Board members of the Gillespie Community Unit School District #7 met in executive session for more time than they appeared in open session during the district’s regular monthly meeting held Monday, May 22 when they unanimously approved to post for an elementary school teacher following an executive session that interrupted the meeting for more than 60 minutes.
With board members Billy Carter and Peyton Bernot absent, the elementary posting was unanimously approved after the motion by board member Dennis Tiburzi and second by Jenni Alepra. Don Dobrino, Weye Schmidt and Mark Hayes voted in favor of the posting that Superintendent Joe Tieman told The BenGil Post would preface an internal staffing shift at the elementary level.
“There will be internal position shifts at the elementary level,” Tieman told The BenGil Post about the elementary posting. “This could mean the job could be filled internally, possibly by a middle or high school teacher which would result in another posting to fill that position.” Tieman confirmed an applicant not employed by the district could also be hired for the elementary job.
The posting is currently being advertised internally and is scheduled to be posted publically on The BenGil Post on June 2. The closing date for applications to be submitted to Elementary Principal Angela Turcol is June 9.
In other personnel matters, the board unanimously hired Katherine Prange of Highland as a high school English teacher. Prange has her master’s degree, which will allow the district the opportunity of offering dual credit college courses through Lewis and Clark Community College presently made available by retiring English teacher Margaret Fisher, and is currently a teacher at Columbia High.
In non-certificated personnel matters, Casey Sholtis was employed as an assistant high school football coach, Nikki Brawner was hired as seventh-grade girls’ basketball coach and the district’s paraprofessionals were released. Previously, the paraprofessionals are routinely fired through the summer but re-employed ahead of the upcoming school year.
Superintendent Tieman informed the board members that the district is exploring the installation of a middle school science lab although he referred to the plan as being in the “rough” stages. Tieman said there would be multiple increment action items that could be appearing in the upcoming meetings if the board wishes to pursue the addition.
He continued his brief report by saying he received a letter from every student in Dana Tieman’s third-grade class who offered their school improvement suggestions. “I wrote a letter back to each one of the students,” he added.
Tieman’s request to abate $50,000 from the working cash fund to the education fund was unanimously approved. He said the matter was necessary after the district received the proceeds from the 2 million dollars of working cash bonds sold.
“When the 2 million dollars of working cash bonds was added to the current balance of working cash at the time, we are essentially required by law to move 50 percent so we couldn’t move the 2 million in without moving 50 thousand dollars out,” Tieman explained.
Board members awarded the auditing contract to Loy Miller Talley, PC. The firm will audit the financial statements of Gillespie CUSD #7 as of and for the year ended June 30, 2017. The board also named First National Bank of Benld as the district’s depository institution in a decision Tieman said was decided by “the rate of interest”. The bank requested the district to keep the funds in the bank for a minimum of two years and board members asked Tieman to revisit the depository institution in two years.
Student accident insurance was renewed for football players from Lawrence E. Smith & Associates Inc. TPA of St. Louis. Board members questioned why football is the only sport the district carries additional accident insurance for athletes and Tieman said the decision is based on the amount of players participating in football. In addition, the district carries catastrophe insurance on every student that would be utilized in the event of an accident in any sport.
Early graduation requests from Abby Barber and Abby Parker were unanimously approved pending the two ladies meet the graduation requirements following their seventh semester.