The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees met Wednesday to recognize the high school wrestling team that took second at the 3A state competition and first in academics.
Trustee Matt Hyde recognized all wrestlers with personal biographies and had the seniors speak about what wrestling has taught them.
Seniors described what they had learned about hard work and determination, and the head coach praised them for their dedication and positive attitudes during rigorous workouts. Hyde also said he appreciated the coaching staff’s calm, supportive demeanors during matches.
There were numerous teachers present at the meeting and some provided public comments. Elementary school teacher Becky Dodd said she attended the last budget committee meeting and was disappointed to see teacher raises not on the agenda. She said a raise for all who work directly with students should be the district’s No. 1 priority, adding it would help retain staff for district continuity.
“Not only do all staff need a raise, they deserve a raise,” Dodd said.
Dodd and high school teacher Elena Marsh, Churchill County Education Association president, noted board events can coincide with school events such as the concurrently scheduled Lahontan Elementary School Literacy Night — which can make it difficult for teachers to attend meetings and events. Marsh commended the teachers who could and made time to attend.
Marsh also praised the wrestling team for its athletic and academic achievements.
“That’s good parents behind them and good teachers behind them,” she said.
Marsh added she appreciated the board’s recognition of this as well as their efforts to reach out to teachers in the schools and responses to teacher comments.
Fifth-grade teacher Kristina Murphy described how her career and family have been impacted by teacher pay, sharing how she qualified for free-and-reduced-lunch after earning her bachelor’s degree in 2008.
During departmental reports, trustee Kathryn Whitaker said she enjoyed visiting E.C. Best Elementary and learning student responses to the question, what they would do if they were president of the United States. She said smiling that responses included:
“I would make everyone do what they were supposed to do;” “I would make everything free;” “I would give all teachers raises.”
The board authorized the business services director or superintendent to arrange for the sale or cancellation of the district’s refunding bonds. In related discussion, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon and Phyllys Dowd, business services director, talked about how a refunding bond sale would provide $540,000 in savings.
The district’s bond consultants and attorney are aiding in the process, and it was mentioned Lyon County School District did a similar action.
With interest rate fluctuation, the board has the opportunity to back out of the sale before closing in about six weeks. Dowd is following up for trustee Clay Hendrix about when process fees would be non-refundable.
Sheldon said one of the exciting aspects about the bonds is much of that money goes to local contractors, who also work hard to use resources provided by the community. Dowd reminded about the district’s 11 recent capital projects of $1 million or more.
Kevin Lords, Churchill County High School principal, gave a report on the school’s internship program, which will be implemented further next year. He added the health science program offers job shadowing and special education offers work experience in local businesses. Students also will be able to work at Café Greenwave, mainly serving teachers who would like a hot drink or pastry.
The board approved the new CCHS course Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles, part of the governor’s initiative to offer AP computer science in all high schools. The initiative does not include funds for a teacher but for a teacher to be trained during a weeklong class.
“We have some qualified instructors at the high school who could teach the course and be trained in it,” Lords said.
Amy Word, Churchill County Middle School principal, and sixth-grade teacher Heather Stokes, reported on the school’s Positive Committee work to reinforce student achievement. Examples include rewarding events, trips, comments and bringing back the Student of the Month program.
A trip to Reno with 28 students for the Power of Authentic Connection Conference encouraged students to move outside their usual circles. Also teachers are sending “good news” postcards home and have received appreciative parent responses.
Other agenda items included:
Approved (with two against) to support iNVest 2017, which discusses different school district priorities including programs, facilities, funding and recruiting.
Approved to determine the number of scholarships and amount of money for the Churchill County Board of Trustees Scholarship(s) for the 2016-2017 CCHS seniors; last year, there were two female and two male recipients.
Met in a closed session and resolved a Level III grievance brought on behalf of Mark Leiser by the Churchill County Education Association.
Met in a closed session to discuss negotiations and strategies regarding the administrator, educator and classifed associations.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 8 in the Old High School auditorium (“The Pit”).