With the retirement of Marlin Lode as superintendent for the Cherokee School District, the school board at neighboring Aurelia are jumping at what could be a money-saving opportunity. The Aurelia board met in special session Thursday, then sent a letter to the Cherokee School Board asking if it would be interested in sharing the services of the Aurelia Superintendent, Tom Vint. A joint meeting is set for next week.
Board member Keith Glienke pointed out that nine years ago Lode left as superintendent at Aurelia to take the Cherokee position and at that time board members there asked Aurelia to consider sharing the administrator. Aurelia declined at that time.
Glienke said the issue is in economic one. "We see this as a potential cost-savings for our district, and their district."
Board member Doug Radke commented, "The shoe is on their foot now. We've inquired and they are the ones that have to make the decision."
Cherokee enrollment is estimated at 1,092 for the next school year, and Aurelia at 336. Whole-grade sharing is not under discussion at this time. It may be, the Aurelia board agreed, that Cherokee's board may feel that they want a full-time administrator rather than sharing, or that they may fear that if the head administrator is shared, the work load on the other administrators may increase.
"It's on their plate," said Superintendent Vint. "I don't think this would hurt either district but benefit both districts. I think you should be applauded for trying to save the district money."
Glienke added, "We, as a board, need to be salesmen and try to sell Tom. We think you do a bang up job here and we feel you can handle both positions," he directed to the superintendent.