Homecoming Festivities Highlight School Board Meeting
Braaten Hired as Head Boys Basketball Coach
The Glasgow School Board met for their regular meeting Sept. 21, with all trustees attending.
During the public comment period, after a brief introduction from GMS Principal Mike Zoanni, Bryon Gustafson spoke to the trustees. Gustafson identified himself as the youth pastor at the Evangelical Church and explained that because he is active with the community youth and he often goes to the middle school and has lunch with the kids, he wanted to introduce himself to the board. Gustafson also noted that Sept. 28 they will be holding a “See You at the Pole” event at the high school prior to the start of classes.
The board next addressed the hiring of the boys basketball coach for the 2016-2017 season. The position was originally expected to be filled at the Aug. 17 meeting. The action, however, was tabled after two members of the community expressed frustration with the lack of consideration for their applications for the position (See Coaching Controversy, Aug. 24 edition of the Courier).
At the meeting, Activity Director Brenner Flaten again recommended the hire of Norm Braaten for the position, and that recommendation was verbally supported by Superintendant Bob Connors. The board unanimously approved the hire of Braaten.
Trustee John Daggett asked to clarify statements that were attributed to him in the Aug. 24 edition of the Courier. “It said in the paper that I said, ‘There’s something going on,’” said Daggett. “I don’t know if I said that or not, but I did not mean that there was something going on,” he explained. “I just wanted more information. I am perfectly fine with the process.”
Billingsley also referred to statements attributed to her in the same edition of the Courier (“What I’ve heard most from parents is, ‘We need change’,” she said, although nobody that she talked to could really pinpoint what change was needed.) She said, “I think I was quoted correctly,” but also wanted to clarify her thoughts. She explained that she was contacted by a parent who felt they were clear with her about what needed to be done, but she still stands by what she said. “There was no consensus on how to make a change,” she stated.
Moving on to the hiring of other personnel, the board approved the hire of the following classified and other extra duty staff: Lori Kennedy, accounts payable/receptionist; Janice Kaiser, substitute teacher/aide; Amie Peterson, substitute teacher/aide; Gil Johnson, head softball coach; Bryan Krumwiede, assistant softball coach; Greg Page, JV boys basketball coach; Elizabeth Hoeksema, 6-8 assistant drama director; Maureen Leech and Suzanne Flint, co-head speech and drama coaches.
Student attendance agreements were approved, and Billingsley shared a question about sending a bus to Nashua to pick students up. “No, we wouldn’t do that,” replied Connors. “It wouldn’t be fair to their districts.” It was noted however, that the town of Fort Peck is in Nashua’s school district and Glasgow has a number of students that attend from there.
Student Council President Benji Phillips arrived and was given the opportunity to present his report. He shared that the student body will be participating in their class competition again this year, which will result in a prize at the end of the year for the class with the most points.
In addition to other upcoming events, the student council is getting ready for the state convention that will be held in Glasgow at the end of Oct.
Following Phillips’ report, Billingsley asked Flaten to remind coaches about the “early out” for students on Wednesdays.
Laurie Enebo from the GEA thanked the board for a meal that was provided and expressed appreciation for those that attended. She also congratulated Trustee Mona Amundson for being awarded the Marvin Heintz Award.
Zoanni gave a brief report of GMS happenings, noting that there was a 95 percent turnout for the sixth-grade orientation and that the open house was also well-attended. He thanked the high school student athletes that visited the middle school the week of homecoming and said participation at the middle school was very good.
Enrollment at the middle school is at 185, and Zoanni said that 97 of those students are active in volleyball, football or cross country. In addition, he said participation is high in other activities like pep club, art club, student council and math counts. “We have a really active bunch,” he said.
GHS Principal, Brett Huntsman, also commented on homecoming during his report, stating that the kids were outstanding and the festivities were very impressive. He expressed that he thought everything was community- and family-oriented and that Glasgow should be proud of what they have here.
Huntsman discussed participation in the ProStart program, as numbers are down. He is looking at scheduling different times for the class and including younger kids in the class.
He said Fort Peck Community College has been in touch with him about promoting early college classes at the high school and getting some dual credit math classes started. He has also been in contact with several state universities and colleges in an effort to begin recruiting math and science instructors for the future. Current enrollment at the high school is at 256.
Flaten focused on homecoming during his report. He noted that both the volleyball team and the football team were victorious in their games, the car parade, bonfire and homecoming dance were all well-attended, and the homecoming parade was exceptional.
Touching on the participation by all schools during homecoming, Flaten expressed appreciation for the fall athletes as well as the cheerleaders and mascot that visited the schools for pep rallies and to speak to the kids.
He shared a statement that the Saskatoon Police Pipes and Drums posted on Facebook about their appreciation for our community and the support they receive each year.
Flaten also discussed the importance of “promoting our brand”, which means promoting successes in everything including academics, athletics and other activities. He said, “When the kids do something exceptional, we need to appreciate it and inform the public.” He added that as much as people view social media with negativity, it can be far-reaching and used positively.
During the superintendent report, Connors discussed upcoming training for the principals, and professional development for the staff, and he noted that they are expecting an in-house thereapist and a behavioral specialist to visit the school at no cost to the district. He explained to the board that enrollment is up by 25 students district-wide
Finally, Connors reported that the final phase of the playground equipment installation at the Irle School was scheduled to be finished Sept. 23 – weather permitting.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12.