Amstutz re-elected as SA board president
Immediately prior to the regular school board meeting on Tuesday evening, South Adams school board members Arlene Amstutz, John Buckingham, Julie Mansfield, and Amy Orr, along with new school board members Landon Patterson and Ray Gill took the oath of office administered by Rebecca Biberstein.
Following the oath, the school board meeting was called to order and the annual reorganization took place. Once again, Arlene Amstutz was nominated for school board president, along with John Mann as vice-president and Julie Mansfield as secretary. They were all approved. Also approved was the day and time of regular school board meetings. In a departure from prior years, the school board will meet at 6:00 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month.
Annual appointments that were approved are Rebecca Biberstein as recording secretary and treasurer, Annette Schwartz as deputy treasurer, Sandy Flueckiger as extra-curricular treasurer, Tim Baker as the school’s attorney, and Bob Rund with Lewis & Kappes, specializing in education law and personnel matters.
The final matter of reorganization was to designate the Berne Tri-Weekly News as the official medium of communicating public information.
Superintendent Scott Litwiller presented the board with the 2012 Property Tax Revenue report. In 2012, the school collected $3,722,223 in property tax, which is 95.10 percent of the certified levy. This is $191,755 short of the approved levy. This shortage is due to property tax caps and unpaid taxes. Property taxes finance the school’s debt service, capital projects, transportation, and bus replacement funds.
In personnel news, the school board approved the ratification of Jaci Liechty as a volunteer girls basketball coach and Sheba Davidson as a part-time nurse. She is being hired to replace Wendy Schlagenahauf as a 19-hour nurse. The board also approved the hiring of the 2013 musical staff – Steve Tatman, drama director; Curt Amstutz, musical producer; Jennifer Thomson, vocal director; Trish Moser, choreographer; Karen Moser, pianist; and Danna Kistler, costume fittings and alterations.
In technology news, Myra Moore, Litwiller, Mansfield, Buckingham, Michelle Clouser, Alissa McMillan, Sue Inniger, Lora Flueckiger, Michele LeFever, Kyle Sprunger, Kristi Cressman, and Sandy Sprunger will be traveling to the Apple Briefing in Chicago on January 15 and 16. They will be exploring the option of using iPads in the classroom. They are going to be educated and will be focusing on what is needed for the classroom and what will be best for the students.
Moore also updated the board on plans for backing up the school’s data. Currently, all data on the servers is backed up, however the back up copy is also stored at the school. After much research, Moore has decided to go with the Unitrends back-up solution. The Unitrends appliance will back up all servers – virtual, stand alone, and selected individual staff member machines – and from there back up to a cloud server. The cost of the device is approximately $10,000, with an approximate additional fee of $2,500 annually to the cloud for storing the data.
After the school board accepted a donation by Slam Dunk Sports Marketing, the high school gym will be receiving a four feet by six and a half feet digital upgrade to the scrolling sign advertisement cabinet. Slam Dunk will provide the digital display board, install and maintain the display, and solicit sponsors. The school will be responsible for providing an Internet cable connection and a PA connection to the display board and the labor for these connections.
A facility request by softball coach Jessie O’Dell and baseball coach Brad Buckingham was unanimously approved. The middle school gym will be utilized by Buckingham and O’Dell on Sundays for pitching lessons for students in grades 3-8. Buckingham will be using the gym Sunday afternoons through February. O’Dell will be using the gym Sunday evenings from January 13 through March 17. The cost will be $10 a lesson and will be paid to the coaches.
The final item of the regular meeting was the approval of the overnight field trip requests. The board unanimously approved the request by Jason Shuck to take the FFA team to Purdue University for the Meat Judging contest on January 25 and 26. They also gave approval for Coach Janelle Gresla to take any qualifying swimmers to the state swim meet on Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9.
Immediately following the regular school board, the Board of Finance Annual Meeting took place. After electing Arlene Amstutz as the 2013 Board of Finance president and Julie Mansfield as the Board of Finance secretary, the board heard the 2013 Investment Report from Litwiller. The average balance at the Bank of Geneva is $5,800,197.48. Interest earned was $45,457.94. The average balance at the Bank of Berne is $30,150. Interest earned is $12.82.
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