More celebrations for district

LUSK – The school board and members of the community applauded the achievements of four high school students from Jim Lyon’s business classes who obtained their QuickBooks certification during the school year. 

Jasper Caldera, Britainy Knopp, DeAnna Mazac and Walker Kupkeall enrolled in a 10-week Quicken class which culminated in a 50-question exam for certification. The certificate is offered through the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. Students had to attain an 80% or higher in order to be awarded the certificate, and all students passed well above that. 

Lyons discussed the need for additional certificate and career-readiness achievements for the high school students. He thanked the administration and the board for their support of these students and paying for the course and exam. The accomplishment of these four shows that these types of programs are a good investment in students’ futures.

Students of the month for April and May were also acknowledged at the May 24 school board meeting. Jasper Caldera, Riley Shaw, Britin Bruch, Jackson Cage, Kaydence Nelson and Kyra Willey all received certificates and gifts of achievement from the board. 

Andi Hubbard requested the floor as a visitor and addressed the board as a candidate for the head high school girls’ basketball coach. She stated she had been notified she would not be receiving the recommendation from the interview committee for the position and, “something in her wanted to come and voice a few thoughts to the board for their consideration.”

Hubbard went on to detail her previous experiences with coaching within the district. She felt the committee’s statement regarding her not being a teacher in the building was an inaccurate perception of her ability to connect with players as students. She emphasized to the board, in her five years of coaching for the district as an assistant coach, she has built up relationships with her players and proven she is committed and interested. She hopes to teach in the district in the future, after staying home to raise her children. She also wanted to address an answer she had given during the course of the interview which was, when asked if she would accept the assistant coaching position if not offered the head position, she declined. She was concerned her answer was seen as a reflection of her only “being in it for herself,” instead of for the kids. That was not her intention, but more a reflection of her desire to continue her coaching career, but that an assistant position with the other candidate would not be a positive one.

Following the budget hearing, the board continued on with normal business which included administrative updates. Administrators present all reported on the positive events and activities which had occurred over the last two weeks of school. These included graduation ceremonies, community clean-up day, awards days, celebration activities and final field trips. All felt the year had ended on a positive note for students and staff. 

Within the action items, the board finalized the approval of recommendation for hiring a secondary language arts teacher, Amy Hollan, and a secondary industrial arts instructor, Joseph Martinez. They also approved the hiring of Ricki Kremers as the head coach for high school girls’ basketball and the creation of a full-time special education life skills teacher. 

Additional compensation for all staff was discussed and approved. Given the future of education funding is uncertain, administration recommended step increases where appropriate and hourly-based raises for other staff. Administration also recommended a $500 growth and professional development stipend for all staff in the district based on the growth and improvement within the district during the 2020-2021 year. Superintendent George Mirich spoke specifically to the extra energy and efforts of staff with all the COVID-19 restrictions and changes, the improvements in WYTOPP scores and the professional development requirements they would have for staff including WYVA over the summer months. The board approved both financial recommendations.



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