ACSD Board of Directors accepts resignation from Superintendent Dave Herold due to year-end retirement

by Brianne Eilers

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met for its regular monthly meeting Monday night, November 20. About midway through the meeting, under Personnel items, the board accepted the resignation of ACSD Superintendent Dave Herold, due to retirement, effective June 30, 2018.

"You've done a wonderful job for the district and will be missed dearly," noted board president Al Rissman. Board member Patty Nordheim commented that as a board member, Herold is the third superintendent she's worked with and that he has done "a fantastic job."

In his letter of resignation to the board dated November 20 and included in the meeting agenda packet, Herold stated, "After much thought, I have decided to retire at the end of this school year (June 30, 2018). I would like to thank the Board of Education for all their support the past twelve years. Together, we have accomplished a lot through trust, understanding what is best for kids, and working together to make our school a better place.

"It has also been a pleasure to be able to work with such a great staff during this time. I am especially grateful for the support and thoughtfulness received by the central office staff during my tenure. They have not only been supportive but also a friend when I needed one.

"It is very difficult to put into words the appreciation I have for the school and communities of the district. I am so grateful to have called this place home the past twelve years."

During the Secretary's Financial Report, board secretary Jaime Curtin noted that auditors had visited the district last week and everything "went smooth." She said they are hoping to have the audit report done and finalized before the end of the year.

During the Superintendent's Report, Herold requested that the board hold a special work session November 30 to discuss the Industrial Arts Ventilation, the search for his replacement and to give the board members a chance to ask any questions about Waterville Elementary that they want more research done on. He also requested a special work session December 12 to discuss an architect firm for the switch gear.

Herold reported that the district has settled with Schwickert's insurance company for $104,500 for the water damage sustained to Room 103, the wrestling room and the stage between the auditorium and middle school gym due to a faulty roof. He also noted that the audit went well.

Moving to Principals' Reports, Waterville Elementary School Principal Julie Askelson reported on all the activities students had been taking part in during November, including Donuts with Dad, Veterans Day and the fifth grade Kindness Retreat. She also noted that there will be a concert November 30.

East and West Elementary Principal Joe Griffith thanked their Veteran's Day speaker Beth Shafer. He also noted upcoming events like roller skating at Jewell's and concerts. The East Elementary concert will be December 5. At West Elementary, Kindergarteners will have their concert December 8, the First and Second Grade will take place December 14 and the Pre-Kindergarten students will have their concert December 18. Griffith noted the Parents' Group will be holding a family movie night December 15 at 6 p.m. in the East Elementary small gym.

Waukon Middle School Principal Jenny Garin noted that wrestling and girls basketball seasons have started. She also reported on the Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat and Veterans Day program. Looking at the fine arts program, Band Solo Contests are coming up and the Middle School Holiday Concert is December 7.

Waukon High School Activities Director Brian Hilsabeck noted that the winter activities in the high school are also in full swing: basketball, wrestling, bowling, cheerleading, band and choir. Waukon High School Principal Dr. Mike Hardy thanked Hilsabeck for all his work during the regular and extended football season this year, noting that scheduling can be a challenge. Semester tests at the high school are coming up in December. Dr. Hardy also gave an update on the Construction Class house project, noting that the roof is on and that the students and instructor Jed Hemann are "doing a great job."

In other departments, Gretchen DeVore, curriculum director, updated the board on reading tests and State requirements. She also noted that they had attended the Google Summit in Wisconsin Dells and the AEA STEM Day. She said they will be holding an Allamakee STEAM night at East Elementary December 19.

During his report, Buildings and Grounds Director Bill Hennessy noted that the grounds are being winterized. Technology Director Shawn Gordon said he also attended the Google Summit and felt the information was good. He updated the board on computer repairs, and noted that they can use a tool from Dell called Tech Direct to fix some problems in-house instead of sending the laptops to Dell for repairs.

Food Service Director Julie Magner noted that they have had a few extra things keeping them busy in the kitchens this month. They provided food for Donuts with Dad as well as sack lunches during the Youth Frontiers Retreats. They also provided a meal for approximately 50 veterans after the November 10 Veterans Day assemblies. She reported that they had their State review and it was "an awesome report with positive remarks."

Transportation Director Randy Nordheim discussed their inspections and noted that they went well, and the mechanics at the shop are doing a good job. He also noted that the lighting system is installed in the parking area and everyone is really pleased with the result.

21st Century Coordinator Barb Winters-Kelly noted that they had a very good attendance at the open house partnership meetings. She also touched on programming and Federal and State reporting, as well as writing a new grant.

Middle School instructors Bridget Dolan and Lee Stegen gave a presentation on Middle School Technology. Dolan explained the program they use to help students learn Digital Citizenship. She talked about Common Sense Media and gave a short demonstration of a program used to teach Internet safety.

She also touched on TinkerCAD, which is a 3D computer-aided design tool for students.

Stegen gave a short presentation on the Wax Museum project that students do. They pick a person from history that interests them, learn about them and give a video presentation. Students learn to do video editing during this project in addition to learning about history.

Under Personnel matters, the board approved staff for the 21st Century After School Program. Eaton Coté was approved as a substitute bus driver. The board approved Frank Weymiller and Chris Dahlstrom as volunteer wrestling coaches.

Corey Snitker, Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator, was on hand to discuss the board's decision to approve a Resolution for Authorized Representation for Hazard Mitigation plan. Snitker explained that he would be visiting all the school districts in the county and that they want to be sure schools are included in these types of plans because the schools could be eligible for Federal Grants. The board approved the resolution.

The board approved a bid from School Bus Sales for a new 65-passenger bus for $83,503. While this was not the lowest bid, Transportation Director Nordheim noted that School Bus Sales is based out of Waterloo and if they would need to go and get parts or have warranty work done, it is closer than either of the other two companies that bid, which were from Marshalltown and Des Moines. Nordheim also noted that School Bus Sales is in the area a couple of times a week delivering parts and that this was the only company that offered air ride in the front and rear of the bus, and the drivers really like that feature.

The board approved a Sunday gym usage request from the Waukon Youth Wrestling program for a tournament January 28, beginning at 11 a.m. The board accepted a bid from West Union Trenching LLC for $28,200 to install an irrigation line to the baseball and football fields using three-inch line. The board also approved a Sunday usage request from the Allamakee Music Boosters for March 25, 2018 to use the auditorium for a community concert.

The board approved the following SBRC requests: $57,341.70 for Open Enrollment Out and $1,484.12 for ELL Beyond 5 Years. Herold explained this is a yearly business matter.

The Little Indian Cheer Camp was approved for January1, 2018, with their performance scheduled for the January 2 game. The board approved an out-of-state field trip for Waterville students and staff to visit the Children's Museum of La Crosse February 23, 2018. Prior to adjournment, the board approved one student for early graduation, pending meeting all requirements.
 

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