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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Wausaukee Superintendent Resigns Effective June 30

Wausaukee School Administrator Jan Dooley at a Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18, announced her resignation effective June 30th.

After her announcement in her address to the board she said, After much thought, care and prayer, I have decided to resign as superintendent of the school district of Wausaukee effective June 30th 2014. For some time now I have been wrestling with the timing of my departure, and have come to realize there would be no ideal time for me to leave. Our district is immersed in a crucial, necessary, vital, ongoing process of change and I believe that we have key people in place that can carry forth with our efforts to transform learning for our students.

It is important that you have the time to identify a superintendent who can join with our excellent staff to lead our district into the future. When I first began as your superintendant the school district was facing fiscal instability. Since that time, I have seen a board of education with the inner strength to make decisions that were not easy, yet you always kept an eye on what is most important in education - the children whom we serve. I have seen a staff that was willing to make the necessary sacrifices to help ensure financial stability and I have seen a community that wants what is best for its children and has provided the necessary monetary support to enable us to create the dynamic learning institution that we are today

Dontinuing she read, During the past 6 years we have been on a journey of profound necessary change. We have established a model collaborative partnership with our neighboring school districts and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, where our students are receiving a high level of technical training while simultaneously earning college credit. Many of our high school teachers have been certified as adjunct instructors for the technical college, enabling them to teach transcribed credit classes where our students can earn additional college credits.

These teachers have been trained in teaching in an online blended environment and are sharing their expertise with others as they too are learning and growing. We have created a virtual learning center where our students have access to online college classes through the UW system, the technical college system and Wisconsin virtual school and have the necessary support structure in place to ensure their success in learning in that environment

In 2008 we began our first multiage classroom, a decision that was made for fiscal reasons but was supported by strong research in how children learn best. The strategies inherent in teaching in a multiage environment are now being infused throughout the grades as we focus on personalized learning for all of our students.

I experience a sense of gratitude for having worked under the visionary leadership of a board of education who truly cares about what is best for kids. I experience gratitude for having worked with staff members who have been willing to risk and innovate through the complexities of change I encourage you to continue to build upon the strengths of our district. Recognizing that to have a quality school district, you must have quality educators, administrators and support personnel. I feel honored to have worked with you, our administrative team, our teachers and support personnel in the last six years and, just as importantly I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the children of our district.

It is December and 2014 is near, she went on. In order to sustain the commitment to quality education for all children you as district leaders need time to plan and prepare for the transition into the 20014/2015 school year. As such I respectfully request that you approve my resignation as your superintendent of schools effective June 30th 2014. It has been a powerful journey.

The board approved her resignation, though many members expressed regret on doing so. Board president, David Kipp stated, We have been blessed and I don’t think we would be any where near where we are if it hadn’t been for Jan Dooley.

I’m going to miss her, Kipp said after the meeting. It’s like losing my right arm. She’s going to be very difficult to replace. Dooley has been warning the board since she was hired nearly seven years ago that she would not be there forever, and they needed to plan for her successor.

Now, Kipp said, She feels it’s time. Things are going in the right direction and hopefully we can transition smoothly. He said Dooley has children and grandchildren in California and Milwaukee and he believes she wants to spend more time with them.

He said after the January board meeting they will start advertising, and hopefully they can have a replacement selected by April or May. ifficult to replace. Dooley has been warning the board since she was hired nearly seven years ago that she would not be there forever, and they needed to plan for her successor.

Now, Kipp said, She feels its time. Things are going in the right direction and hopefully we can transition smoothly. He said Dooley has children and grandchildren in California and Milwaukee and he believes she wants to spend more time with them.

He said after the January board meeting they will start advertising, and hopefully they can have a replacement selected by April or May.

Following approval of Dooley’s resignation, the board discussed plans to involve staff in the selection process for the next superintendent and the board’s continued work on the implementation of the board’s four goals. The four goals the board has are; expanding on personalized learning, attracting and retaining high quality personnel through an alternate compensation model, ensuring long term fiscal stability and establishing a transition plan for administrative leadership. Dooley discussed the importance of staff involvement in this process and expressed faith in the continued effort of the board. We’ve got the momentum started, Dooley stated, I want to make sure we keep it going.

Kipp agreed on the importance of beginning the selection process for a new superintendent. Between now and our meeting in January, Kipp stated, we should all put a lot of thought into creating the transition plan. The board discussed how they have come along way in implementing the board goals thus far and the importance of maintaining their efforts through this transitional process. It was decided that discussion of this topic would be added to the January regular board meeting agenda.

Auditor Brad Walters who was at the meeting discussed the district audit report. Walters stated the district had a net positive position of $11,709,584 with the bulk of that being $6,954,163 in net investments and capital assets. When discussing the preparations of the books, Walters stated, In our opinion all financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects.

Walters also stated that the district was doing well in terms of budgeting. He noted that the budget was $97,000 of revenue in excess of budget, with expenditures coming in less than budgeted by $316,000.

Walters stated that there were no significant findings during the audit. There were no difficulties in performing audit and there were no uncorrected mistakes or misstatements in the books.

Although no problems were found in this area, Walters did advise the district to closely monitor student activity funds as this is the most common area where problems arise. Walters concluded his report by stating, Things did go well here this year.

Dooley stated that she was very pleased with the Dec. 4 tech summit held at the Wausaukee School. The summit, which consisted of showcasing the work the school has been doing, showed visitors the grades 6-8 math learning lab, the virtual learning center where students can participate in online learning, the multiage classrooms as well as showing visitors the NWTC courses on site.

