SCSD#1 hires administrators, reviews tentative budget

PINEDALE – The Sublette County School District No. 1 (SCSD#1) board gathered on Thursday, May 11, for its regular monthly meeting, where trustees reviewed a tentative budget for the upcoming school year, looked at administrator contracts and approved a change order for Jorgensen Engineering on water-quality testing for lead.

During new business, the board looked over the tentative budget for the 2017-18 school year. According to business and operations director Vern McAdams’s report, the General Fund tentative budget’s expenditures remains $854,799 lower than the 2016-17 General Fund budget.

He estimated that funding for the General Fund in the model will decrease $374,000 and funding for Wyoming retirement outside of the model will decrease by $33,300, for a total decrease of $407,300 in funding for fiscal year 2017-18. The district is estimating total revenues for 2017-18 to be at $15,954,700, with total expenditures estimated at $16,594,630, according to the report. Nothing was approved or finalized at the meeting, but served as information for the time.

“We still have time to think about it or make any changes that need be,” board chair Jamison Ziegler said.

The board later approved a change order for Jorgensen Engineering on water-quality testing related to the lead issue in select SCSD#1 buildings. When Jorgensen came aboard in December, it was approved for up to $10,000 to conduct the job.

An additional round of testing was required to evaluate the effectiveness of the town of Pinedale’s switching from a soda ash treatment back to sodium silicate. This led Jorgensen’s fee for services to surpass the initial dollar amount, totaling $17,200 with an increase of $7,200.

Board member Stacy Illoway said the additional money was almost as much as they gave Jorgensen in the beginning, but the board went ahead and approved the change order.

Following an executive session to discuss legal and personnel issues, the board unanimously approved administrator contracts for 2017-18. The list included maintenance director Gregg Anderson, technology director Chris Rule, food service manager Gail Wilkerson and transportation director Kevin Warren.

In other new business, the board approved engaging Porter, Muirhead, Cornia, & Howard (PMCH) for the 2016-17 audit. The district is currently in the middle of a five-year RFP for auditing services, beginning back in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Trustees also approved an early graduation list of students that have completed all required courses and credits needed to graduate. The list includes Skyline Academy junior Jayde Faler and Pinedale High School (PHS) junior Jorell Ballard. In addition, students who will soon complete all required courses and credits necessary to graduate and wish to do so early include Skyline Academy juniors Chance Fandek, Cody Crumb, Chris Edgar and Karlon Ballard. The board approved all names on the lists.

The next agenda item called for the board to approve four courses for PHS, including Probability and Statistics, AP World History, European History and Accelerated Algebra 2. All received board approval.

The board then approved the 2018-2020 maintenance plan, which changed, for budgeting, from an annual plan to a three-year document.

Vice chair Robin Schamber said she likes the idea of looking at long-term projects that need to be addressed, although they can be almost daunting to review.

During the visiting delegation portion of the meeting, Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor and ag teacher Rex Hamner approached the board to talk about student successes in FFA this school year.

He said the school had four state FFA Degree members, including seniors Chantz Albrecht, Micah Brown, Sergio Saenz and Spencer Criddle.

“These are people that have invested $4,000 in their projects or put 2,000 hours in a placement project,” he said.

He added that one American FFA Degree was named last fall – previous PHS student Kaylum Thayne. To be considered, students have to be out of high school for a year, retain their FFA membership and earn $9,000 in an entrepreneurship-type project. Thayne’s project was centered on forest timber management.

In addition, Hamner noted student successes in proficiency award areas.

Sophomore Sage Albrecht received a bronze award in Agricultural Communications, while Saenz earned a gold medal in Agricultural Mechanics, Design and Fabrication. In Ag Mechanics, Repair and Maintenance, Criddle won gold, while Saenz took the silver award and sophomore Kolby Carson earned the bronze award. In Home and Community Development, Brown took the top honor with a gold medal, while Carson took home the silver medal.

Junior Sam Winkelkotter earned a bronze medal in forage production, while sophomore Sam White took the bronze award for Outdoor Recreation. Albrecht picked up the silver award in Equine Science Entrepreneurship, while Winkelkotter secured the silver medal in Beef Production and senior Cole Andersen picked up bronze in the same category.

Senior Kyle Brewer earned the gold medal in Forest Management and Products. Of the 27 FFA Members who submitted applications, Pinedale had 13 State Finalist and four State winners. If that wasn’t enough, Albrecht was named as the Region 1 Star in Agribusiness.

In other visiting delegation, choir instructor Greg Allen and band instructor Justin Smith spoke about their recent trip to Walt Disney World in Florida during Spring Break at the end of March and beginning of April.

Allen said the choir performed while visiting, and despite solid black robes in 92-degree weather all day, did a fantastic job while up on the stage. The choir and band each received an Excellence in Performance trophy featuring a miniature Mickey Mouse.

“The kids love it,” Allen said of the trophies. “I’m very proud of them and what they accomplished; it is definitely something they will remember the rest of their lives.”

Allen said both the band and choir had to submit several performance videos and jump through additional hoops to be able to perform.

“They don’t just let anybody walk in the door,” he said.

Smith then took the floor to talk about the band and choir workshops. In just two and a half hours, students learned and recorded a Disney song that was then placed with actual Disney footage.

“The kids were treated 100 percent like professionals and were expected to act like professionals,” Smith said. “Within a week, the kids have started acting differently in rehearsal. It changed our ensembles that fast. We were able to walk away with a video of the end result of the clinics with professionally-done recordings.”

Smith added that since Disney is accredited for services and workshops, students can put the experience on future college applications.

After the presentation, the pair showed the board the videos created while at Disney. The choir’s piece entailed singing along to “The Lion King,” while the band performed music for the film “Tangled.”

During reports, Pinedale Aquatic Center (PAC) Director JJ Huntley noted that the PAC’s front steps have concrete damage.

“We have a couple dangerous spots where concrete has fallen off,” Huntley said.

The PAC’s lease agreement calls for the aquatic center to conduct repairs; she just brought it to the board’s attention to make them aware of the repair work that will be done.

“We believe that work will begin during our shut-down week, which is June 5 to 10,” she said. “We will not have patrons in there during initial work. If it extends beyond that week we will be channeling people through our south side entrance.”

The SCSD#1 board’s next regular meeting will be on Thursday, June 8, in the Administration Building boardroom at 7:30 p.m.

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