VINTON — Three incumbent Vinton Shellsburg school board attended their final meeting on Tuesday night after they chose not to run for another term.
“Jason Hicok and Kyle Schminke have served the district for one term of four years,” Mary Jo Hainstock, district superintendent, wrote in a memo to the board. While Brenda Bartz has served the district for three terms, a total of nine years.
“I would like to publicly recognize and thank Jason for his contributions to reviewing board policies and for sharing his expertise about technology,” Hainstock said.
“I would like to thank and recognize Kyle for his contributions in assisting with our transportation and bus barn needs and responsibilities,” she added.
Hainstock shared that seeing Brenda Bartz leave the board was hard. “I appreciate Brenda for her long-term support and for her insight into child issues and her unwavering commitment to keeping our students’ best interest in mind.”
Bartz has served nine years on the school board.
Serving on the board, Bartz said “I didn’t know what I didn’t know when I started on the board.
“Having kids in school is one thing,” she said. But learning what staff and administrators do is something else entirely.
“Everyone does what’s best for the district,” Schminke stated.
“This has been an exceptional board to work with,” Rob Levis, school board president, said. “Each of you have brought your expertise” to the work done for the district.
“I truly appreciate your expertise and dedication,” Levis added.
With the start of the organizational board meeting for the new board Brenda Barkdoll, district business manager, administrated the oath of office to Tom Burke, Jake Fish, Kathy VanSteenhuyse and Becky Williams.
The four won seats on the board following the school board election earlier this month.
VanSteenhuyse is a returning board member, while the other three individuals are all new to the board.
Levis was voted to serve as the board president for the coming year while Sue Gates was chosen as the vice-president.
It was a concensus of the board to continue holding the board meetings the second Monday of the month.
“Generally our meetings start at 7 p.m.,” Levis explained to the new board members. “But during the summer months we may start earlier if that works for everyone.”
Other annual business which takes place during the organization meeting included:
-Appointed Ahlers and Cooney to serve as the district’s legal council.
‘The board has worked with Mossman and Mossman for many years,” Hainstock wrote in the board packet.
“I have used other attorneys for specific situations in which they may have more expertise and that has worked well.
“Mr. Mossman recently notified me that he inteds to more fully retire and would prefer not to be the school’s counsel.”
She explained that Ahlers and Cooney were a firm in Des Moines and have attorneys who specialize in several areas of school law “with whom we’ve worked with over the last few years,” she added.
Burke asked how often the district had needed to use the services of Mossman and Mossman in the past.
Hainstock explained there had been only a few incidents that it was necessary to use the legal firm.
- Building principals were again appointed as truant officers to collect data and follow up with students who have repeated absences.
In other business:
-”I appreciate what the district staff does for our veteran’s day program each year,” Levis told those present at the meeting.
“Each year is a little different.”
He commended staff on the logistics necessary to get students from all of the buildings together for the program.
He added that it was impressive “how the students stayed very attentive during the entire program.
Levis shared that a friend had attended the program for the first time this year and remarked what a wonderful event it was.
- The board approved a motion to compensate Eileen Lown for her work as the Farm-to-School (F2S) project director.
“Carolyn Frazier served as the project director for our F2S planning grant,” Hainstock said. “After her passing Eileen stepped in to continue the work and provide leadership to the group. We had $20,000 budgeted for the director position.”
With some of those funds still available, Hainstock explained to the board members that the leadership team recommended paying the balance of the funds to Lown.
-Ashley Hesson was hired as the assistant coach for the boys swim team.
“We have a large number of athletes,” Hainstock explained. And to make sure that everyone gets the most of the program Jim Struve, district athletic director, recommends she be hired for the position to finish out the season.