By Valerie Werkmeister
For nearly a quarter of a century, Larry Lewis has been looking out for the best interests of North Posey students. After June 30, that will all come to an end. Lewis has deci
ed to resign from his post on the MSD of North Posey School Board. He read an emotional resignation letter during last week’s May 14, board meeting. He cited his reason for leaving due to the consolidation of New Harmony School Corporation with North Posey’s.
“As a member of the MSD of North Posey five-member school board, I am vacating my position to allow a representative of the New Harmony School Board a position on the consolidated board,” Lewis said.
Lewis added that he felt it was in the best interests of North Posey schools and the community to make the move.
He was elected in May 1988 and has helped oversee many major school renovation projects including the addition of air conditioning at the high school and elementary schools as well as the new band room. He was also proud to serve when the last wing of the junior high was added in 1995-96. Other than Superintendent Dr. Todd Camp, he has served with three other superintendents including Byron Brenton, Ernie Rapp and John Wood.
Board president Joe Neidig thanked Lewis for his years of dedicated service.
Two new administrative positions were created at Camp’s request. Board members approved a project manager and Curriculum, Testing and Secondary Evaluator position. The project manager will oversee the summer projects including the high school science wing renovations, the North Elementary (NE) fifth and sixth grade wing renovation, the HVAC computer renovation at NE and the tennis, track and parking lot improvements at the high school. The project manager will also work toward a resolution with the water problems at the junior high and high school.
The Curriculum, Testing and Secondary Evaluator position was created out of a need to ensure compliance with state regulations regarding ever-changing curriculum mandates, to review data from state mandated testing and assist each building principal with the new state evaluation system procedures known as RISE.
RISE is the new law that evaluates teachers in an objective way to provide feedback on their teaching skills. It will provide school corporation with the flexibility to pay teachers based on their experience and performance in the classroom.
To assist with these assessments, the board approved the purchase of a Harmony Staff Assessment Tool. Camp explained it will allow the administrators to complete evaluations using a wireless device. The initial software will cost $2,800 and will require a $1,000 annual maintenance fee.
The person in this newly created position will also be required to oversee all state mandated testing including: ISTEP, ECA, IREAD3, IMAST, ISTAR, LAS LINKS AND ACUITY.
In other business, the board approved offering high school summer school in government, supervised agricultural experience and band if there is enough need. A minimum of 15 students is required for each class.
Wireless internet access will now be available at NE and South Terrace (ST). The board approved the $36,619 infrastructure purchase. The district will also purchase a licensing agreement for Microsoft Office Pro for $5,486. This will enable all district computers to operate on the most current version of software.
Board members also approved the following:
• Textbook rental fees for the upcoming school year
• Two new high school math textbooks due to a change in state mandated curriculum
• Erin Koester’s request to apply for the Welborn Baptist Foundation’s HEROES grant for the upcoming school year. The grant will help provide a wellness plan for students, teachers and families within the district.
• A three-year maintenance service contract with Trane to monitor the district’s chillers at a cost of $14,671 each year.
• Brandon Barrett’s request to use the tennis courts to conduct tennis camps for boys and girls on June 11-13.
• Natalie Barnard’s request to host a volleyball camp for girls in kindergarten through eighth grade on July 16-19.
• Mike Wassmer’s request to attend the state FFA convention June 18-20 at Purdue University and the national convention October 24-27 in Indianapolis.
• A request by Marilyn Rogers to take eight Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) to compete in the National Leadership Conference in Orlando, FL on June 19-23. Transportation is being provided by the Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center. Students are currently holding fundraisers to cover their additional expenses.
• Jennifer Neidig’s request to take students to the IHSAA Leadership Conference in Plainfield on June 18 and 19.
• Kevin Smith’s request to take the varsity baseball team on an overnight trip to Martinsville, IN May 18 and 19 to play in a double-header. Smith was also approved as the varsity boys’ basketball assistant coach.
• Tracy Stroud’s request to take the girls’ basketball team to Vincennes basketball camp June 24-27.
• Kevin Wassmer’s request to take the girls’ golf team on an overnight trip to the Fuzzy Zoeller golf invitational on July 31 in Sellersburg, IN.
• Kelly Carlton’s reqest to spend $2,400 in Extra-Curricular funds (ECA) to purchase two ACTIV boards for classrooms and $1,200 to purchase pre-school playground equipment.
• Steve Kavanaugh’s request to spend $6,068.50 in ECA funds to purchase LCD projectors and promethean boards for several classes.
• Michael Travers was hired as the junior varsity boys’ basketball coach and Jeremy Schipp was hired as the freshmen boys’ basketball coach. The will split the stipend three ways with Kevin Smith.
• Lauren Akin and Amy Root were hired to fill the science openings at the high school.
• Kathy Petrig will transfer from ST to the junior high to fill the special education position vacated by Shari Luebbe.
• Shirley Koonce and Debra Lyke were hired as new bus drivers.
• Chris Barker will serve as the seventh grade football coach and Nick Berry will lead the eighth grade football team
• Stacy Conyers will transfer from New Harmony as a special education aid and transportation driver.
• A resignation by Matt Gantner as the junior high activities coordinator.
• Jerry Wassmer’s request to retire after 17 years as custodian.
Camp advised the board members that graduation ceremonies will take place on May 25, at
6 p.m. Dr. Barbara Williams, a 1983 North Posey graduate and Director of Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern Indiana will be the keynote speaker.
The next school board meeting will be held on Monday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the corporation office.