Who has more authority, principals or the police department?

44_carroll-adMONTANA'S ATHLETIC DIRECTOR  — Jim Carroll was nominated and has received the honor of being Montana's Athletic Director of the Year. From left is Conrad High School Principal Ken Larson, Carroll and Vice President of the Montana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Mark Ator.  Photo courtesy of Craig Barringer

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

Conrad High School principal, Ken Larson, has been presenting informative presentations at the monthly school board meetings regarding current policies and procedures. The February presentation included the steps the principal can take when suspecting a student of anything from having weapons on school property to drugs and alcohol.

Larson continued by explaining that the school environment resembles that of an at home environment. It’s a more casual setting and the principal does not have to report illegal activity to the authorities. He does however, have to notify the parents.

The principal can ask to search a student’s person, backpack, cell phone or vehicle parked on school property at any time, although Larson comments he does none of these without proper cause or suspicion.

The complaint policy outlines that the goal of search and seizure with respect to students is meeting the educational needs of children and ensuring their security. The objective of any search and/or seizure is not the eradication of crime in the community. Searches may be carried out to recover stolen property, to detect illegal substances or weapons, or to uncover any matter reasonably believed to be a threat to the maintenance of an orderly educational environment.

Larson will be conducting a survey with students on bullying. He wishes to collect data to establish how big of a problem Conrad students find it to be.

The district, in particular Utterback Middle School, is in need of more computers. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, standardized testing will be given on computers and the current computer laps are not sufficient enough. If the tests were distributed in the current computer laps, it would take over one month for the tests to be completed.

Jill Swanson, technology coordinator, states that the district needs 100 more computers to be fully functional. The computers run the district $1,100 a unit.  Computers make their way from CHS down to Meadowlark. The average age of computers at Meadowlark is eight years old.

The PTA provided K-8 teachers with sandwiches during the recent parent/teacher conferences. They discussed student security at their last meeting. With the impact of more industries coming to the area, they have suggested completing fencing around both Meadowlark and Prairie View with gates that lock at all times.

Athletic Director Jim Carroll was awarded as Montana’s Athletic Director of the Year. In 2007, he was also honored as the Class B Athletic Director of the Year. He was nominated this year by Larson and Superintendent Craig Barringer.

Johnson Controls will be hired to perform operation checks and maintenance on the heating system at CHS. The cost for this is $5,400 a year.

Guidance counselor Debby Perry is resigning from her position at UMS.

Students of the Month from UMS were seventh grader Sheridan Johnson and eighth grader Logan Garman.

Of Johnson, science teacher Monica Tomayer says she “continually needs to be challenged.” Math teacher Tyler Bucklin states she is “the hardest working student I’ve had”, and Principal Tara Thielman adds she “puts her heart and soul in every activity.” She is the daughter of Ken and Cynthia Johnson.

Tomayer says of Garmen, “He partakes in the right path.” Bucklin added, “He does what it takes to conquer the task at hand.” Logan is the son of Kurt and Shannon Garman.

Student awards for Arts, Athletics, Academics and PRIDE+ went to Hailey Yeager, Emily Harwood, Zoe Lettenga and Brooke Mycke, respectively, at UMS.

Sam Carroll was chosen as CHS’s student of the month by music teacher Todd Truscott. Truscott comments, “He does the best work he can do, which is pretty top notch.” Other teachers commented that he is a great role model for younger students, is a leader who is respected by fellow students, and knows what he needs to be successful. Sam is the son of Jim and Celena Carroll.

From Prairie View, Kim Hofstad presented Tyla Kimball. She commented that Kimball is a model of responsibility, has a humble and gentle demeanor and is a true friend to others. She is the daughter of Brian and Suni Kimball.

Loni Orcutt was recognized by teacher Julie Orcutt who said she has a kind nature and competitive attitude. She also said hugs should be this gal’s middle name. She continued by adding that Loni continues to hurdle all obstacles and has great internal drive. Loni is the daughter of Richard Orcutt and Kelli Fowler.

The next regular school board meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 13 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Building. The building is not handicapped accessible and anyone wishing to make a request to move the meeting should do so by calling the personnel office at 278-5521.