Gering School Board recognizes custodian as ‘Bulldog staff member of the month’
GERING – The Gering Public Schools Board of Education convened for a regular monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. All board members were present.
The board reviewed the previous board meeting minutes, claims and bills, and revisions to board policies. They also reviewed the personnel contract for Laura Barrett, director of student services. All items within the consent agenda were approved as presented.
Gering High School Head Custodian Scott Lang was recognized as the Bulldog staff member of the month. Gering High School Dean of Students Kory Knight shared the comments on the nomination form.
“He goes above and beyond to keep our building running smoothly,” she said. “His friendly attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to keep our building operating properly makes him the perfect candidate for December staff member of the month. To put it simply, Scott makes our building go. His work often goes overlooked and I am here to show my appreciation for everything Scott does at the high school.”
Gering High School Principal Eldon Hubbard reiterated how much pride Lang takes in keeping the school clean and operational, even through the construction. He also shared the student body’s reaction to the news.
“Although you may say nobody notices, when we announced this to the student body, they gave him a standing ovation,” he said. “So, you may not think someone is watching, but the kids are watching.”
Board member Mary Winn voiced her excitement with Lang’s selection as a classified staff member. She said classified staff are crucial to establishing a positive learning environment for students.
Lincoln Elementary Principal Pam Barker introduced students, who gave a building report. Students created a video about what students are doing and how they are learners and leaders. The video featured students discussing how they spend time in the community, develop social and leadership skills — like how to properly introduce yourself, and use data notebooks to track their learning progress.
Winn provided a curriculum committee report from the December meeting. Science teachers Brett Moser and Jen Dillinger reported how the physical sciences and biology courses are going to be combined. All ninth and tenth graders will receive the same curriculum and instruction with the goal that students can have an opportunity to take more science classes including biochemistry, botany, and zoology.
Josh Lacy attended a VALTS meeting where they met with Cynthia Brown. She shared that eleven VALTS students are scheduled to graduate on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. Once the students graduate, their spots will be filled immediately. They also approved the first quarter billing for the 2018-19 school year.
BJ Peters toured Gering High School to see the progress on the library. Brady Shaul and Peters also saw the new gym and wrestling area, which Peters said will be impressive. The floor has been poured and the pieces are coming together.
Dana Cole and Company, LLP presented the audit during the business committee meeting. They found no irregularities.
Superintendent Bob Hastings asked the board if they were interested in pursuing a second monthly meeting as was discussed during the board retreat. The purpose of that meeting would focus on a specific topic, likely during lunch. Brian Copsey recommended sending out a doodle poll to determine the best day of the week. The board will try to schedule their first lunch meeting in January.
Hastings also shared that work is underway to transition sixth grade to the middle school. He will provide formal information in the next few months for the board. Elementary teachers received a survey to gauge their interest in moving to the middle school.
The board accepted the retirement of Dave Lashley, Gering High School counselor, at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
The board approved Owner Change Order 5 for the Gering High School project. Hastings noted that the change order does not affect the budget. They also approved Pay Application 8 to Hausmann Construction for $1,547,506.69.
The 2017-18 financial audit was approved as present and the district entered into a cooperative agreement with Banner County Schools for soccer. The agreement does not affect classification.
Lacy was thankful for the Lincoln Elementary presentation and appreciates what the staff are doing to foster student success. Winn wished everyone a Merry Christmas and congratulated the high school mock trial team on their second place finish at state. Brent Holliday also wished everyone a Merry Christmas as they enjoy time with their families. Holliday also is excited to see the progress on Gering High School over the break. Shaul is excited to see the high school project come together. Peters is also excited about what lay ahead for the district and he hopes people have time to take a break to enjoy family and friends this holiday. Copsey said it was nice to see Lang nominated, Lashley will be missed at the high school, and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
The board entered into executive session at 6:41 p.m. to protect the public interest for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining strategy.
The next regular meeting of the Gering Board of Education is Jan. 21 at 6 p.m.