School board approves new president at busy meeting
Truesdell elected president
The board unanimously elected member Diane Truesdell as board president for 2008-09. She actually switched titles with Leana Leslie, who was president for 2007-08. Leslie became vice president, the post Truesdell held in 2007-08. Leslie said she would accept the vice president position but said she did not plan to be president again. Board member Darlyn Hansen said it would make sense to have the vice president become the president because being vice president prepares her or him. Truesdell mentioned that if she became vice president again, as was the case for Leslie, she would be able to help whoever the next president would be.
Appointments made for 2008-09
The board approved the following appointments for the upcoming year:
¢ Audra Boone, clerk, KPERS representative and freedom of information officer.
¢ Rodney J. Stephenson, treasurer.
¢Jamie Carlisle, Jill Dickerson and Tammie George, school lunch representatives.
¢ Richard Erickson, school lunch hearing officer.
¢ Kyle Hayden, compliance coordinator for federal programs and affirmative action officer.
¢ The Mirror newspaper of Tonganoxie, official newspaper.
¢ Kansas Association of School Boards, attorney.
The school board met for nearly three hours in executive session.
The board met at the beginning of Monday's meeting for two one-hour sessions regarding personnel matters. Later in the meeting, the board met for 30 minutes and then another 20 minutes, both for personnel matters.
THS principal Carlisle met with the board for the first 15 minutes of the 30-minute session. Board member Kathy Baragary left moments before that session ended and did not return to the meeting.
Superintendent Richard Erickson and assistant superintendent Kyle Hayden met with the board during all discussions.
Mileage reimbursement rate, substitute teacher pay to increase
Superintendent Richard Erickson requested that the current mileage rate be increased from $.33 to $.40 for 2008-09. Erickson noted it was still below the national average.
Substitute teacher pay will increase as well for 2008-09. The board approved raising the daily stipend from $85 to $100 for certified substitute teachers and from $80 to $95 for emergency subs.
"I think this will make us very competitive with other districts around," Erickson said.
Leslie also stressed that the district needed to use an evaluation system in which substitute teachers assess what has been assigned to them, while the teachers would consider whether the substitutes followed through with what the teacher assigned.
The board approved both measures, 6-0, with Baragary being absent.
Bids for tractor, heating/air conditioning units approved
The board approved the purchase of a new John Deere tractor for $10,500 from Heritage Tractor, Baldwin. The price was after a trade-in of an older tractor that was in need of extensive repair.
In addition, two heating/air conditioning units in the first and second-grade wing of Tonganoxie Elementary School were purchased for $16,098 from Hankins Services, Kansas City, Mo. Erickson said the purchase saved the district anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000. He also praised maintenance director Larry Easter for his work on the matter.
The school board approved resolutions:
¢ Agreeing to comply with state and federal programs.
¢ Intending to participate in school lunch programs under state and federal programs.
¢ Determining official depository for district funds.
¢Authorizing Superintendent Richard Erickson to invest school district money.
¢ Authorizing the superintendent or clerk to pay an account in advance if the situation warrants.
¢ Waiving generally accepted accounting principles and fixed asset accounting for audit in conformity with state regulations.
¢ Approving public records policy.
¢ Approving a 1,116-hour plan for the 2008-09 school year.
¢ Approving Open Meetings Law House Bill 2051, which states anyone requesting the school board's agenda may have the agenda mailed to them in advance of board meetings.
¢ Rescinding all policy actions before June 30 and adopting all current written policies.
¢ Establishing petty cash accounts.
¢ Establishing home rule by the board of education.
¢ Scheduling retention and destruction of school records.
¢ Approving time, dates and locations of regular board of education meetings. The meetings will continue to take place at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the Tonganoxie Middle School library.
Asphalt work approved
The school board approved a low bid from ASI, of Belton, Mo., to do asphalt work on the Tonganoxie High School east parking lot for $56,650. Metro Asphalt, Independence, Mo., also submitted a bid of $73,868.45.
Both companies also determined the specifications of the project, which raised concerns with school board members last year. However, Erickson said he had spoken with maintenance director Easter about the issue and they determined it would be more cost-effective and quality-effective because they know the asphalting business better than anyone else would.
"Nothing against the architects," Erickson said. "This is their business; this is their profession (the asphalt business owners)."
Erickson's recommendation was to accept the low bid and pay the other business to be the inspector. The board approved it, 6-0, with Baragary absent.
Drake hired at central office
Gail Drake will return to the district office. She was hired as accounts payable clerk for the district, replacing Karen Parrett, who resigned from the district to take a position in the Bonner Springs School District.
Drake worked for several years as board clerk before working at The Mirror newspaper. She then accepted a position at First State Bank and Trust and now will be returning to the district.
Other hires approved Monday were:
¢ Steve Harrell as debate and forensics coach.
¢ Diane Titterington as head softball coach, and Susan Kuzmic and Mat Zeder as assistant THS softball coaches.
¢ Drew Thomas, yearbook sponsor.
¢ Bob Potter, custodian, painter and maintenance.
¢ Amy Jones and Wanda Haney to receive an elementary music stipend.
¢ Keith Charles and Lesley Harden as USD 464 custodians.
¢ Rita Hutton, transferred to part-time custodial position at THS.
¢ Maria Puebla, TMS kitchen.
Blanket student and athletic accident coverage will be available for Tonganoxie School District students for 2008-09.
The insurance will cost the district $13,742 and Kay Smith, who was the lone dissenting vote, again voiced concern about the insurance. She said she had issues with the previous company that provided the insurance, noting that the saga included being sent to a collections agency. She said others in the district had the same problems. Erickson said it takes some time for the insurance because the company wants primary insurers to cover as much as they can first.
"They want the primary insurance to pay the bill," Erickson said.
Smith responded: "But to put people on bad credit is not part of the negotiation process."
Patron Frank Smith spoke during patron comments about the insurance and how it had been beneficial with his family's rising primary insurance deductibles.
Smith said she understood that the district is dealing with a new agency for 2008-09, First Agency Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich., but she wanted parents to be aware of the problems that occurred previously.
She also noted it could involve hiring an attorney to deal with the issue.
Board president Truesdell said her son utilized the insurance and did not have the same results.
"When my son was hurt, it took a full year, but I didn't have to hire an attorney," she said.
District contemplates credit cards
The board heard from Debbie Krivjansky of First State Bank and Trust about obtaining credit cards for business use within the district.
The cards would be used, for example, to pay for or reserve motel rooms. Because credit cards are normally required for such transactions, employees have had to use their own, which can be a substantial burden, board members said.
No action was taken on the matter. It will be discussed further at the next board meeting.