Principal named at Milan

Cindy DiFazio, Staff Writer

The Board of Trustees for the Milan Community School Corporation met in regular session on Monday, March 19. All members were present. The February minutes were read and approved unanimously.
The first order of business was to introduce the new high school principal, Richard Healy. Healy and his wife, Gail, are originally from Mishawaka and are in the process of moving to Milan. Superintendent Andrew Jackson noted that Healy was hired following an extensive process that included online assessments and interviews. Healy stood and was warmly welcomed.

In old business, Jackson told board members he has been going through the Corporation Policy Handbook. He suggested that a provision be struck from the policy that requires a 90-day probationary period before employees’ health insurance goes into effect. The insurance policy that the corporation uses must become active within 30 days of new employment or the employee would have to wait until the next open enrollment. Randy Kirk made the motion to approve the change with Tim Tuttle providing a second. The motion carried 5-0. Jackson informed the board that he would go through the manual and bring suggested changes to upcoming meetings for approval.

There were several items under the heading of new business. The 2007-08 calendar will stay pretty much the same as 2006-07. Parent/teacher conferences are being moved back to October to coincide with the first nine weeks and the career center schedule. Tim Tuttle moved to approve the calendar. Ted Amberger seconded, and the calendar was approved unanimously.

Jackson told the board in regard to liability and property insurance, “I have some good news.” He stated that the premiums would be much less than he thought, coming in at $74,905 rather than the figure of about $100,000 he expected. Jackson said that he believes it will be to the corporation’s benefit to stay with its current agent from whom two quotes were obtained. Board member, Randy Kirk, asked “Why didn’t we do bids? Is that fair to the taxpayers?” Jackson explained that there are actually only 2-3 companies in the state that offer school policy packages and the current agent had obtained two quotes. He also reminded the board that if it did a 3-year bid the corporation would be unable to obtain new quotes for that three-year period. Kirk made a motion to request a second bid. The motion did not receive a second, and died. Tim Tuttle made a motion to accept the current quote, which was seconded by Greg Lewis. The motion passed 4-1 with Randy Kirk opposed.

The next order of business was when to make up for snow days. Jackson noted that schools were closed six days due to snow. He proposed that those days be made up on 5/23, 5/24, 5/25, 5/29 and 5/30. Jackson suggested that high school commencement still be held on May 26. Ted Amberger asked if graduates would be expected to attend school on 5/29 and 5/30. Jackson said that Indiana requirements state that if school is open students are expected to attend. Tim Tuttle made a motion to accept the snow make-up days, seconded by Ted Amberger, and passed unanimously.

Field trips approved were:
* Second grade to the Croon Conservatory for the butterfly exhibit.
* Eighth grade to a workshop on the Holocaust.
* Destination Imagination to a competition in Knoxville pending a prior wins in the region.
Fund-raisers approved were:
* Junior Honor Society.
* Sophomore “Hoops for Heart” basketball tournament.
Leases approved were:
* High school gym for the “Hoops for Heart” basketball tournament.
* Outside area for the PTO carnival.

The last item discussed in new business was the need to advertise for bids on pool renovations. The base bid will be for deck, ceiling and pool work. An alternate bid will be for windows, doorframes and walls. Bids received will be opened on April 12 with contracts awarded on April 16. The job is expected to be completed by August 1 so the pool can be opened for the new school year.

It has been reported in newspapers across the state that the legislature is in favor of funding full-day kindergarten. Superintendent Jackson stated that this issue is far from being decided. He explained that the funding would go first to the neediest schools in the state, defined as those having the greatest population of children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. At this juncture it doesn’t seem likely that Milan will participate in such a program for at least the first 2-3 years if it is established by the state.

During the claims and financial reports section board president, David Voss, explaining that he questions snow removal costs every year commented, “I think someday we need to sit down and talk about the situation.” Ted Amberger added, “Can we find out what we’re paying per hour?”

Superintendent Jackson noted that workers have to start snow removal at 3:00 a.m. in order for school to be in session and that total costs through February 4 were $7,500. Amberger told the gathering, “We’ve had one snow removal event in the past cost $5,000.”

In President’s Prerogative, Jackson wished school board secretary, Susan Dudgeon, a happy birthday, noting that his own birthday was the following day. Jackson and the board members also thanked the community for attending meetings and welcomed Richard Healy on board as the new high school principal.

Newly hired Milan High School Principal, Richard Healy, right, mingled with attendees of the Milan Board of School Trustees at their regular Monday night meeting.


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