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RE-1 superintendent’s contract renewed two additional years

by Dan Harper
WALSENBURG — Superintendent Mike Moore began the Monday, February 26 RE-1 school board meeting by recognizing Braden Inscho, a Peakview School 5th grader, who won the Huerfano County Spelling Bee on the word, “affirmation.”  Champion Inscho will go to Denver to compete in the state spelling bee next month.
Moore also recognized the district office staff and Peakview staff for their professional handling of a situation while he was out of state at a national conference for turnaround schools. John Mall High School student Max Moll was recognized for his work as a sports announcer at a basketball game.
During administrative reports, Gardner School Principal Pam Levie reminded the board that Voices of the Past was at 6 pm on February 28.  Voices of the Past, an oral history project, is sponsored by the World Journal.  It celebrates Huerfanos who have lived in the community for 25 years or longer.
Levie also mentioned two programs they are working toward starting at Gardner.  One is the No Bully grant which would mesh with the high school program, the other is Mentor Colorado, which Levie later told the WJ would involve beginning a quality mentor program on a small scale level.  Levie says they are working to 1)  research and identity local, county and state funding and other resources to support a mentoring program; 2) research and present best practices and impact of a blended school/community-based mentoring model for a variety of stakeholders, and 3) facilitate a process to brainstorm and refine possible viable program model design for Gardner School.
Transportation director Gary Vigil reported there are 62-64 students on the in town bus route.  The bus seats 66, and he was concerned about overcrowding.
Maintenance supervisor Dylan Risenhoover said the boiler and water breaks at the high school have been repaired for now.  He is looking into a water tap at the bus garage for approximately $3,600 which might be a better solution than constant line repairs.
Moll, who is the student representative to the board, reported on the many activities of JMHS music students.  Several JMHS band students performed last weekend with the All Colorado Honor Band at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison.  Several members of the JMHS choir will be back at Western State this weekend, March 1- 3 for the All Colorado Honor Choir.   He also said several JMHS band members will be performing at the Top of the Nation Honor Band at Adams State University on March 10.  The board is invited to attend the performance, which be at 2 pm in ASU’s Richardson Hall, 208 Edgemont Rd, in Alamosa.
He reported on last weekend’s successful dances at John Mall and Peakview as well.
Superintendent Moore reported that at the March 7 BOCES meeting, decisions will be made regarding to staffing and budgets for service districts for the next year.  At that time, RE-1 will find out how the budget will be impacted.  At the previous meeting it was discussed that there could be a possible $60,000 increase in costs, depending on the decision.
Moore reminded the board that a joint board social comprised of La Veta, Aguilar and Huerfano RE-1 members will be held on March 15, at 6 pm at La Plaza.  A workshop for all three boards will be scheduled at a later date.
Following discussions regarding Superintendent Moore’s contract at the Feb. 12 meeting and a forty minute executive session, the board voted 6 to 1 to renew his contract with an additional two years in affirmation of the excellent progress Moore and his team have made in improving the district, and to ensure administrative continuity for the next three years as the district continues to improve.  Director Dorothy Martinez alone voted no.  The board was split exactly the same way last year, with Martinez casting the lone dissenting vote on Moore’s contract.
The discussion and vote on superintendent goals were tabled until next meeting as it was pointed out that the board should be invested in building and supporting the goals as well.
Director David Tesitor asked a number of questions of the senior class members who came before the board to ask for approval for the senior trip.  The plan is to make it a camping trip to save money and to allow the opportunity for students to bond one last time before graduation.   They will begin at Hooper Hot Springs, then head to Estes Park for more camping, and end with a trip to the Downtown Aquarium in Denver.  After a long discussion, the board approved the trip on the condition that the seniors bring back more information on alternate plans in case of weather, more cost data, and an improved parental permission slip.
FBLA representative Kyle Gomez came before the Board to ask for a variance in Board policy regarding fund raisers. The FBLA has six students going to State in April, and the cost is $2,400.  He asked if the FBLA could hold more than one fund raiser in order to achieve their funding.  Approval was given, along with advice to consider multiple revenue streams at the same time.
Director Jaye Sudar explained a new policy, JJE-R-1 which would allow groups in the district to hold crowdsource fund raising.  This would be through organizations such as GoFundMe or Donors Choose. Fundraising in this manner taps money outside of the community.  The policy structures how fundraising will be done, including guidelines for student safety, and financial responsibility.  The policy first reading was approved.
In other business, the board approved Diego Bobian as assistant high school baseball coach, and volunteer assistant high school baseball coaches Ricardo Bobian and Connor Moore.  Kaylee Summers was approved as a volunteer assistant track coach, and Stuart Pino as volunteer assistant wrestling coach. Richard Cozzette was added to the substitute custodian and cook list.
Members of the John Mall High School senior class came to the board meeting to present their plans for to go camping for their senior class trip. Photo by Gretchen Orr.