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Swearing in and reorganizing at Primero Schools

by Ruth Stodghill
PRIMERO — The Primero School Board held its regular monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Nov. 9, and began by swearing in three new board members: Mark Kendall, Robert Mattie, and Sam Weaver. Topics for discussion included organizing the board into officer positions, updating the new board on the various programs within the district, and the remaining open seat on the school board.

Robert Mattie will serve as board president; Jeremiah Harris is board vice president; Lonny Lopez is secretary; and Sam Weaver, will serve as treasurer, BOCES representative, and CASB representative.

Athletic director Greg Robinson shared the successes of the fall sports season. Primero’s cross country team earned the title of boys league champion, and senior Dalton Avis qualified to compete in the state cross country meet. The football team, composed primarily of freshmen, earned valuable experience. Volleyball ranked second in the league, a strong finish.

IT Director Richard Garrison updated the board on the installation of fiber optic cable to the district. The district is looking into options for installing a wireless fiber optic system until cable can be laid.

Facilities director Gerald Duran spoke to the board about projects being undertaken on the school grounds, including the installation of a flagpole donated by the local volunteer fire department.

Superintendent Blake Byall gave the new board an overview of the district’s current grants. The largest is the 21st Century grant, which funds after-school and weekend programs for students and families, and the summer school program. The grants with the largest financial impacts on the district are the emergency grants issued in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Byall also updated the board on student enrollment; while out-of-district enrollment for the year has been capped for all intents and purposes, additional in-district students are continuing to trickle in. Current student enrollment is at 245. In order to cover the increase, Byall proposed several staffing additions for the second semester.

“Friday school has been incredibly beneficial for the students who have attended thus far,” said Byall. “We just need more kids to participate. But we’ll get there.”
The board indicated they would like the facilities director to inventory and sell items around the district that are no longer needed.
The District Accountability Committee reported on the Veterans Day dinner on Nov. 10.  The event originally anticipated twenty-five to thirty participants, and has now ballooned to over 150 RSVPs.

In discussion, the board reached a consensus to move the board meetings from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. each month.
In action items, the board approved a resolution to declare a school board director vacancy. Letters of interest for appointment to the board can be submitted to the school district, which will interview candidates on Jan. 11.

The next meeting of the board will be held on either Dec. 6 or 13 at 5:30 p.m.