AURELIA - Several personnel issues were discussed and approved at Monday's regular monthly meeting of the Aurelia School Board.
Interim Superintendent Jack Johnson was unable to attend the meeting due to heavy fog as he was attempting to return from a vacation in Canada.
The Board was also one member short, as Board member Paul Pingel resigned at last month's meeting. Monday, the Board approved retired Aurelia teacher/coach Myron Radke to fill Pingel's position on the Board until the School Board election in 2011. He will be sworn in at the Board's September meeting.
In other personnel matters, the Board approved the hiring of John Hill as a Shared Transportation Director with the Alta District. Superintendent Johnson and Alta Superintendent Fred Maharry conducted interviews for the position earlier this month, and recommended Hill as the best candidate for the job.
Hill will be in charge of all aspects of the two schools' transportation, including recruiting, training, supervising and evaluating all transportation personnel, making recommendations on their employment, transfer, promotion and release; attending appropriate committee and staff meetings; working with the central office to administer drug and alcohol testing program for the transportation department; developing and delivering workshops to train bus drivers; developing and enforcing district bus driver rules; assuming responsibility for District conformance to appropriate Iowa and federal statutes; recommending transportation and department purchases; compiling activity trip payroll and forwarding it to the Board secretary.
Also, assisting the Superintendent in preparing the transportation budget; diagnosing, repairing and/or arranging for the repair of district vehicles in both districts; maintaining a current inventory of supplies and equipment, and other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
Hill will be receiving a salary of $39,000/year, with a total package that equals $44,747. Because of the two districts' decision to hire a shared position, both Districts will be receiving supplemental funds from the State, at a decreasing rate over a three-year period, based on each District's per pupil cost.
The Board also approved the resignation of Grant Peckenschneider as High School football coach, and approved his contract as Middle School football coach, a position which needed to be filled due to Coach Mike Fry's recent deployment to Afghanistan.
The Board also approved hiring Kasey Reilly as an assistant coach for Alta-Aurelia High School football, pending his receiving his coaching credential; and approved hiring Tanya Gaes as the High School cross country coach, again contingent on her receiving her coaching credential.
The Board also approved the hiring of B.J. Stevicks, Clay Drenth and Bradley Gustafson to coach both the Middle School and High School shared wrestling programs this wrestling season. Last season's wrestling coaches have been deployed. Aurelia will make payment to the Alta District as provided in the sharing agreement - a percentage, based upon student participation.
Principal Ann Sandine said that she is still looking to hire a Study Hall Monitor, as due to staff reductions, she does not have the staff available to cover study halls for the Middle School and High School. The position has been advertised and there has been some interest, but no hiring has occurred yet.
In other business, the Board approved paying $8.75/ hour for the position of driving a "shuttle bus" for athletic sharing with Alta. They also discussed the issue of transportation for preschool students, and approved the District providing transportation as needed. Further details will be worked out by the Superintendent, transportation committee members Jen Kaskey and Mike Kruger, and Transportation Director Hill.
Sandine reported that the unofficial School enrollment for the District this year is 233, down from 271 last year. She said the incoming kindergarten class is smaller then last spring's graduating class, and in addition, 19 students have open enrolled out of the District to surrounding districts.
The Board also approved the report of Larry Weede, who performed an asbestos inspection of the school building on July 6. They also approved the revision of Board Policy 905.2 to change "smoke free" to "tobacco free."
In old business, the mascot/logo issue seems to be at a standstill. The Alta board did not approve the suggested logo, and adjustments are being made. Another individual has also offered to design a logo, as no decision has been made yet. Both districts said they are frustrated by the whole issue at this point.