The search is on for Superintendent

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

Bob Vogel from the Montana School Board Association, MTSBA, attended the December school board meeting and addressed the matter of finding and hiring a new superintendent for the Conrad School district.

Vogel’s suggestions included forming a timeline, stating that it takes approximately 10-14 weeks to find a replacement, advertising, interviewing and legal obligations, such as forming a contract.

Vogel and the MTSBA offer services to help schools in Montana with finding a superintendent. These services range from $2,500 to $5,500 for our size of district. It will be voted upon at the January meeting if the board will use MTSBA’s services in finding a replacement for Lynn Utterback.

The technology department of the schools was awarded a grant for $13,000. Jill Swanson, technology coordinator, is considering buying a $12,000 video system that works as an interactive television with other schools. She commented that it makes it easy for teachers and staff to participate in trainings without leaving the school. The system is called Vision Net and 55 other schools in the state have this equipment, including Cut Bank.

Phil Springer has stepped in to be the teacher advocate for the SAVE organization in Conrad High School. They were reminded by Principal Ken Larson that anything the organization does outside of the school has to be first reported to him.

Outstanding students were announced and Sam Vidal gave recognition to senior Nikki Linn. Tammy Jones had many great things to say about her student, stressing that she is an “outstanding human being” and also an “inspiration”. Jenna Baum added to that by saying that she “doesn’t have to be reminded to work hard or to be kind to other students.”

Ruth Fladstol, CHS librarian, recalls her years with Linn as her aide saying that “her only draw-back was she only suggests Nicholas Sparks” novels to other students. This was said with much sarcasm.

Vidal completed her recognition by telling her he is “proud  of her” and that she is a “great person” who is “kind and caring to all” and is “very deserving” of this award. Nikki is the daughter of Randy Lynn.

Diana Agre presented Laura Rapier, daughter of Susan, with the Prairie View award. She commented that Rapier is an “avid reader” with a “contagious smile”. Rapier gave recognition to her own grandmother saying, simply, that she inspires her.

Bridger Kellogg was presented by Trish Taule as Meadowlark’s outstanding student. She commented that he “walks in every morning with a big smile on his face.”

Tara Thielman presented Sierra Rauscher and Alex Richie as the Utterback Middle School students of the month. Craig Barringer, principal, commented that Rauscher is “dependable and a friend to everyone.” Sierra is the daughter of Karen Grubb and Kelly Rauscher. Barringer also commented that Richie is a “great all-around young man.” Alex is the son of Daniel and Alaina Richie.

Chairman Jan Carter read aloud an e-mail that she had received from a former student’s grandmother that gave everyone present a sense of pride. The e-mail entailed the story of Garrett Fritz who is a sixth grader. Fritz had befriended a young third grade boy who he had noticed had frayed and tattered shoes. He came to his mother and asked her to take money from his savings account so that he could buy this young friend a Christmas present. He then went to Hoglands and bought the boy new boots, jeans, a shirt and even a cowboy hat to top it off.

When Hoglands discovered the reason for the purchase, Fritz was awarded a nice discount. It is always nice to hear a feel good story near the Holidays.

Taylor Johnson, student council vice president at CHS, presented their report. She reported that the CHS student Christmas party will be Dec. 22. Some students will be enjoying a ski day that same afternoon at Teton Pass Resort near Choteau. She also pointed out that the all school talent show will be Jan. 18, and all students are encouraged to participate.

Barringer gave the school reports on UMS and Meadowlark. He was proud to announce that 32 students from Meadowlark had perfect attendance during the first trimester of school. He was also proud to announce that eight kids competed in the Science Olympiad in Bozeman on Nov. 22 and all of them placed.

The UMS Christmas concert was Dec. 13, the CHS concert was Dec. 14 and the Meadowlark program will be Dec. 20, all were at the CHS auditorium. The Prairie View concert will be Dec. 21 in the Prairie View gym.

There will be a performance by Jack Gladstone on Dec. 15 and this has been set up through the district’s Indian Education for All funds.

The “Can” the Griz or Cats win contest at Prairie View was successful at contributing 338 pounds to the food pantry. The Griz won the food collecting contest while the Cats won the actual match.

The next regular school board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Russell Building. The building is not handicapped accessible and the meeting can be moved to the UMS library upon request from any person unable to attend because of a disability.

Requests to move the meeting location should be made to the Personnel Office at 278-5521 prior to the time of the meeting.