Discussion on whether to hire a replacement for retiring elementary-middle school principal Maxine Lampe or to add to the duties of Superintendent Dr. Fred Maharry and principal Tom Ryherd took place at Alta's School board meeting held last week.
This discussion was carried over from December's meeting in which two members from the community expressed concern that they felt the position should be filled to allow a full-time administrator in the building. Despite those concerns the board is leaning towards filling the position within - on a one-year term.
With financial woes to deal with, the board would like to try to get by with only two administrators though they are torn with that concern of having a building without a full-time administrator in the building. It was pointed out, however, that there are times the administrators are out of the buildings to attend meetings and staff and teachers help out to make sure things run smoothly in the building.
The position oversees 11 grades of kids (300 plus) as well as the staff and teachers (another 50).
Middle school teacher Lisa Heschke said she believes "many people would step up to the plate if it would mean saving money." There are many teachers in the building that have their master's degrees.
Ryherd said he is willing to take over some of the duties and stressed tot he board, "this is not a decision that needs to be set in stone. It can work. We're a small district but we pull together when we have to."
Board member Dale Wetherell said he doesn't mind that the staff helps out - as long as other duties aren't affected.
Staff most likely won't be compensated with dollars but time off could be a way of compensation.
Dr. Maharry and Ryherd were asked to get together with Lampe and discuss the duties. Board member Dave Turnquist was absent from the meeting and it was decided to wait until the February meeting to get his opinion on whether or not this is the best thing for the district.
In other business, the board was told that there have been talks that the Northwest Conference may be joining with another conference - War Eagle or Twin Lakes - in the near future because the number of schools is declining. The decision will ultimately be made by the school board; it was suggested to gather input from the coaches and the athletic director on what direction to take. It appears that there are more connections with the Twin Lakes Conference schools.
The board accepted a resignation from Jerry Braunschweig as head baseball coach. "We appreciate the job he has done," said Dr. Maharry. "He's done a nice job with our program."
The board approved a request from speech coach Brad Nesbitt to pay $400 for an assistant. There are some 100 high school students involved in speech.
A fee of $210 will be charged to those participating in driver's education this year. It was stated that some districts charge an additional $100 to students participating from districts other than their own. Alta will not have an additional charge; Alta students will be served first. "We're not out to make money. We just want to come out even," Dr. Maharry said. The district must rent a special-equipped car for the class.