EACSD Board of Directors holds annual re-organizational meeting for 2023-2024 school year, hears a variety of updates

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The  Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Board of Directors met Monday, November 27 at Kee High School in Lansing. Board President Bobbie Goetzinger called the meeting to order. Board members  Tony Becker, Bobbie Goetzinger, Melanie Mauss and Arla Wagner were present, and board member Kelli Mudderman was not in attendance. EACSD Superintendent and Lansing Middle School/Kee High School Principal Dr. Sarah Murray, New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas and Board Secretary Michele Martin were also present.

Audience members attending included Lansing FFA Advisor Ray Rankin and the following FFA students: Jackson Schulte, Kaleb Drape, Dustin Stendel, Kyle Mauss, Mason Mohn, Zachary Meyer and Landyn Rankin. Visitors Tom Martin, Marian Verdon and Tyler Verdon were also in attendance.

After the agenda was adopted, Advisor Rankin and his students presented a program about their participation at the National FFA Convention, American Degree Ceremony and other events held November 1-4 in Indianapolis, IN. The board minutes from its October 16 meeting were accepted and the regular meeting was adjourned so that the annual re-organizational meeting of the board could convene.

Board Secretary Michele Martin called the annual meeting of the EACSD Board of Directors to order. The purpose of the annual re-organizational meeting is to swear in new board members and to elect officers for the upcoming school year. In addition, matters of business such as resolutions, policies and plans  are discussed and voted upon.

The board discussed the canvass of the November 7 school board election. Allamakee County Auditor/Commissioner of Elections Denise Beyer had shared the results of the school board election, which yielded the following results:

In the Director District #1 race, incumbent Bobbie Goetzinger received 317 votes and Tom Martin received 219 votes, with Bobbie Goetzinger being elected as Director District #1 for another term of four years. In the Director District #2 race, incumbent Tony Becker ran unopposed and received 506 votes and was elected as Director District #2 for another four-year term as well. In the Director At-Large race, incumbent Kelli Mudderman received 258 votes and Joe Manning received 303 votes, and Joe Manning was elected for a term of four years. Board Secretary Martin then administered the oath of office to new board member Joe Manning, which he accepted.

Following the swearing in of newly-elected board members, the election of a board president, vice president and other officers needed to be completed. Board President Goetzinger appointed Board Secretary Martin to serve as Temporary Chairperson to conduct the election of the board president.

Goetzinger was the only nomination for president and the board unanimously voted her into that position once again.

Following her election, Goetzinger then conducted the election for board vice president and subsequent appointments. All members elected to office were chosen unanimously, sworn in individually and accepted their offices and appointments. Arla Wagner was elected board vice president, Tony

Becker was appointed Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) delegate and Legislative Action Network (LAN) representative, and Arla Wagner was also chosen as the board’s representative to the Allamakee County Assessors Conference Board. Michele Martin was again chosen as Secretary/Treasurer for the continuing school year.

The board voted to continue to utilize the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in room N110 at Kee High School as the time and place for each regular monthly board meeting.   The official publication will continue to be The Standard newspaper in Waukon.

The board approved the resolution for Authorization for Banking Operations authorizing endorsements for deposits, savings withdrawals, check cashing and wire transfers, as listed. This resolution designates authority for all school accounts.

Once the annual re-organizational meeting was complete, the board then resumed its regular monthly meeting. As part of the Audience Comment portion of the meeting, visitor Tom Martin expressed his concern with snow days. The November consent agenda items, bills for November, Secretary’s Financial Statement, Activity and Food Service Reports were all approved by the board.

The board also approved several contracts and resignations. Approval was given to adjust the teacher aide contract for Brenda Good from full-time to part-time, and contract approval was also given for Quinn Brennan as a junior varsity baseball coach. The resignation of Robert Hanson from his full-time custodian position was also accepted and approved.

The board also approved the resolution for request to the School Budget Review Committee for Open Enrollment Out Not On Prior Year’s Headcount. The district’s administration is authorized to submit a request to the School Budget Review Committee for a modified supplemental amount of $46,624.00 for students who open-enrolled out of the school district and were not included in the district’s certified enrollment for the previous year.

The board gave its approval to BoardPolicy 405.8 - Licensed Employee Evaluation. Board Policy 405.2 was tabled for future consideration. The board also approved the District Career Academic Plan (DCAP) for the school district.

Under Administrative Reports, Principal Thomas reported that New Albin Elementary teachers have formed additional reading groups for second through fourth grades. She noted that New Albin Elementary students donated 111 pounds of candy to U.S. Troops and 1,295 items to the local food shelf.

Principal Thomas also invited board members and parents to sit in a classroom to observe the education children are receiving. She stressed that State standards and benchmarks are the top priority for education. She also noted there will be four new students at New Albin Elementary School.

Principal Murray reported that work to repair damage from the November 12 electrical fire on the second floor of Kee High School/Lansing Middle School building is moving along. She said students will be able to move back upstairs after completion of installation of ceiling tiles and finishing the primer on the walls.

Principal Murray suggested that a future item to consider is paying for licensure for bus drivers and coaches, in an effort to get more of each. She noted that the Iowa Association of School Boards is hosting an evening on-board class in Decorah, and all board members are encouraged to attend.

A board work session for contract negotiations is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.  Dr. Murray said she will continue to work on board policies that are missing or that may need updating.