Part-time Principal position open at UMS

47_flood-9763ROAD SHUT DOWN  — A low laying section of the Iowa Loop was closed down due to the Pondera Creek spilling over its banks and racing across the road over the weekend. This photo was taken near the residence of Sam and Howard Zuidema. If you happen to need sand bags, the PCSO (271-4060) has a lot and there is no charge for them.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

With Craig Barringer taking on the position as Superintendent of Schools, a slot has been opened for principal at both Meadowlark and Utterback Middle School.

After deliberation, the school board will vote at next month’s meeting to collaborate Meadowlark with Prairie View under Principal Greg Jensen. With this approved, UMS will open a part-time principal, part-time title one position to in-house candidates.

Lynn Utterback, current Superintendent of Schools, commented that there are currently three candidates qualified for the position, one of which has decided to stay in their current position for now. More will be decided upon at the next meeting on April 12.

Julie Orcutt has submitted her written resignation as assistant golf coach. The newly hired coach, Todd Truscott, will fill in both positions until a replacement is hired.

Utterback presented a plan to better distribute heat throughout the high school. He commented that currently the unit in the library is very loud because of the excess amount of air pushing through it. He also said the offices of Jim Carroll, activities director, and Ken Larson, CHS Principal, are colder than other rooms in the building. A $4,000 quote has been presented to improve the system and the board is considering it.

Carroll set the time for this year’s driver’s education program and stated that depending on current legislature and budgeting, the program may lose up to 10 percent. Prices will stay the same as in years past but an increase may be considered in the future.

The outstanding students were presented for the month of February and they included Minda Baldwin and Darrel Engleby Boyle of UMS.

Baldwin is a seventh grader who teachers say “does more than is asked and makes those around her better”. She is the daughter of Doug and Dana Baldwin.

Boyle is an eighth grader who shows “good work ethic and contributes to the positive attitude of our building,” according to teachers. He is the son of Paul and Sharon Rice.

Brett Bishop is a senior who was recognized at the high school by Dan Brown. Tyson Anderson commented that he is a “hard working, driven student.” Kendall Griggs added that he is a “good role model to other students at CHS” and is an “all around good kid.”

Hunter Combs, son of Heidi and Cory, was recognized at Meadowlark. His teachers commented that he has “superb manners” and is “careful, thorough and neat.”

Treston Hess, daughter of Darren and Rochelle, is the fourth grader from Prairie View that was recognized. Jennifer Schlepp commented that Hess is “energetic and imaginative.” She also read about her, reporting she “used to be afraid of scary movies… and her brother.”

Schlepp also reported that someday, Hess “might invent the biggest pickle ever,” as they are one of her favorite things.

Student Council president Amber Stenson was on hand to get the board up to date on the happenings at CHS. She was happy to report that 10 students had competed in the Principal’s Cup and their teams were able to place 3rd and 4th out of 35 teams.

Student Council has also changed their election process and will now hold their elections in the spring. They have also upped the requirements to say that two teachers need to give a reference to the candidate.

Carroll has recommended Heather Shepard as a fill-in activity and substitute driver for the district. She brings five years of experience to Conrad from Kalispell.

Five teachers were able to go to a technology conference in Oregon in the past weeks. They all reported back that they learned useful tools for the classroom and better ways to use the technology they already have. One teacher commented that Conrad is “cutting edge” because a lot of the cutting edge technology equipment that the conference was promoting, Conrad already has.

Barringer answered the question that he has been asked frequently in terms of the long term weather, and he assures parents that they do not let the students outside of the school when the wind chill is below zero. He made note that they have never had to stay in as many days as this year before.

Larson presented more data from the high school on where Conrad students stand compared to the state standards. He was optimistic about all the results.

Larson also presented the numbers of students that were on probation or ineligible for fall sports. He reported that numbers were much higher last year.

The next regular school board meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Building conference room. The Russell Building is not handicapped accessible. The meeting will be moved to the UMS Library upon the request of any person unable to attend a meeting because of a disability. Requests to move the meeting should be made to the Personnel Office at 278-5521 prior to the time of the meeting.