Editor’s Note: The plan was to include more details in the following story, but due to a death in the family, time was not available.
By the slimmest of margins, Van-Far R-I Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter had his contract renewed for one year during an Executive Session recently held after the School Board’s monthly board meeting.
According to meeting minutes from the Executive Session, his contract was approved by a 4-3 vote favoring “Yes.” Those casting the “No” votes were board members Kimber Nation, Larry Wheeler, and Dana Keller.
Van-Far Principal Kim Pafford was hired for the 2017-18 school year with a 6-1 vote as Wheeler cast the lone “No” vote.
Other Executive Session actions included the hiring of Tom Gotsh with Wheeler casting the lone “No” vote, hiring of Daniel Friedel, Elementary Principal Brian Hummel hired for 2017-18, and Missy Deimeke as the Special Education Director.
Also in Executive Session, the January 19, 2017 meeting minutes were approved.
Scott Summers, of the MSBA, spoke to the board and presented on contracts for non-certified staff.
Budget Committee Update
Superintendent Dr. Hunter talked to the board about his meeting with the 27-member budget committee.
He recapped the PowerPoint information presented to the committee.
Members listed pros and cons and ranked each of the areas of con-sideration that included a possible four-day week, staffing, health insurance, and a revenue/tax rate increase.
Results were presented to the board.
He provided updated information regarding the timeline for a tax increase ballot, health insurance vendors and rates, and spoke of the future of state funding and enrollment decreases.
Discussion followed and suggestions for the next step were to present the PowerPoint to the staff and the Vandalia/Farber communities, educate the community with the most current accurate information, ask committee members if they have other ideas for possible cost savings, and hold a work session for the board.
Board member Pete Nasir thanks the committee members in attendance for their input.
Joy Davis presented the essay winners from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Patriots Pen Essay Contest that featured essay entitled “The America I Believe In.”
The contest winners from the 6th-8th grades were Cayden Caldwell, Panna Connaway, Tia Gaston, Kiera Hayden, Maddie Hopkins, Devyn Keller, and Sophia Rost. Hayden will advance to the district contest.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported an enrollment of 569 students, with 278 in the Jr./Sr. High School and 291 in the Elementary School.
As for facilities, Superintendent Dr. Hunter noted that the elementary building needs a new floor machine. Ryan Morris discussed a repair estimate, machine brands, and vendor bids. He noted Hillyard’s low bid of $6,560.50.
All three administrators will be meeting to look at CSIP updates and then begin to form a committee.
An April board reorganization meeting and the April board meeting have been moved to April 18 with the first at 6:45 p.m. before the regular meeting. The date was moved due to the deadline of April 20 to hold a reorganizational meeting.
The VFTA’s Courtney Blattel gave a report on the last meeting and the upcoming April 7 VFTA Carnival.
The Consent Agenda was approved.
Principals’ Reports were provided.
The April 2017-18 School Calendar was approved with a beginning date of August 15 and end date of May 17.
A cooperative agreement between Van-Far, Community R-VI, and St. Joseph Catholic Schools was approved for a Jr. High football season in 2017.
The OPAA agreement for 2017-18 was approved as this was an annual item. Board member Dr. Greg Frost abstained as a courtesy.
The MSBA 2016D Policy Updates were approved with the exceptions of policy GBA-Exempt and Nonexempt Employees and in policy IND. Nasir suggested to not approve paragraphs four and five in policy IND-Ceremonies and Observances. A thank you note was read from the Keller family.