S-G School Board approves Budget and Technology Plan

Board member Rick Trump said he would like to see a greater breakdown of claims and individual expenses reported on the budget, while Board member Cathy Petrie questioned some line items, such as the $300,000 designated for technology upgrades in the CPF.  

“I see the value of the technology,” she said, “I just wonder if $300,000 is necessary.” Petrie also said the money used for technology had to be taken from another line in the CPF, so she wondered what part of the Captial Projects Fund may be lacking because of the push towards technology.

Skiles said the district only designated $75,000 to technology when he came on board in 2005, which left the district lagging behind–with some computers on a ten-year replacement plan and several different versions of Microsoft Office throughout the building. He said he revamped the plan in 2005 to help get SGCS back on track with updated technology, including replacement of teachers’ computers and the addition of smart boards in several classrooms. With the new plan came a higher price tag, but he said he feels the district is now moving in the right direction as far as technology.

In other Board news: 

• The Board unanimously approved the extension of Angela Schubert’s maternity leave and the hiring of Mary Turner to fill the teaching vacancy through the end of the 2009-2010 school year. 

• The grassy area on school property at the intersection of Tulley and Mulberry Streets will be used for the sole purpose of Eagle Garden, a memorial garden to recognize and remember those students and staff member of the SGCS family who have passed away, as designated by the School Board.      

• Superintendent Steve Darnell and the Board recognized each of SGCS’s principals as part of House Resolution 811 from the U.S. House of Representatives, which designates October as National Principals Month. Board President Tanya Young presented certificates to Nicole Singer, CES principal, John Davis, CMS principal and Austin Couch, CHS principal. CHS vice principal Jerry Lange was absent. 

• Caden Bonar, a student at CES in Cindy Zollinger’s 4th grade class, was recognized by Spotlight on Success. According to his teachers, Caden is cheerful, kind and helpful and gives his personal best to class work. He is involved in football, basketball and baseball and is on the A/B Honor Roll. Caden is the son of Jason and Alicia Bonar. 

• The Paul Muller Memorial Pool Committee, represented by Liz Schemm and architect Lucas Konger, came to the Board to ask for the release of funds from the Paul Muller/Smith-Green pass-through account to pay for a Churubusco pool feasibility study. The Board authorized the Whitley County Community Foundation staff to use the funds for the study, which will be conducted by the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) and should cost $2000 or less.

The late Paul Muller designated funds for SGCS to construct a swimming pool; however,    the district cannot afford to build and maintain a pool. The pool committee is now planning to develop a splash pad for the community. 

The Churubusco Town Council approved an initial plan to build the splash pad in the park. Konger said the splash pad will cost $270,245 to build and will have money left over for upkeep.  

He also spelled out a tentative timeline for the splash pad project, with the feasibility study being initiated by November and a judge changing the directive of Muller’s will by the end of the year. Konger said he was hopeful that construction could be started on the splash pad by Spring 2010.

An executive session was held following the regular meeting to discuss a job performance evaluation of individual employees, and with respect to any individual over whom the governing body has jurisdiction, to discuss, before determination, the individual’s status as an employee, a student or an independent contractor who is a physician or a school bus driver.  

 The next regular scheduled Board meeting will be Monday, November 2 at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Center.

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