Debbie Hickman
Special to The Gardner News
The first Gardner Edgerton USD 231 Board of Education meeting of the 2014-2015 school year, held July 28, addressed all the usual new school year housekeeping items: appointments of individuals and agencies to certain school district functions, presentation of the proposed budget for publication and the first report of the superintendent of schools.
Leadership of the BOE will change this school year, as Rob Shippy and Mary Nelson, board members, were elected president and vice president respectively. When asked if the split vote results for both positions was an indication of a lingering divide of the board, Shippy explained that although the board may not agree on all issues he is “confident that each and every board member wants the best for USD 231 students, teachers/staff and patrons.”
Appointments included Debra Starling, clerk of the board and freedom of information officer; Merle Schick, assistant clerk of the board; Jeremy McFadden, treasurer and KPERS representative; Andrea Allenbrand, assistant treasurer; Candy Hughes, KPERS representative; Carol Semrau, food service representative; and Gary Diener, transportation supervisor/liaison. The Gardner News will continue as the designated official newspaper for school notices and Lathrop & Gage will represent the school board on legal matters.
Pam Stranathan, superintendent, reported that convocation for all district staff will be held Aug. 7. This gathering will start with a breakfast and activities at Grand Star Elementary and conclude with a family picnic at Celebration Park. Stranathan indicated that the format for this event is different than in previous years and is meant to promote a “community feeling.”
McFadden, director of business and finance, presented an overview of the proposed 2014-15 school year budget. He explained that the proposed budget for publication was based on projected enrollment and was meant to establish legal maximum authority for all funds. The board approved publication in The Gardner News for a July 30 printing.
McFadden said he felt confident that this proposed budget, an administrative team effort, was the right balance providing for both the student and the taxpayer alike. McFadden said this was “a budget to be proud of.”
Tresa Boden, board member, participated in the meeting via phone.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 11.