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MEEKER I The Meeker Board of Education (BOE) held a “special” regular meeting July 7, primarily to review new superintendent Chris Selle’s recommendations to hire two new elementary school teachers and the Meeker High School principal.
This was Selle’s first board meeting as superintendent, and previous superintendent Mark Meyer did not attend.
Selle’s recommendations to the board were to hire Amy Chinn as interim high school principal for the 2015-16 school year, Virginia Pugh of Craig and Megan Cowles of Alaska (and Ohio) as the elementary school teachers, Bailey Atwood as second assistant high school volleyball coach and John Cooper as a bus driver for the Strawberry Creek route.
Selle also accepted the resignation of Kristen Henderson from the elementary school staff, and these were all adopted on a unanimous vote by the board.
It was announced then that with the Henderson resignation there is a need for another elementary school teacher, and with Chinn’s advance to the principal, the high school counselor position is now open.
Dr. Bob Dorsett, in the public comment period, again expressed his concern that the $130,000 in grants that were said to have been raised by former high school principal Kim Ibach are still unaccounted for.
The co-chairs and a member of the High School Building Accountability Committee claimed in a letter to the BOE in May 2014 that Ibach had secured grants totaling that amount.
Board President Bill deVergie told Dorsett that the board is still investigating the claim. Dorsett is no longer a Meeker School District employee or instructor.
DeVergie reminded the board and public present that State Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, will be in Meeker on July 20 to lead a public discussion on public school financing. The forum will beheld at 6 p.m. in the board room of the District Administration Building, 555 Garfield St.
The superintendents of schools from Moffat County and Rangely and a few of their respective school board members are expected to participate as well.
Regarding school finance, Selle announced that for this next school year the state’s “negative factor” will result in the state providing the Meeker School District with $673,000 less than would otherwise be the case.
The “negative factor” is the “work-around” used by state budgeters to cut about $1 billion total from K-12 education in recent years despite the Constitutional requirement passed by the voting public in 2002 (Amendment 23) to annually increase the base per-pupil funding by at least the rate of inflation.
The BOE will also have a board retreat (work session) on July 25 in the board room from 1 to 5 p.m. The stated purpose of the retreat is primarily to discuss goals for the superintendent and review the district’s strategic plan.