At their Monday night meeting, Harrison Community Schools’ Board of Education made quick work of the organizational meeting school districts have normally held in July. Since, according to the State, the school year ends June 30th, it has been normal practice to swear in newly elected school board members and elect officers at the July meeting. With most school districts changing their election dates from June to November, boards have struggled to figure out what organizational tasks need to be completed for the start of the new school year, and what tasks to delay until the start of new members’ terms, which is now January 1st.
Harrison schools asked for legal advice, and the result was to vote to extend the current officers’ terms until the end of December. They also voted to extend any appointments, committees and representations that current board member were assigned until December 31st. Superintendent Tom House explained that the extensions were necessary because, last July, the officers and appointments were done for a one-year period.
Other parts of the organizational meeting went on as usual: Thrun Law Firm was kept on as counsel, the superintendent and business manager were authorized to invest the district’s money, the stipend for Board members was kept at $20, and the same financial institutions, signatories, recorders, and meeting schedules were kept. The only decision not made at Monday’s meeting was which local attorney to retain for local legal matters. Attorney Karen Willing accepted the job of the 80th District Court Magistrate, and the Board decided they would need to continue to seek her replacement.
During the regular meeting that followed the brief organizational meeting, the Board heard from Superintendent House that he was unaware of any applications the district had received to fill the seat of Secretary Denise Haskin, who had recently resigned from the Board, effective by September at the latest. Haskin has two years left on her term, so the appointee, if appointed in September, would fill the remainder of Haskin’s term.
If appointed earlier, House explained, the appointee would be only appointed through December, and then would have to run for the open seat in the November elections. Board policy states that all applicants must be publicly screened by the Board (or a committee) and then publicly interviewed. House recommended that, depending on the number of applicants, the Board or a committee screen the applicants and that the final choices be interviewed and appointed at the September meeting. The deadline for applications is July 16th at 2:00 p.m.
It was also noted by President Marie Roth that two Board members’ terms will expire in December: Trustee Doug Cobb and Trustee Therese Haley. Roth indicated that Cobb would not be seeking re-election in November.
In other business at Monday night’s Harrison BOE meeting, the Board:
*unanimously voted to hire Jennifer Pashak as the new Middle School science teacher, at the recommendation of Principal Rick Foote.
*unanimously voted to hire Adam Smith as a High School math teacher, at the recommendation of Principal Jeremy Thomas.
*accepted “with regret” the resignation of Middle School teacher Mary Good.
*unanimously voted to hire Kelly Piechek as the new Director of Title I Programs, at the recommendation of the selection committee. Piechek replaces Andrea Andera, who was recently hired as the new Hillside Elementary Principal.
*went into Closed Session at 7:27 p.m. to discuss negotiations.