The new year changes and recognitions at School Board

LOOKING OVER THE AUCTION SHEETS  —  Mel and Randy Orr were a portion of the large group of people attending the Julia Winney Benefit on Friday at Norley Hall.  The benefit raised over $30,000.I-O Photo by Pat Lee




By Tirsea McNeal, I-O Reporter
With over 39 years of experience, kindergarten teacher Wendy Gierke is retiring.  Other teachers resigning are Barbara Brownell, Terry Will, Linda Garnett, Shelley Will and Erik Gustafson with equally impressive time invested in the school district. 
Superintendent Craig Barringer said, “This year we had ten teachers with 30 or more years of teaching experience. Next year we will have six teachers with 30 or more years.”
Roxy Zomer has also resigned after 37 years of service in the school district as secretary, effective Feb. 15.

Barringer said, ‘We are going to lose a lot of years of experience, when these teachers (and staff) leave our district.”
Tammy Jones from UMS Language Arts resigned and was hired as the UMS Library Aide beginning Aug. 2013.
The Board recognized January students of the month. Utterback Middle School recognized two students, Ben Rauscher and Zoe Lettenga.  One UMS teacher said, “Glasgow’s loss is Conrad’s gain.”  Rauscher is a member of National Junior Honor Society and enjoys wrestling and would someday like to be an astronaut. One teacher at UMS said, “Zoe will be a great addition next year to CHS, and she sets a good example for her classmates at UMS.”
Meadowlark School recognized kindergartner Harper Sanders. Her teacher Trish Taule, said, “Harper has good work ethics, and always displays an awesome attitude.”
Prairie View School recognized fifth grader, Ronnie Barnhill.  Val Kellogg said, “Ronnie is the kind of student you wish you had a room full. . . self-motivated, and always working to get better.”
The last student recognized was CHS senior, Annabell Wittmier. Stacy Aaberg presented Wittmier with her award and read comments from Gary Klette who works evenings at CHS.   “Annabell for the past four years has helped clean the gym . . . and never looked for any kind of recognition.  This shows the type of character Annabell has shown.  She does the right thing, even when no one is looking.”
Barringer showed a 12-year history of ACT tests in the District. Students who took the test have scored above the state and national average for every year except one. The individual subject results showed the same pattern, except in Language Arts where the district scored slightly below state average over the past three years. 
Tara Thielman from UMS discussed multiple ways students have raised money to help their classmate, Julia Winney. Thielman said, “Numerous efforts and benefits have been organized.” The Winnin’ 4 Winney activities include a penny wars campaign. Last week, UMS collected over $350 with their penny wars campaign.
Ken Larsen, CHS Principal said the high school also raised over $600 selling burgers during lunchtime last week for the Winnin’ 4 Winney benefit.
Principal Tara Thielman attended the OPI Assessment Conference in Billings. She said, “It was a great conference. I was able to bring back several resources for teachers to use for MCCS references for activities and lessons.” Thielman attended with staff Danele Dyer, Andrea Boehmler, and Karen Lee. 
Principal Greg Jensen said the Walking Mileage Club started and will continue until March. The Walk and Wheel Wednesdays have temporarily been set aside until the Walking Mileage Club is completed and weather improves.
Principal Larsen said, “Students who went into finals week with passing grades improved by 33 percent over last year.” He said this is due in part to the Homework Assistance program.
Transportation Director, Jim Carroll, said the old charter bus is still in Billings and a meeting with the Transportation Committee Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Building will discuss recommendations on how to replace the bus.
Carroll reviewed the upcoming two year rotation for football.   He said, “The non-conference schedule will include Troy, Eureka, Glasgow, and Harlem.”
Tyler Bucklin has resigned as the assistant middle school track coach.  Ryan Fetherston was hired to take Bucklin’s place. Fetherston was rehired as the head football coach for the 2013 season. Andre´ Harris and Bob Bender were hired as assistant coaches for 2013 season.Rebel Rilley has been rehired as the head volleyball coach and Heather Rutherford as assistant volleyball coach for the 2013 season.
A Building Committee Meeting will be held Jan. 22 at the Russell Building to discuss replacing the bleachers at the football field.
Enrollment for the district has increased from 565 to 567 in the past month. 
The softball cooperative agreement with Choteau was approved. Carroll said “The MHSA will do an evaluation to see if they will endorse moving forward with the agreement.  And if approved, would be a three-year agreement between the schools.”
Sam Larson, Colby Fuson, Garrett Grubb, and Bjorn Swanson were approved pending successful background checks as Open Gym Supervisors.
The next regular scheduled School Board Meeting will be Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Building.