School Board president keeping eye on state budget plans

by Dave Cary
Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH - Due to the national election, the monthly legislative breakfast was postponed for a week, so, without this to report on Plymouth School Board President Tim St. Clair commented that it is going to be interesting seeing what develops with the next state budget.

Revenues, he said, had come in some $115 million below expectations - not a huge ‘hit’ he said, on a budget of some $24 billion - but a hit nonetheless, which means no spare cash lying around.

Will the state continue to support schools as it has - or will it play the Peter and Paul card and short either schools or roads to pay for one or the other. Or might the state aid schools and pay for road repair with a gas tax increase?

Only time will tell, he said.

• • •

The board accepted several gifts or donations from diverse sources:

• A donation of $464.02 from Parkview PTK for fall student field trip transportation costs.

• $1,000 from the Plymouth Cross Country Boosters Club to pay for a portion of the popup tent used at student meet.

• $1,000 from Joe Van Horn Chevrolet for the Peer to Peer student group, who helped babysit for employees’ children during a company party. Kay Tharp is the group advisor.

• A Sandpro 2040Z from Toro Giving - the Toro Company. This unit - which resembles a large riding mower, and has a zero turning radius - has several change-on-the-go attachments that will be used to prepare the infields at the high school diamonds, similar to what the ground crew does between innings to the infield at Miller Park. Gale Grahn and Ryan Rusch submitted an application for donation of equipment from the Toro Company. Although no value was stated at the meeting the unit has retailed for as much as $15,000 online.

• • •

In personnel matters, the board passed a newly-amended version of the Plymouth Joint School District’s 403(b) plan document which outlines how the district provides an option for a tax-sheltered annuity for employee retirement savings. Changes from the previous plan - last updated in 2011 - include legal language modifications, removal of a 15-year service option extension for contributions, and inclusion of the HEART and WRERA amendments as required by law.

In staffing matters, the board approved a 30 percent contract for Abigail Price to teach reading at Horizon Elementary School starting immediately. Price received her Bachelors degree from John Brown University in Arkansas and her Masters degree from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. She has taught in the district for three years.

Also approved was a 100 percent contract for Kelly Nesst to teach fifth grade at Riverview beginning this November. She earned her Bachelors degree from UW-Oshkosh and has previously worked in the district as a long-term substitute.

In support staff actions:

• Terri Flores has been hired as a special education aide at Parkview Elementart School,

• Laura Puetz has been hired as a special education aide at Horizon Elementary School.

• Emma Hainzinger has been hired as a special education aide at Plymouth High School.

• Kenneth Keeling has been hired as a custodian at Plymouth High School.

The board also approved an out-of-state travel request from PHS German Teacher Sandy Nicholson to travel with students to the Chicago German Christmas Market next Dec. 12.

• • •

Board member Bob Travis, the board’s liaison to the Plymouth Educational Foundation, reported that the Foundation’s recent ‘Party With a Purpose’ event was not only attended by over 200 but, by all indications a fun evening as well. Not only that, the ‘Purpose’ – fund-raising - was also a success, with over $16,000 raised for one category. This is a biennial event.

Board Member Richard York, liaison to the Professional Development Committee, said he had been impressed by the scope and character of what is being to maintain, develop and encourage staff professionalism. The committee meets every week, he said, with study experiences involving a variety of things, such as the culinary staff visiting the Kohler Co.’s food serving locations and an English-Math meeting with LTC professionals. He also said that they would begin to look into ways to encourage students to go into teaching, as there is a growing shortage of teachers.

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