Board approves tentative budgets

by nathan oster

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees on Tuesday approved tentative budget numbers for the school district itself, the recreation district and the new BOCES with Northwest College for the 2013-14 school year.

It was step one in the budget process.

The board won’t hold its annual budget hearing until July.

The numbers that were presented on Tuesday were tentative ones.

Supt. Barry Bryant said he and Sandi Menke, the district’s business manager, set a goal of having $1 million in the beginning cash/cash carryover column, give or take $100,000 either side of that total.

As it now stands, carryover is anticipated to come in around $911,000.

Bryant said the district is proposing to beef up its technology rotation line item, citing a desire to purchase half the new computers for the new middle school in the 2014-15 fiscal year, and the remaining computers in the following fiscal year.

Food service continues to be a drag on the bottom line. Like virtually all others around the state, the district went in the hole running the program two years ago. The gulf was around $133,000. For this year, it’ll be slightly better, with an anticipated deficit of around $115,000. “We’re still working on that one,” said Bryant.

In personnel moves, the board accepted the resignation of Kerri Thiel, an interventionist/ELL teacher at the elementary school; as well as the resignations of two coaches who were recently assigned to different coaching positions.

Jeremy Brandl resigned as the GMS assistant wrestling coach to become the head coach of the program.

Tami Wright left her post as a GMS assistant girls basketball coach to take an assistant coaching position with the GHS Lady Buff basketball program.

In other news from the first half of Tuesday’s meeting:

• The board recognized as its stakeholders of the month the entire transportation department.

“Everything we do is based on you getting kids to school,” said Bryant, who noted that he’s received just one complaint all school year — amazing considering the number of busses that are in circulation each day.

Howard Gernant, who supervises the department, noted that by school year’s end, the district’s busses will have logged nearly 200,000 miles.

The bus drivers the district honored included:

• Calder Forcella provided for the student body, providing updates on the recent school election in which he was elected president, Fabian Davila vice president, Brett Stephens secretary, Julianne Carlson treasurer and Paige Flock public relations specialist.

Forcella said this year’s Make-A-Wish campaign generated about $1,200 and that the student body plans to do another fundraising campaign next year.

• In the community remarks section, Charlene Collingwood again raised the possibility of the district transporting GHS students who would like to swim to Worland for the upcoming fall season.   No action was taken. She was given until the June meeting to get commitments from students who would like to swim with the Warriors — six is the minimum for the board to consider it. She and the district will work on the bussing issue together. That, said Bryant, is the issue. “The hard thing for us is finding a driver,” he said. Collingwood said she had someone in mind, but was told that person would need to meet the district’s requirements for a substitute driver.