EL-G School Board reviews facts on upcoming referendum

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE—At its meeting Monday night, the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District Board was given extensive information related to the coming referendum.

The data was presented by District Superintendent Dr. Ann Buechel Haack.

The board had voted at its January meeting to place before electors the question, “Shall the School District of Elkhart Lake- Glenbeulah, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin for the 2015-2016 school year through the 2018-2019 school year be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $725,000 a year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational and maintenance expenses?”

School district residents will be able to vote on the referendum on April 7.

If approved, the referendum would provide money for upkeep and repair of school facilities, especially the High School and Elementary School’s HVAC systems.

Some of the data Buechel Haack gave the board Monday night has been used in various informational presentations regarding the referendum. About half of the nearly two dozen presentations planned have already taken place.

One document distributed by Buechel Haack listed total long-term debt for 425 Wisconsin school districts. This provided a comparison between EL-G’s debt (which will be zero, as of March 15) to debts of other districts.

Buechel Haack said a frequently asked question is how EL-G’s mill rate compares with that of other school districts. She gave the board a list of rates for nearby districts. EL-G’s is the lowest, at $816 per $100,000 of assessed value. In contrast, Sheboygan’s is the highest, with $1,281 per $100,000.

Board members complimented Buechel Haack for assembling and organizing so much information. Those who have attended referendum information sessions said the sessions seem to be quite effective, especially with the data being available to answer questions.

Board members also received copies of an article on the referendum written by Buechel Haack for the March issue of the Elkhart Lake Depot Dispatch.

Poetry Out Loud presentations

High School English instructor Nikolai Yasko introduced three students who are part of the Poetry Out Loud program. He expressed appreciation for the school’s support for this nation-wide program.

“It’s a neat program because it fits in nicely with a lot of contemporary educational thought, especially literacy,” Yasko told the board. “And yet it’s very quaint. It has an old-fashioned ring to it.”

For the board, each student recited from memory a poem of his or her choice. Each earned applause from all present.

Summer Henschel recited “Mending Wall,” by Robert Frost.

Mandy McLaughlin recited “Amor Mundi,” by Christina Rossetti.

Adam Kuhn recited “Dreamers,” by Siegfried Sassoon.

Other board topics

Student Erica Heinig reported on Student Council activities, which included a winter formal, hosted by the Junior class, and a successful pops concert performed by the band and choir, with a theme of “The Roaring ’20s.”

Buechel Haack added that it was amazing to realize that 60 percent of the High School’s students were up on that stage for that concert. She said the concert was excellent and very enjoyable.

Elementary Principal Deb Hammann reported on events of the past month: A trip for 7th and 8th Graders to The First Stage to see “Star Girl,” and to visit the Mitchell Park Domes; 3rd Graders were visited by Deputy Brad Robinson of the Sheboygan Co. Sheriff Dept. and his canine partner, AJ; many classrooms celebrated the 100th day of the school year on Feb. 4.

High School Principal Jim Brown, reporting on activities for Grades 9 through 12, gave additional praise to the concert. “I’ve been at a lot of schools of different sizes, and never seen productions like they put on, from the decorations, to the Roaring ’20s costumes,” he said. “I was fortunate to be there both nights. It was awesome.”

Brown named several athletes who are going on to sectional or state level competitions. Students from the Poetry Out Loud and from the robotics programs will also go on to state level competitions.

The board unanimously approved:

* The 2015-16 School District calendar

* Accepting the resignation of 4th Grade teacher Patti Zuelke, effective the end of the 2014-15 school year

* Going into a closed session to discuss the performance of the District Administrator.

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