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JMHS Principal George Purnell retained

 WALSENBURG— The RE-1 Board of Education met in an executive session to discuss the renewal contract for John Mall High School principal George Purnell and emerged with five yes votes and two abstentions to renew the contract for the 2014-15 school year. Several citizens and teachers addressed the BOE during the regular meeting asking they retain their principal and offered their vote of confidence. In other items, the board accepted the letter of resignation with regret for Special Education teacher, Marie Nigrini. Preliminary numbers for the new budget were also discussed and if everything remains the same, the district could be looking at a $149,420 shortfall next year. The estimated pupil count and reimbursement per student will be $7,483.59. The district will be looking for a way to meet the needs of the district and maintain a balanced budget. While the numbers are a concern, there are no plans yet to make adjustments. One area of concern, however, came from the

technology department which stated the infrastructure at all three schools is in dire need of upgrades to keep up with the advancing technologies and internet needs of the schools. It was estimated that within two years the current structures in place may not support the level of technology including wireless devices, interactive tablets, cloud based apps, smart phones and document storage which is the mainstay of an effective learning environment. The recommendations are to replace all the current switches, servers and wireless devices and start with a new system. An estimate to replace the system could be upwards of half a million dollars. One final action item was the board’s decision to utilize CASB Superintendents Search services to help find a replacement for Dawn Olson who resigned last month. The cost for the service is $7,000 which includes most of the leg work needed to bring forth the best candidates to the district. The board will have the final say so when hiring the new superintendent, but will give CASB the parameters when they do their initial search.