Bullock appointed to CCSD school board vacancy

Wendy Bullock

Wendy Bullock
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The Churchill County School Board appointed a new trustee May 29.

Trustees interviewed two candidates to fill the vacancy that was created April 29 after board Vice President Tricia Strasdin resigned to pursue an administrative position within the district.

Applicants Susan Chambers and Wendy Bullock each had about 20 minutes to speak with trustees, present personal information and answer seven questions. The applicants were individually taken out of the room to avoid any possible unfair advantage.

“Being on the school board comes with a lot of challenges, but it’s a great opportunity to be involved in the community,” Trustee Kathryn Whitaker said. “We appreciate those who are willing to do that.”

Prior to the vote, board President Gregg Malkovich gave a reminder that the primary elections would be completed June 11. Voters, though, will be asked to choose three candidates at the general election to fill the upcoming three seats on the board for the new term that begins in January. Malkovich, Whitaker and Bullock ran uncontested.

Whitaker said a similar situation happened when Strasdin was originally appointed to the board. Strasdin also was an applicant like Bullock.

“The board at that time felt it was important that we gave trustee Strasdin extra time, and she had the opportunity to get involved as soon as possible,” Whitaker said. “I still believe that it was the best decision we made, and so I believe it’s the best decision moving forward to select the person who is uncontested in the election.”

The remaining board members agreed with Whitaker and unanimously appointed Bullock to the vacancy.

The board also approved the final budget for fiscal year 2024-25 as presented by financial consultant Phyllys Dowd and district comptroller Christi Fielding.

Superintendent Derild Parsons submitted several special requests in the budget for new positions he would like to see including a behavioral teacher for each school. Parsons said this type of teacher would have students in their classroom only on an “as needed” basis.

“There will be times the classroom is empty and then the person will go into the individual classrooms and give a different perspective to the teachers in their classrooms,” Parsons said.

Trustee Matt Hyde asked where these new positions would fall in priority since the district as a whole is currently understaffed.

“I really think it’s a solution that would help,” Parsons said. “This is a concern that we have had and I think, in the long run, this will be better … part of the reason we’re having trouble getting people and keeping people is because of student behavior.”

Trustee Julie Guerrero-Goetsch made the initial motion to approve the budget including the requests from Parsons. Going forward she would like more information to help the board in choosing between priorities.

Trustees also discussed and/or took action on the following items:

Saw a slideshow of highlights from the 2023-24 school year. The video will be available on the school district website later this summer after a planned site update.

Approved a new contract with Oasis Online for technology services for the period of July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2029. The contract includes a 4% increase in yearly compensation from $524,133 to $545,088.

“They’re very supportive,” Trustee Hyde said about the company. “I can’t say enough good things about them…we’re lucky to have them.”

Approved to renew a proposal from LP Insurance Services for Anthem to be the district's medical, dental, vision and life insurance provider for July 2024 through June 2025. The approved proposal includes a nine percent increase from the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Approved an employment contract for Karina Keeler as the executive assistant to the superintendent and Board of Trustees.

Approved an employment contract for Cameron Sorensen as the district’s human resources manager.

Heard a first reading of changes to the immunization policy and Jump Start program policy.

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