First outstanding students recognized at board meeting

By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter

The Russell Building’s conference room was, once again, filled with people at this month’s School Board meeting. Parents, grandparents, and siblings of this month’s outstanding students, who were acknowledged at the meeting, made up a large part of the crowd.

Staff presentations began similarly to last month, with Steve Lockyer presenting exemplary student, Kaylea Killion. Last month Killion was recognized for her work at MedStart summer camp. This month Killion was being recognized as CHS outstanding student. Her plethora of achievements includes Yell Squad president, cheerleading captain, BPA member, Science Club member, senior class president, and she is also running for NHS president.

Lockyer went on to say, “She refuses to yield to the pressure of being a youth.” Her maturity and friendliness were also highlighted. When shaking hands with the board members, Carole Jones playfully asked of Killion, “So, what’s next month?” Indeed, this is probably not the last the board will hear of Killion’s achievements.

Two students from UMS were recognized: eighth graders Carly Behr and Kyle Vandenacre. Dan Brown did the presenting, and recited everything the staff had said about each student.

Behr has a “sweet personality” he said, and went on to mention that she had 150 percent of her AR goal already this year. Behr, an obvious avid reader, had been observed on the lawn outside of school reading a book amongst all kinds of commotion. “She is a great example to others,” said one staff member, “…a quiet leader.”

The most prominent thing staff members had to say about Kyle Vandenacre was that he was a natural leader. Brown called him “respectful.” Vandenacre’s favorite subject is Montana history, and it was mentioned that he is always “eager to help out,” and cheers for others to do their best.

Trish Taule then introduced Hope Schlottmann, a kindergartener who was being recognized by Meadowlark School. Taule said “Hope is eager to learn, always has a smile, and works well with her classmates.” Taule also put together a little poem using Hope’s name.

Diana Agre next introduced fifth grader, Emma Clark. Agre said Emma was “consistent and accomplished in work habits,” and, “she shows great respect towards others.” Clark enjoys horses and would like to be a veterinarian someday. She then read a report she had done about the vaquita, a type of porpoise. The report was well done, and showed her affinity for animals.

Student body president, Morgan VanDyke, gave the high school report, which consisted of an overview of what had been going on during Homecoming week.

Greg Jensen spoke briefly about what has been going on at Prairie View and Meadowlark. He introduced new teacher, Wendy Hansmann, who is the new special education teacher at Prairie View. Walk-n-Wheel Wednesdays have begun again, and Amanda Agre, as well as two elders from the Mormon church, have volunteered to help.

Jill Swanson gave a report that the iPad lab at Meadowlark was officially up and running. She also mentioned that she had a chance to visit with the Great Falls Technical Coordinator, and upon his recommendation, is looking into the possibility of Google Chromebooks for CHS instead of iPads. The cost of the Chromebooks would be significantly lower, and it was suggested that they would be more appropriate to use at a high school level.

Jim Carroll shared the designs samples for the new bus graphics with the board. Some minute adjustments were suggested, and then approved.

Tara Thielman then took the floor and made a suggestion to change the UMS Eligibility Policy. She requested a probationary period for a student’s first F grade, which would give them a week to work with the student through avenues such as Homework Help to improve the grade. If the grade is not raised within the week, the student becomes ineligible. A second failing grade would not allow for a probationary period, and the student would automatically become ineligible. The previous policy did not allow for any such grace period, and this new change was later approved by the board.

Ken Larson said that Homework Help has been effective up at the high school, and also explained a new form of lesson plan that CHS teachers are going to try this year. He then handed out a picture of the school back in 1972. It depicted trees all along the front of the school, and made mention that it would be nice if something similar could be done today. The suggestion was taken into consideration.

The CHS and UMS Extracurricular Fund Reports were approved. Willy Mello was hired as the CHS assistant wrestling coach, and Heather Rutherford was hired as the CHS assistant girls basketball coach. Carroll made mention that they are still on the lookout for a cheerleading advisor. Cheerleading tryouts will continue as planned, regardless.

The Finance Committee suggested extending the maximum part time hours from 20 to 30 hours. The change was approved by the board.

Grant Grubb, pending a background check, was approved as an Open Gym supervisor. Michael Behafrid’s resignation as a Prairie View School one-on-one aide was accepted. Bunny Burrows was hired as a part time one-on-one aide a Meadowlark, and Brad Dahl was hired as the new one-on-one aide at Prairie View. Business Manager Afton Lamoreaux’s resignation was also tearfully and reluctantly accepted. It was obvious she will be greatly missed by the board next year.

The next school board meeting will be Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Building conference room.