20 personnel items voted on
South Ripley board has full agenda

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

In a jam packed action session, the South Ripley School Board of Trustees took care of several items pertaining to the new building/renovation project, and voted on numerous personnel issues at their regular meeting held August 13 in the administration office.

Saying this was a hectic time with school starting and the building/renovation project moving forward, Superintendent Ahaus also noted this was an exciting time in the life of the school corporation. “I’ve never been more excited in my 33 years with the corporation,” he told board members.

Building/renovation items:
A resolution approving formation of the building corporation received unanimous approval. Phil King will be the president, Greg Dole, vice-president, and Bonnie Jeffries, secretary/treasurer. Attorney Merritt Alcorn noted that this resolution had been submitted to the Secretary of State and was approved.

Next the superintendent recommended adoption of a Resolution of Receiving Patrons Petitions. This was a resolution where 50 or more school patrons had to sign a petition in support of the corporation moving forward with the building/renovation project. Ahaus noted that he had no trouble whatsoever getting 75 signatures that were notarized. This motion received unanimous approval.

A resolution approving preliminary plans, form of lease, and authorizing publication of lease hearing along with a resolution to appoint representatives to the common wage committee were unanimously approved. Representatives for the common wage committee will be: James D. Benham, (industry representative); Stanley Elston, (taxpayer representative); and Chuck Folz, (county taxpayer legislative body representative).

The last item of business under the building/renovation project was to give approval to hire a surveyor.

Under personnel there were 20 items recommended by the superintendent. They included:
• The resignation of Christina Wood as guidance counselor at the elementary school.
• Amy Taylor was hired for special education for the 07-08 school year.
• Lindsay Payne resigned as special education aide, effective August 6.
• Lorie Wood was hired for special education aide, effective August 14.
• Natalie Gilpin’s resignation as bookstore manager and special education aide was accepted. This was effective July 30.
• Gail Snyder was hired to fill the vacancy created by Gilpin.
• Beth Schwering and Lisa Nay were hired as temporary instructional aides for full day kindergarten. They are both licensed teachers.
• Karen Cole was hired as Prime Time Title I instructional aide at the elementary school.
• The recommendation for Terry Bodenburg to teach summer school is retroactive and was effective August 6.
• Cathy Deaton was hired as the elementary GT Resource teacher
• Sandra Michelle Riggle was approved as a sponsor for the junior class.
• Lana Miller’s request for FMLA from August 1 to August 29 was approved. She is the corporation business manager.
• Carol Holcomb and Karen Sieverding were approved to have a rate increase from July 16-September 18 for filling in while Miller is gone.
• Judy Wilson was hired as a corporation bus driver for Route #0. This will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Toni Diem.
• Tammy Cromer will drive bus #9.
• Pauline Doan transferred from Route #5 to Route #13.
• Otis Walston transferred from Route #19 to Route #31.
• Scott Holdsworth resigned as the boy’s varsity baseball coach.
• Tom Conover was recommended to be a third temporary kindergarten aide.
• Sandy Peak was hired to be a special education aide at the Jr. Sr. High School. (This was the only vote that was not unanimous. Board member Tim Taylor had the dissenting vote.)
Wrapping up the meeting, the board approved the recommendation to advertise and adopt 2008 calendar year budgets and approval of budget timeline. They also approved advertising for bids for corporation insurance. Bids will be opened and reviewed on November 1. Decision on insurance will be made at the November meeting.

Approval of route changes as recommended by Transportation Director Rose Morton was approved. Due to declining enrollment some of the town routes have been changed.

Alan Welch made a presentation to the board regarding service he could provide the corporation. A Rose Hulman graduate, with a Master’s degree from USI, Welch said he was offering his experience as an engineering manager to assist with the new building/renovation project. He noted it would be strictly volunteer and he would be happy to serve in “whatever capacity I could help out in.”

Superintendent Ahaus thanked Welch for his interest in the school and said they will be deciding what direction to go in the next couple of months and would keep his proposal under consideration.

With the turnover in personnel, Superintendent Ahaus complimented the administration at both the high school and elementary. “They (Bob Meyer and Mark Collier) have done a tremendous job over the summer.”

At the beginning of the regular meeting a public hearing was held on year-round school. With no comments from the public, the hearing portion was closed by board President Jim Miller.

All board members were in attendance at the August meeting: Jim Miller, Randy McIntosh, Keith Mathews, Robert Garcia, Merritt Alcorn, school attorney, Tim Taylor, Ralph Miller, Gil Landwehr, Superintendent Ted Ahaus and Asst. Superintendent, John Mehrle. Karen Sieverding was in attendance to advise the board and take minutes of the meeting.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the South Ripley School Board of Trustees will be September 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the administration office.