Written by Devon Boen
The Wolf Point School board met Tuesday, March 12, and announced it would be completing application screenings and conducting interviews for the vacant 2013-14 superintendent position within a month.
At the last meeting, the board decided to use the superintendent search services offered through MTBSA. Now, the
MTBSA is advertising for the position and screening potential applicants. After the preliminary process is over, the board will screen the applicants MTBSA deems appropriate. The screening is tentatively scheduled for March 28. Then, board members will choose several applicants and conduct interviews April 10-11 and make a final selection.
The interviews will be held in a public meeting.
Board chairman Martin DeWitt said who would fill the superintendent position was ultimately the board’s decision, but it would listen to MTBSA’s recommendation and take it into consideration when deciding.
To help with the process, DeWitt appointed a temporary committee that will meet before the superintendent is chosen and evaluate the applicants for the position.
The board passed an election resolution that set the annual regular school election on Tuesday, May 7. Two trustees will be elected for three-year terms on the Wolf Point School board and two trustees will be elected to the Frontier School board for one and three-year terms respectively.
Community members Shelly Rodenberg, Peny Delger and Pat Will were designated as election judges.
The board accepted the resignations of grade 7-12 industrial arts teacher Ben Redekopp, speech paraprofessional Nancy Bauer, food services manager Theresa Presser and Southside School counselor Melissa Smith.
Business manager Cheri’ Nygard told the board it would likely only receive 80 percent of its Impact Aid funding next year. She said the school would have an exact amount from the Impact Aid office within the next few weeks.
The board contemplated whether or not it needed to schedule a special meeting to set a mill levy, but DeWitt said he thought it was in their best interest to wait until the legislative sessions in Helena were finished since the decisions made there would impact the school district and its finances.
But DeWitt didn’t discount the possibility of setting another mill levy despite the failure of a mill levy in 2012. The board agreed it would need help if the community wanted to bring back the special programs and activities that had been previously eliminated.
The only potential hire on the agenda was a cause for discussion. The board was set to vote on a motion to hire Stan Moran Jr. as an assistant high school track coach. Board member Janice Weimer-Kegley made a motion to open up the issue for discussion. Weimer-Kegley asked if having three coaches for the sport made sense financially. The board said the team had always had three coaches, but that only 12 students had come out for the sport so far this year.
Board members contemplated whether they should wait to make a decision on the matter. DeWitt said there was a 10-day grace period after the first practice where students could still join the team and often the turnout was quite a bit higher afterward.
The discussion about Moran prompted board members to agree that they should write a policy on the matter and possibly limit the amount of coaches per team based on number of students participating, but that would be a decision for another time.
For the time being, the board decided not to go against precedence and unanimously hired Moran at $1,800 for the full season.
During public comments, community member and Wolf Point speech coach Chelly Harada requested the board allow her to work with school counselors to increase student participation in programs like the Boys’ and Girls’ State programs through the American Legion. The programs teach participating students leadership skills and the ins and outs of the government process. Harada said a college application to West Point specifically asks if the applicant participated in a state program through American Legion. Her point was that the program, and others like it, can not only provide students with invaluable knowledge, but also give them an edge when applying to college.
She said she wanted to work directly with counselors to increase interest in those types of programs and get students applying. She said her goal was to have two boys attend Boys’ State and one girl attend Girls’ State.
The board said it had no problem with her working in conjunction with counselors and students to meet those goals.
High school principal Joe Paine announced the schedule for multiple events in April in his principal’s report. He said parent/teacher conferences would be held April 5 and that prom would be held April 6. This year’s theme is “Paris Au Claire De Lune,” which means “Paris Under The Moon.”
The district music festival will be held April 12-13 and the Swing Choir Tour is scheduled for April 18-21.