DRUMMOND - Changes come at the end of any school year, but the Drummond School Board seemed to have more than its fair share Monday night at its monthly meeting.
Leslie de Santiago, elementary trustee and vice-chair of the board, issued her resignation via letter at the meeting leaving a hole open for the coming summer months. The board voted unanimously to accept the resignation and post the vacancy.
You can find a copy of the vacancy listing by clicking HERE.
de Santiago had drawn the ire of some citizens at the May School Board Meeting when she remained on the board even though many in the community knew months earlier that she was moving from the area. Despite that, newly elected chairman Scott Struna asked that de Santiago be named vice-chair so that he could use her experience in running meetings.
Also leaving the Drummond School District is Superintendent Bryan Kott. During the reports portion of the meeting and in conversation afterwards, Kott confirmed that he was leaving the district to take a position in Laurel, Montana. During his Superintendent's report, he indicated that all of the year-end reports were in place and gave the board direction on some upcoming projects and grants to consider when hiring his replacement.
After the meeting was called to order, it almost immediately was thrown into a pair of closed sessions. The first lasted about 15 minutes and covered some Out of District contracts.
The second was approximately 90 minutes and addressed an appeal by Principal Rick Parke of an administrative decision which cost him 10 days of unpaid suspension and missing the softball team's final series in Butte as its co-head coach. Parke waived his right to a closed meeting, but was told that because the matter involved Superintendent Kott and other personnel, that the board would keep the discussion closed.
During the closed session the board discussed the matter and heard from a number of witnesses and people wishing to offer support for Parke or the administration. When the meeting resumed, the board voted 3-0 to deny Parke's appeal.
School Drainage Project
An update on the project to improve the drainage flow at the school was given, citing an estimated budge of $250,000. It was also expressed that the necessary permits had been required from the Town of Drummond and that construction would likely start around the last week of June. The project is slated to be done in stages over several years to minimize its impact school functions and defray costs.
School Picture Packages
The School Board had only one bid package for taking school pictures, voting to go back to LifeTouch after a year using locally based Heritage Imaging in Philipsburg. LifeTouch was acquired by Shutterfly April 3, 2018 in an $825 million buyout.
The Trophy Committee reported that they have reassembled most of the 162 trophies that were dismantled and destroyed in the summer of 2017 when Kott was attempting to reorganize the presentation of the district, division and state wall plaques earned by the school. They have yet to complete putting together the volleyball and boy's track awards that were damaged. The committee has received estimates from David Parke and Corey Bryant for providing a state championship case and wall mounts for the other plaques, as well as a quote from Leslie Conn of Heritage Imaging for signage within the display.
They hope to have a presentation to the board in July.
Shona Bradshaw was named as the new varsity Head Coach for Girls Volleyball, with her assistant to be named later this summer after interviews. Bradshaw replaces Tina Wetsch, who resigned her coaching position earlier this spring due to a desire to spend more time with her children and family.
"I'm excited to start working with the girls," said Bradshaw in a phone interview Tuesday.
According to the MHSA website, high school volleyball can start practices August 10.
Charlotte Spencer and A.J. Angelo were named as the new Junior High Volleyball Coaches.
Rehiring for the Athletic Director was tabled until July, with three candidates having applied for the position. Current A.D. Sara Wagner is performing her duties in the position through the summer.
During the discussion, new board member Alex Verlanic noted that he did not feel that just posting the opening at the post office, as per current board policy, wasn't enough to really get the word out effectively. He voiced that the board should look into other options.
The board approved an upgrade to the current phone system with Blackfoot Telecommunications that will allow for several new features, including the ability to page the entire campus from any phone instead of just the ones in the main office. This is a much needed security measure.
The change will cost the school a one-time fee of $1,500 in line pulls and an additional $300 a month for the added features. The board approved the measure 3-0.
Computer Literacy Requirement
The board approved a measure to reduce the Computer Literacy graduation requirement from one year to one semester. The justification for the move, as given by Angelo, is that students are already receiving more computer knowledge at a much earlier age than when the requirement was instituted. He idea was to replace the lost semester with courses that would be more immediately applicable to students in seeking work right out of high school.
After much discussion, the board asked Angelo to come up with three possible one-semester classes that could start being taught in the Spring semester.
The board's next regularly scheduled meeting is July 9, 2018 at 6 p.m.
by Tim Allen, QSPNLive.com