Tonganoxie superintendent candidate meet-and-greets discussed; personnel moves approved; board members complete training
Tonganoxie USD 464 welcomes district residents to a meet-and-greet with superintendent candidates today and tomorrow.
Candidates will be available noon-1 p.m. today and Thursday at the Tonganoxie Elementary School library.
The schedule, though, struck a chord with Board Member Michelle McGhee. She said at Monday’s board meeting she had heard from constituents unhappy with the time slots, as evening would be a more opportune time.
She also was concerned with costs for food being offered at the meet-and-greets and didn’t agree with one candidate getting lunch with the interview.
Board President Jim Bothwell noted the schedule of the interviews dictated when candidates would be on campus.
Fellow Board Member Kaija Baldock suggested offering all candidates a meal in the district. She also offered to solicit businesses for donations for food if it were a concern and legal for her to do so.
McGhee said that with tight budgets, she was uncomfortable with the district providing food for the meet-and-greets.
Bothwell pushed back, saying that it would just be snacks that would be offered during the meet-and-greets, that schedules already were in place and that the snacks shouldn’t be an issue.
“I think we can handle that in the budget,” Bothwell said.
“I’ll defer to you,” McGhee said. “I’m just saying I don’t feel good about it.”
Personnel moves approved
The board approved work agreements for: Jody White, Tonganoxie Elementary School center-based resource 1 teacher for 2018-19; Erin Swallow, Tonganoxie Middle School high incidence/adaptive special education teacher 2018-19 (replacing Deb Gallagher); James Metz, TES lead custodian; Zaydie Foster, transportation, regular route driver; Richard Jacobs, transportation van para/driver; and Stephanie Wittman, THS asst. girls golf coach.
Resignations were accepted at the meeting: Brady Field, THS student council sponsor; Michelle Berg, TES third-grade teacher; Lena Zahorik, regular route driver; Nora Tripp, TES fifth-grade teacher; Melissa Shepherd, TES teacher aide; and Christina Jeannin, THS girls asst. basketball coach.
Transferring jobs are Debora Gallagher, TMS interrelated (high incidence) to center-based resource 2 teacher for 2018-19; and Amber Rea, TES interrelated (high incidence) to center-based resource 2 teacher.
Members attend training
School Board Members Jim Bothwell, Karen Bottary, and Chris Gratton recently completed the Foundations of Boardsmanship training offered by the Kansas Association of School Boards.
Brian Jordan, KASB assistant executive director for leadership services, said training gives new board members a strong foundation to begin building their skills as effective leaders.
“The training included an introduction to the fundamentals of serving on a board of education and covered topics such as advocacy, finance, setting goals and priorities, and evaluating the superintendent,” Jordan said. “Also covered were legal topics, including open meetings and executive sessions. “The agenda also included an overview of the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation and other state and national education governance topics.”
Another critical part of the training is how to set goals and work through disagreements to reach consensus.
“Top achieving districts have one thing in common — a board of education and district leadership team that has clearly identified their priorities and remains focused on a vision for the future of their students,” Jordan said. “Creating a board team takes time and one of the best ways to prepare for success is to have the new board member attend the workshop along with the superintendent, and a more seasoned board member who can serve as a mentor.”
Also attending the training from Tonganoxie USD 464 was Tonya Phillips, interim superintendent.