Renaming PHS pool for Slagle endorsed

by Dave Cary
Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH — Gale Grahn — who not so long ago saw a baseball field named after him in commemoration of his long service as a baseball/softball figure in the district — had the shoe on the other foot at Tuesday’s Plymouth School Board meeting.

Grahn acted as spokesman for a community group asking the board to name the PHS pool area after the late, popular, longtime athletic director, swim coach and science teacher, Mike Slagle.

Grahn said there was widespread support for the commemoration and that the board’s approval would allow the group to go into a fundraising campaign. Other members of the community group include Adam Brill, Jay Grosshuesch, Todd Neils, Scott Richards and Sam Suchon.

Board member Richard York wondered how much the group needed to raise.

Two plaques would be needed for display in the high school, Grahn said, and Marshall Signs had offered a sizable discount on the main sign that would span four swim lanes on a wall in the pool area itself. $2,300 seemed like a reasonable approximation, Grahn said, $2,500 at the most.

The pool sign would bear the legend, “Mike Slagle Aquatic Center.”

All of it, he said would be rather simple visually. Grahn said Slagle would have wanted it that way. In other words, nothing splashy.

• • •

In financial matters, the board recently moved to obtain the lowest possible price for the natural gas it consumes, ending its contract with Constellation Inc., its longtime supplier. Bids were then requested from the two major natural gas suppliers in the area.

Although final gas pricing itself will be at market rate, the transportation charge from Center Point Inc. is about one dollar less per dekatherm. That prompted the administration to recommend accepting this lower bid and working with Center Point to develop a new contract beginning Nov. 1.

With the date for renewal of property liability and workers compensation in the near future, the board sought proposals for the upcoming school year and received two replies. After a brief discussion the board decided to continue with Tricor Inc., citing the excellent relationship the district has had with Tricor.

The board accepted the following gifts and donations:

• $822.98 from Parkview PTK for student transportation.

• $538.27 from Horizon PATH for student transportation.

• $397.75 from Fairview PTO for student transportation.

• $200 from Justina Kaulaity for student field trips.

• $600 from Curt G. Joa Inc. for Plymouth High School’s machine tool program.

• $1,000 from the Plymouth Education Foundation for the Plymouth High School High Mileage Race Club grant.

• • •

In personnel matters, the board:

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Elizabeth Bacon as a cross-categorical teacher at Horizon Elementary School. This will be Bacon’s first year of teaching after obtaining her bachelors degree from UW-Oshkosh.

• Approved a 100 percent contract for Lizabeth Grosskreutz to be a cross categorical teacher at Horizon Elementary School. Grosskreutz served as a teacher for five years with the Sheboygan Falls School District after obtaining her bachelors degree from Silver Lake College.

• Approved the retirement request of Shelly Vanderkin, first grade teacher at Parkview Elementary School, effective at the end of this school year. Vanderkin has been with the district for 33 years.

• Approved the resignation of Stephen Goes, cross-categorical teacher at PHS, at the end of the current school year. Goes has been with the district for six years.

• Approved the resignation of Abby Price, third-grade teacher at Parkview Elementary, at the end of the current school year. Price has been with the district for three years.

• The board learned that Cindy Lorenz, special education aide at Horizon Elementary School, will retire at the end of the school year after 25 years with the district.

• • •

In other matters, the board gave its annual approval to a package of updates and changes to the Support Staff Handbook, which will take effect July 1. This year’s changes will provide for professional development opportunities, allow donation of sick leave in catastrophic circumstances, establish double pay rates on actual holidays, eliminate the job title building secretary, provide for payment of the initial special education aid license and offer clarity to the vacation clause.

Most pay ranges will also be adjusted to reflect market conditions and keep the district competitive.

The board also approved two out-of-state travel requests.

One was from Amanda Gaura, PHS choral director, to take students to Nashville Tenn., April 24- 25, 2017, to perform at the Festival of Gold.

The other was from Todd Williams, PHS Business Education teacher, to take students to Atlanta, Ga., June 29-July 3 to attend the FBLA National Leadership Conference.

• • •

The board revised its liaison assignments to various committees, a reflection of both the recent election of new member Tony Backhaus and the desire and willingness of incumbent members to experience different aspects of school affairs.

Backhaus was named liaison to the Family Resource Center, while members Sally Isely and Richard York traded assignments, Isely going to the Community Education board and York to the Professional Development Council. Board member Robert Travis stayed on as liaison to the Plymouth Education Foundation, while Member Jamie Gambrell will continue as liaison to CESA 7.

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