The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Georgie Kulczyk
The Courier 

School Board Update


The Glasgow School Board held both their organizational meeting and their regular meeting May 11 at the central office, with 13 people in attendance.

The organizational meeting was held first with Mona Amundson elected as chairperson and Alison Molvig elected as vice-chair.

During the meeting, trustee Suzanne Billingsley recommended the school district get more information out to the public closer to the distribution of absentee ballots since that is where the higher number of votes came from in the most recent school election.

Moving on to the regular board meeting, student representative Luke Breigenzer gave his report, discussing several student council programs and events.

Tayte Prewett was introduced as one of two state champions from the recent JMG (Jobs for Montana Graduates) Conference Competition. Prewett did her winning Electronic Presentation for the trustees.

JMG teacher Jill Page explained the competition and a little about the program for those present, and GHS principal Shawnda Zahara-Harris thanked Page for the success of the program.

Addressing personnel items, the board approved the hire of Shelby Qualls for a position at the Irle School. Additionally, they approved the renewal of several classified staff and Quinn Vaira for a substitute teacher/aide position.

A long list of coaches were hired, including: Travis Nielsen, head girls basketball coach, GHS; Sam Brelje, 8th-grade boys basketball coach, GMS; Nate Doornek, 7th-grade boys basketball coach; Ryan Hartwell, assistant football coach, GHS; Elizabeth Hoeksema, 5th- and 6th-grade volleyball skills coach; Jory Casterline, head wrestling coach, GHS; Dusty Kittleson, assistant wrestling coach, GHS; Leo Pattison, assistant wrestling coach, GHS; Brady Flaten volunteer wrestling coach, GHS; Dan Zeiger, head wrestling coach, GMS; and Byron Hallock, Mike Nieskens, Jim Holter, Dana Hallock – all volunteer wrestling coaches at the GMS.

During discussion of the new hires, trustee Mike Kaiser questioned whether or not they should actually wait to hire until after the new principal is on board, as a courtesy, but those present felt it was a good idea to hire now so camps could be planned for the summer.

Kaiser also questioned whether or not head coaches Nielsen and Casterline each had teaching certificates. Activity director Brenner Flaten explained that although the district would prefer that each coach had a teaching certificate, it was just not realistic. “There's no other way around it,” he said.

Kaiser explained his inquiry by saying he checked into the Ridgeway decision and it indicated a requirement that all head coaches must have a teaching certificate. Superintendent Connors assured Kaiser that the school is meeting the requirements when hiring coaching staff.

In further discussion about the coaching staff, trustee Molving questioned Flaten about whether or not the coaches know all of the rules. Flaten assured her that the coaches are extensively trained upon hire, as they are required to take a 6-hour test, attend a rules clinic, participate in concussion training, as well as him personally going over things with them at the beginning of the season.

Moving on to the next agenda item, a representative from the Montana Quality Education Coalition (MQEC), Dianne Burke presented information to the board re: the MQEC and how the school district would benefit from joining.

After a motion to join the MQEC, some discussion was held with trustee Molvig voicing her opposition to spending $2000 on a membership. “I think the voters have told us loud and clear that they want us to be more fiscally responsible,” she said. “At the most, I would be willing to approve we spend $500.”

Daggett disagreed with her stating, “I just think the voters have levy fatigue.”

The motion to join the MQEC passed with all trustees in favor except Molvig.

GEA representative, Laurie Enebo, thanked the board for their recognition of the teaching staff, including recent gifts of lanyards and stylus pens, a teacher appreciation breakfast and an ice cream social.

Irle School principal Rachel Erickson, Middle School principal Mike Zoanni, GHS principal Shawnda Zahara-Harris and activity director Brenner Flaten all gave their reports to the board.

Superintendent Connors reported on the progress of Irle School with the playground equipment and the underground sprinklers soon to be installed. Trustee Billingsley questioned principal Erickson about whether or not another wind shelter would be built for the playground and Erickson responded that they are likely looking at doing that in the future. Billingsley also inquired about the gym floor at the Irle School. Erickson reported that the floor had started separating at the seams and needs to be redone, which is planned for this summer.

At this time, Connors indicated that the board had received a few letters, including one from Georgie Kulczyk, and one from MHSA. Connors read aloud portions of the letter from MHSA, which included an explanation of recent penalties imposed on GHS for violations by the girls basketball program.

The final agenda items for the meeting included the approval of minutes from previous minutes and approval of consent items, all of which passed.

The meeting adjourned with the next meeting scheduled for June 1.


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