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Wendt Chosen Coleman School Board President

Ryan Wendt was again named Coleman School Board President at the Monday, May 20 meeting of the Board. Jamie Graetz was elected vice president, Joanne Nowak is clerk, Brad Korpi was named treasurer and Jamie Graetz is representative to the CESA 8 Annual Convention.

Wendt announced that all of the Committee assignments will remain the same as last year with the exception of Jeremy Hoida taking all of the assignments that were held by former board member Ted Verges.

The meeting began with questions and comments from the public. A couple, who did not wish to be identified in the media, addressed the Board asking why bullying in the district was not being addressed properly. From their prospective, some of the complaints of bullying were being worked on, yet others seemed to have been ignored.

The couple stated their dissatisfaction in the communication received from Superintendent Brian Walters on the matter. They noted their elementary son had been given a condom by another student, and added their son was told by a student or students that he would be killed if he told who gave it to him. On this particular incident, they wanted to know why nothing was being done.

Walters replied the district has looked into bullying complaints and they do handle them appropriately. He spoke of the chain of command set up in district policy, namely, of letting the building principal where the incident occurred handle the matter.

Elementary Principal Kathy Jo Kostrova explained that discipline for bullying incidents is confidential. She continued that each item is addressed, and it hasn’t been ignored. She later added the incident spoken of by the parents was addressed and there were consequences.

The parents present at the meeting then asked why they hadn’t been notified of the consequences. The parents cited State Statute 118.46 and their understanding that the parents of the victim of bullying were supposed to be notified. In particular, they referred to 118.46 (1) (a) (5).

Walters closed the discussion by saying the District was aware of having the issues dealt with on the building level.

Under reports, each building principal delivered written reports of the activities in each of districts two levels. On the Elementary Level, Kostrova’s report pointed to the formation of a new entity called the Coleman Elementary PTA. There are currently 18 parents involved in this organization dedicated to working in partnership on providing a high quality education to every child. Kostrova’s report also listed some of the activities taking place in each grade.

As for the Middle/High School, Principal Kelly Casper highlighted summer school and criteria of attendance. Pages of the report drew attention to the Prom, the Every 15 Minute Program, the Second Semester exam schedule and graduation.

Walters reported on continuing meetings taking place on the Career Pathways Collaborative effort. The Collaborative is between several area districts, with each district concentrating on a specific area of career preparedness. The examples given were one district concentrating on courses necessary for a nursing career. Another district would concentrate on courses needed for a career in manufacturing. Another on welding, and so forth.

Walters reported there are four districts involved and the collaborative has a projected start with the 2014-2015 school year.

During the District Spotlight segment of the meeting, the District was presented a Global Excellence Award from the Foundation for Foreign Students EF Foundation.

Casper reported two very significant awards were given to the district in the past month. Wrestling Coach Kevin Casper was recognized as the recipient of the National Wrestling Coach of the Year and the district was awarded the 2013 WIAA Sportsmanship Award at the recent state wrestling tournament.

Under Action Items, the Board approved the bid from J.T. Schmidt of Combined Locks to perform plumbing upgrades at the Middle/High School. The bid mount was $79,950. The project is the last phase of work approved under the loan from last year. It involves running many new water pipes to bathrooms and sinks since the current plumbing runs the existing pipes through the concrete floor, thus making repairs very difficult. This project will abandon the concrete encased pipes and run new ones through the walls and ceilings.

The Board spent a great deal of time debating whether or not to go with the lowest bid, which was about $1,400 cheaper. It was decided that the Schmidt bid was the most advantageous to the district even though it was slightly higher.

The Board approved a 1-year trial catering agreement with Oconto Falls for the 2013-2014 school year for the school lunch program. All of the kitchen employees in the district would stay in place. The menu planning, regulatory compliance, dietician services, etc., would be done out of Oconto Falls. According to the numbers, by using the services of Oconto Falls, the Coleman district would actually make money instead of losing money if it had to hire a dietician on top of the current salaries.

Approval was given to move ahead with the Solarwise Panel project. The structural engineer approved installation of the solar panels on the Elementary roof. The project involves installation of solar panels that would produce a total of 23.5 Kw of power. The total cost of the project about $84,000, but after donations and grants, it will only cost the district about $18,400. The district portion of the funding would come from the School Forest timber sale. Board member Scott Herzog voted against the project.

After hearing the rationale provided by students requesting early graduation for next school year, the Board approved all four requests despite several board members hoping that the students would go through the entire district educational experience, including graduating with their class at the regular time.

The retirement of teacher Ron Szwet was approved at the end of this school year, as was the resignation of Szwet at the Track Coach. The resignation of Michael Lipinski as Track Coach was also approved. Both Szwet and Lipinki were thanked for their hard work and dedication to the district over the years.

The Board approved hiring Samantha Stickney as the Girls Volleyball Head Coach.

The Board approved the retirement of Barbara Krause-Klug as the district’s bookkeeper after 39 years. To replace her, the district had posted the position and received 24 applications. After interviewing six applicants, Michele DeWitt was hired as the bookkeeper. DeWitt lives in the district and has background as a CPA.

Even though it was not an agenda item, a gleaming Walters announced that he his wife quite recently celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter. The Board then entered closed session to discuss Employee Negotiations. No action was reported on matters discussed in the closed session.


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