Board approves new positions


LUSK – The Niobrara County School District Board of Trustees approved two positions during its first meeting of November. 

Trustees Loren Heth and Jeffery Miller attended the meeting via Zoom. 

Before discussing the action items involving personnel, the board moved to executive session. 

After executive session, the board approved Amy Hollon as the yearbook advisor and Lori Lyons as a coach’s aide for the middle school girls’ basketball team.

The board also approved to amend the Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA) contract and administrative oversight fee. 

In other business, the board heard reports from student council representatives, directors, and administrators.

Larkin Williams from student council updated the board on the junior class play and what the council had done in October. Williams said the play will be on Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the high school auditorium at 7 p.m. 

“The junior class is selling tickets for $5 per person and then there will be a lunch that’s there and donations will be accepted for supper that night before the play,” Williams said. 

During the month of October, the student council raised awareness for breast cancer and other cancers in the community by doing a coin drive throughout the schools. Williams said K-6 raised $634.55 and 7-12 $170.56. Student council also added a dollar for every student who wore pink on “pink out day.”     

As the sports teams got ready for playoffs, student council held a pep rally which featured teachers whose classes raised the most money from the coin drive getting pied in the face. 

“We had a lot of happy kids who got to pie their teachers in the face for bringing in the most money,” Williams said. 

Special Education Director Hunter Kunerth gave a report on the department’s formal file review. Kunerth said teachers review each other using a student’s case file. 

“This is ideally going to happen sometime between now and December,” Kunerth said. “We took three people from WYVA, three people from Bricks, and we trained them in this.” 

Kunerth said they worked with Black Hills Special Services to put the document together. Kunerth added they created their own document because the state did not have an objective file review process. 

Food Service Director Leann Fullmer spoke to the board about the changes she has been making in her first year. 

Fullmer said the main focus is using fresh fruits and vegetables as well as more homemade meals for the students. 

“We’re doing a lot of the beef that we had donated. We’ve also had a pig donated and we used some of the sausage,” Fullmer said. 

The board commended Fullmer and her staff for the work they have done to give students better meals. Chairwoman Lexi Ashurst said the food program has been an important part of the district for a long time. 

“I think as a whole this district has been very proud of their food service thing, and you have brought such life back to that,” Ashurst said.   

Transportation, Grounds, and Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Gaukel gave reports on all of the departments he oversees. 

In terms of transportation, Gaukel said he has talked to the bus drivers for each route to get an estimate on how many students ride the bus. 

According to Gaukel, about eight to 10 are on the South route, 38 to 42 for the West, 18 for the North, and 18 to 20 for the East. 

For the grounds report, Gaukel said they have been working of sandblasting and painting the buildings. 

In terms of maintenance, Gaukel said the fire marshal walked through the schools, which has not happened for a while. Also, the chairlift is almost completed in the high school. 

For the custodial report, Gaukel said protocols changed for the high school gym floor as they switched from buffing to a wet mop. Gaukel said it has made the floor less slick. 

Gaukel added they got a backpack sprayer for COVID cleaning on days when the schools are empty. 

NCHS Principal Robyn Heth informed the board middle school girls’ basketball and boys wrestling have begun, and the first wrestling tournament is at the high school on Saturday. 

Heth also said 7-12 will be going to Lusk Elementary and Middle School for the Veteran’s Day program on Thursday. 

Superintendent George Mirich gave a report on some of the grants the district ha received.  

Mirich said the district was awarded $124,000 to replace one of the buses, but it will take eight to ten months to get it. 

Mirich also talked about the Digital Education Grant getting a name change to the Digital Learning and Virtual Education Grant with a lot more money along with it. Mirich said the district normally received between $30,000-$40,000 each year. 

“This year we were approved for $180,000,” Mirich said. 

In old business, Trustee Heth sent the rest of the board resolutions from the Wyoming School Board Association’s delegate assembly. 

Chairwoman Ashurst said every year the assembly picks a few resolutions from all of the school boards across the state to possible send to the legislature floors. 

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. 

© 2021-Lusk Herald

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