope, Bryant said, is that those repairs won’t be necessary.

As it is, the project will further deplete the district’s major maintenance fund. Several big projects, most notably the renovations to the locker rooms at the Buff Gym, have taken a big bite of that funding, which once exceeded $1 million.

The district should know by July whether the additional repairs are needed, which is crucial in the timeline for another project which calls for the resurfacing of the playground at the elementary school.

The district put the project out to bid and got one back, but the cost came in higher than anticipated, at around $143,130.  The bidder froze the bid for six months, however, giving the district until July 21 to accept it.  By then, it should have a better feel for the track project’s total costs.

On the subject of the new track, Bryant said it’s going to be red. He asked for the new surface to match the school colors, but backed away when he learned it would cost an additional $20,000 and likely not last as long as the red surface.