Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

School Board Back To Business

Board Members Sworn In; Superintendent's Contract Approved

The Kimball school board at its organizational meeting Monday night welcomed three newly elected school board members, saluted more than two dozen students for a job well done, and discussed plans to more efficiently handle summer lawn care.

Sworn into office were re-elected Matthew Shoup and Lynn Vogel and new member Travis Cook, who before the meeting made the rounds throughout the boardroom welcoming all in attendance individually.

The six-member board voted unanimously to elect Heather Norberg its president, Lynn Vogel vice president and Carrie Tabor secretary-treasurer.

As for board committee appointments, it's Clint Cornils, Shoup and Carrie Tabor on the Americanism committee; Norberg, Tabor and Vogel on the negotiations committee; and Cook, Cornils and Vogel on the scholarships committee.

In another significant leadership decision, the board approved Superintendent Elizabeth Owens' contract terms quickly, unanimously and in routine fashion. The contract is for two years -- July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021. The first year's salary is $140,000. The board will set the second year's salary at a later time.

In the meeting's longest discussion, Owens and the board talked about improving parameters for summer weed control, lawn fertilizing, mowing and trimming on district grounds. Football field weed control is a particular concern.

Last summer, local contractor Mark Anderson handled all lawn care responsibilities. For the future, the district is considering a contractor doing weed control and fertilizing, and the district handling mowing and trimming.

"We believe we have the equipment in place to handle it," Owens said.

Owens said the district would like to do a more comprehensive job of mowing at a lower cost. One idea is the district hiring a part-time employee to mow 20 hours a week at $10 per hour.

Meanwhile, board members and educators in attendance applauded more than two dozens students at Mary Lynch Elementary and the junior/high school for an array of accomplishments as part of the recognition program "Celebrating Student Success."

The students include Dakota Rohde (pre-K), Gianna Yannaci (K), Elizabeth Walls (1st Grade), Brecklyn Kiefer (2nd), Parker Deboodt (3rd), Carly Norberg (4th), Jade O'Rourke (5th), Jena Aargon (6th), Payton Wise (9th), Jared Barnes (10th), Braden Lukassen (11th), Bailie Brower (11th), Shawn Allen-VanPelt (12th), Dillon Wise (12th), Zane Anthony (12th), Izaak Reuter (12th), Zach Wagner (12th) and Madison Wynne (12th).

Also honored was the third place District 12 floriculture CDE state qualifier team of Madison Wynne, Bailie Brower, Hannah Marks, Emma Martin, Tristen Cook and Connor McGinnis.

The first place dairy and sixth place overall team in FFA District 12 Livestock Management CDE also was recognized. Its members are Jake Jenkins, Greg Wilke, Jazlyn Harroun, Lacey Klinkhammer and Nicole Delaplane.

In other business, the board:

-- Moved a proposed policy change to a second reading regarding certified staff force reduction due to such factors as budget considerations, declining enrollment, board decisions to end or alter a program, or reduced or terminated state or federal funding for a program.

-- Moved a proposed policy change to a second reading regarding nonresident students and option enrollment.

-- Appointed the Western Nebraska Observer, Scottsbluff Star-Herald, KNEW and KSID as the district's media affiliates.

-- Appointed FirstTier Bank, Kimball State Bank and Points West Community Bank as the district's financial affiliates.

Here's the board's upcoming meeting calendar:

-- Special board meeting at 8 a.m. Feb. 1 in the district office to address an early retirement package offered to staff that's named the Voluntary Separation Incentive Agreement.

-- Regular board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in Kimball City Hall.

-- Board work session at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in the district office.