The Cherokee School Board of Education held its election of officers and made appointments to the District's Standing Board Committees at its monthly meeting last week.
Laura Dawson was reappointed President of the Board, and Jack Creel reappointed Vice-President.
The Board agreed to continue meeting on the third Monday each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Washington High School library, unless otherwise noted.
In other various Board appointments, Creel was appointed to serve as a delegate to the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) General Assembly and Legislative Action Network.
Among other Standing Board Committees appointments were:
*Curriculum & Instruction - Larry Goodrish and Terri Weaver.
*Board Policy - Deb Johnson and Weaver.
*Finance - Dawson and Creel.
*Buildings, Grounds, Capitol Projects, Facilities - Goodrich and Creel.
*Transportation, Nutrition - Johnson, Dawson.
In other regular business action, the Board approved the resignation of Kevin Brandt as custodian at Washington High School, approved a contract for Tim Stoneking at Cherokee Middle School 8th grade volleyball coach, and approved a contract for Cindy Husman as WHS assistant Speech coach.
Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom told the Board that more than 120 WHS students have enrolled in Speech this year and current Speech coaches James and Jaylene DeVos could not be expected to efficiently coach that many students; hence, the hiring of Husman to assist in the obviously popular, successful WHS program.
Chalstrom also advised the Board that enrollment counts were up in all three District buildings (WHS, CMS, RES) and that official student enrollment numbers would be certified after Oct. 1.
The Board also approved the purchase of a new school bus for the District after hearing a presentation and report on the bids from District Transportation Director Mike Wiederholt, who also advised the Board that the District's bus fleet is rapidly aging and requiring more and more maintenance.
The 2013 Blue Bird bus will cost $79,000 and be purchased from School Bus Sales (SBS) of Waterloo, which submitted the lowest of three bids.
In other business, the Board heard a report from Chalstrom and WHS Principal Neil Phipps regarding renovation of the George Hicks Field turf.
The District has been undecided whether to tackle the growing, nettlesome problem yet this fall after the last home football game, or wait until spring - probably early April - to kill out and remove the existing grass turf, level the football field, re-seed it, and hope for the best that it rejuvenates in time for the 2013 football season.
The project would interfere with track and field events in the spring, but that decision was reached after the Board learned that the watering system under the field also is in disrepair, that it experiences pipe breaks often, and that am inferior quality of plastic piping was used when the system was initially installed about 15 years ago.
"If we're going to do it, we must do it right," said Creel while addressing the problems. "Let's do it right and get it right."
Chalstrom and Phipps concurred and Chalstrom advised the Board that the matter will be more fully explored, cost estimates will be sought for the watering system, and the issue will be on next month's Board agenda, with the work moved to next spring.
"Next month we will give you an update and then shoot for a May project," said Chalstrom.
A preliminary proposal by an athletic field construction company was previously submitted to the District outlining the renovation process and shared with the Board last week
The process calls for stripping the turf grass to remove the top layer of unwanted grass and contaminants, along with removing surface irregularities in the process. Grading the playing surface will be done by fully automated, hydraulically actuated laser-guided equipment, with no soil removed or hauled away, all to be followed by seeding.
The proposal carried an estimated cost of $24,700 and the project would take about five working days to complete.
The District's reponsibility would include relocating the long jump pits and runway, killing the existing turf grass, and providing plywood for equipment to cross the track.
The District's additional costs and the cost of a new watering system would be over and above the $24,700 estimate.