South Adams looks to fill vacant board seat

Authored by Manda Arnold on Nov 14, 2012

With the election of Tony Mellencamp to the Adams County Council, the South Adams School Board will be looking to fill his vacant school board position. Qualified candidates must live within the city limits of Berne and must be at least 21 years of age. Interested applicants should mail a cover letter and resume to Arlene Amstutz, board president, 1075 Starfire Way, Berne, IN 46711.
The board is hoping to have an applicant chosen by the December 11 meeting. The position will be advertised until November 28, and the school will be accepting applications until Friday, November 30. After screening the applications, the school board will hold an executive session to interview prospective candidates. After completing a full criminal history check, the board will announce the name at the December 11 board meeting. The new member would take over the position after Mellencamp officially resigns his seat.
In property news, the school board voted to restart the bid process to sell the former Berne Elementary School property. The process will continue much as it did in January. School attorney Tim Baker will have the bid specifications published in the newspaper, and the bidding period will be from December 3 to February 1.
The one major change to the specifications is in regards to the earnest money. During the last attempt to sell the property, the bidder was required to pay $5,000 in earnest money, and if the sale was not finalized, the money would be returned. This time, the bidder will be required to pay $10,000 in earnest money with $5,000 being refundable. The board wanted to make sure they could cover the cost of another appraisal and any other incidental costs should they have to go through this process again. They are also hoping that the raised earnest cost and the non-refundable portion will help draw only serious bidders.
Should the board go through the 60-day bidding process and not have any bids or refuse all bids, they may then hire a broker to sell the property privately. The other option for selling would be to auction it off, which they are free to do at any time during the bid process.
High school principal Trent Lehman, middle school principal Jeff Rich, and Title I director Michelle Clouser were present to give a report on the scores their schools received from the Department of Education. The high school received an A, receiving grade points of 4.0 in math, graduation, and college and career readiness. They received a 3.5 in English/language arts, giving them an average of 3.85.
The middle school also received an A. While their English/language arts score was only a 3, the middle school was able to earn extra points in the math category for growth in both the bottom 25 percent category and the top 75 percent category. The extra points brought their 3.5 in math up to a 5.5.
The elementary school received a grade of 3.5 in both the English/language arts and math categories, which gave them a grade of B. Overall, South Adams Schools received an A from the Department of Education.
Superintendent Scott Litwiller gave an update on the Crossing. As of November 8, the Crossing had 23 students. Of the 23 students, 19 live within the school’s district. According to Litwiller, 12 of these students would probably not be in a formal school setting if there was not the Crossing.
The school is also in the process of being fully approved by the Department of Education as an alternative school. After the fire marshal gives his okay, they should be fully approved by the end of December. The Crossing Community Board will hold its first official meeting in December. They will also be holding a “Spotlight Breakfast” at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, November 19 at Alpine Rose. The public is invited to attend.
In personnel news, the board accepted the resignations of Jason Arnold as head football coach, Steve Dellinger as boys soccer coach, and Ashley Fosnaugh as junior varsity volleyball coach. They also approved the hiring of Roger Teeter as a volunteer middle school basketball coach.
Upon the recommendation of Diane Wingler and Litwiller, the board approved having one pay rate for substitute workers in the kitchen and cafeteria. Currently, there are two rates $8.22 and $9.17. The board approved that all substitute workers would be paid $9.17.
The board also approved the overnight field trip request for the FFA’s Livestock Judging Team. The competition is in Indianapolis on November 30 and December 1.
Finally, the December 11 meeting time has been moved to 5:30 p.m. because of the middle school/high school Christmas concert taking place at 7:00 p.m.

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