When discussing the summit, Dooley stated, I think people walked away from the day somewhat in awe of what we have going here and I had this deep sense of being very, very proud of our staff they really are leading the way in terms of innovation in our school Dooley thanked the staff for organizing and implementing this summit.

During the his report, Principal Jared Deschane discussed efforts the school was making to assist nine year old Joey Pickett, a fourth grader from Crivitz who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Deschane stated that students who are part of the group the Ranger Fanatics organized a hall walk on Dec. 20 to raise awareness on this issue. In addition to this, concession proceeds from a Crivitz/Wausaukee game as well as money raised from a 50/50 raffle were donated to the family. Deschane also thanked athletic director Pat Edlbeck in helping to plan the events.

Deschane also informed the board that he was recently contacted by the Wausaukee Village Board regarding a plan to apply for grants for a sidewalk that would connect the village and the school. This plan is still very much in the planning process. The village is currently pursuing plans to apply for a transportation alternative program (TAP) grant to pay for this endeavor. The TAP grant would allow 80% of the cost to be paid by state and federal government, while local government would be responsible for the remaining 20%.

The board expressed concern over the cost of maintaining the sidewalk and whether or not there was even a safe route for the trail. Deschane stated that he understood those concerns, but also that the school would benefit from a sidewalk if there was a safe route, as it would enable students to exercise more and be able to go on field trips to the downtown without needing a bus. The board decided that while they would not take official action on it at this time, Deschane would continue to attend village planning meetings.

Deschane reported the grades K - 6 field trip to the Tivoli Theater in Michigan was a success. Students who visited the theater to watch the movie FreeBirds, were well-behaved and enjoyed the experience. The Wausaukee school takes this annual trip in the place of doing a gift exchange. Deschane expressed gratitude to the theater for holding this event and for the reduced rate they charge.

Deschane also thanked students, staff, parents and relatives involved in the Christmas concerts.

Deschane thanked Margie Popp and those who assisted her in organizing the Christmas giving tree program. This year the program assisted 87 children from 35 local families. Deschane also thanked staff, parents, students, community members and businesses who contributed. Their support, stated Deschane, has been wonderful and greatly appreciated!

He announced the Wausaukee American Legion donated $1000 to the school’s Christmas giving tree program. With the donation, the American Legion sent a note expressing their gratitude for the letters and pictures members received on Veterans Day from the school. Deschane stated, We are very appreciative of the American Legion and all they do for us. Deschane also expressed gratitude to the Legion for their assistance in organizing a visit from Santa to the 4k through third graders.

Wausaukee School nurse Noreen Krisher assisted staff and students in becoming cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) certified. During first semester, she taught half the freshman class through Jennifer Cummings health class and plans on doing the other half next semester. She is also working with Pat Edlebeck to teach CPR and AED to the sophomores. The result of these trainings will be that in two years all graduating students will possess certification in these life saving procedures. If there are any other students interested in becoming certified, Krisher is willing to do a separate class prior to graduation. Krisher currently plans to offer more classes after the first of the year because of the high level of interest from staff.

Teachers Jennifer Klimek, 9 -12 science/health, and Laura Struve, 9-12 science, wrote a grant for a ground water model. They will be attending a training secession this winter and received a ground water model to be used in their classes,

The board approved a proposal by teacher Grant Russ to establish a school club for ice fishing. The ice fishing club will participate in a competitive league that includes 44 other Wisconsin high schools. Russ stated everything is still in the planning stages, but that he would like to see the program start this year. In order to participate students would be required to sign a waiver form. More information on the statewide league can be found at www.studentfishing.com.

The board also approved plans for the overnight band and choral trip scheduled for June 23-28 to San Antonio and Dallas, Tex.

The policies updated were 3430.01 FMLA for professional staff and 4430.01 FMLA for support staff. The policies, which read the same but apply to different members of staff, have been amended to read as follows:

Generally, leave taken under this policy is unpaid. However, for leave governed exclusively by the FMLA, the staff member may use the following leaves provided by the Board, if available:

A. Vacation or personal leave, if available, for any family or medical leave;

B. Accrued paid family leave (i.e., paid leave covering the particular circumstances for which the staff member is seeking leave), if available, for birth, adoption, or to care for a seriously ill family member; and

C. Accrued paid medical or sick leave, if available, to care for a seriously ill family member, or for the staff member’s own serious health condition.

A staff member may not substitute paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave taken under this policy in any situation where the Board would not normally provide such paid leave.

For leaves governed by the WFMLA, a staff member may substitute paid or unpaid leave, which he/she earned and accrued, for leave taken under this policy, if available. The Board reserves the right to deny substitution as permitted by law.

Any paid leave substituted for unpaid FMLA leave or WFMLA leave will decrease, in whole or in part, the staff member’s FMLA and/or WFMLA leave entitlement.

The change occurred in the second sentence of the policy. Prior to being amended, both policies stated that the staff member must use the following leaves provided by the Board. The policy has been amended to, the staff member may use the following leaves provided by the Board.

In other business, the board approved meeting agenda, Nov. 13 minutes, and bills and vouchers for November. Graduation is Sunday, May 18. The board also approved the youth option application of a student interested in joining the onsite, NWTC electo-mechanical program for the spring.

Members of the board present at the meeting were president David Kipp, vice president Elmer Busick, clerk Ken Jones, treasurer Mary Marquis, and board members Joe Lanich, Dennis Taylor and Sandy Wojcik. Also present were Principal Jared Deschane, Superintendent Jan Dooley, district administrative assistant Sherri Schlies, District Business Manager Kelly Stumbris, Auditor Brad Walters and five members of the public.


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