The Altus Public School District Board of Education approved an item to issue stipends for all contracted school employees during their monthly school board meeting held on Monday, Dec. 9 in the Conference Room of the Administration Center. The Board also received several presentations that included recognition of the State Champions Altus FFA Shooting Sports Team, and a check presentation to the Altus P.E. Department from the Miss Altus Outstanding Teen.
“We have reviewed our finances and we believe that the district can afford to give a stipend to all full-time certified employees in the amount of $250 per employee, and pro-rate that $250 to all part-time support certified employees based on their percentage of contract hours of employment,” Superintendent Roger Hill at Monday’s meeting. There are about 475 employees totaling a cost of approximately $150,000 out of the General fund, Hill informed.
At the start of the meeting, the Altus FFA Shooting Sports Team was recognized for winning two State Championship Competitions held in November, as advisers Bruce Farquhar and J.C. Stafford called students forward to stand before the Board.
“Mr. Hill and Board members, thank you. We a honored to have you recognize these young people for the achievements they have experienced in the past month,” said Farquhar, who explained that the events are fast paced competitions unlike any other discipline in the shooting sport. Farquhar first introduced the four-person Junior Team consisting of Ben Brown, Dominick Naslschuz, Josh Hurst, and Nevin Lawson, and then introduced Braden McElwee, Gannon Smith, Braydon Gipson, Zachary Plye, Justin Sward, Abby Abernathy, Morgan Jones, Erin Waldroop, Sierra Arsenault, Kody Redden, and Jasmine Martinez.
Farquhar also thanked Shooting Sports Team Coach, former retired Army veteran and renowned shooter, Lawrence Wilks.
“The friendship has been tremendous, and not only does he coach our students but he’s a mentor as well,” Farquhar said. “Lawrence, thank you for everything you do.”
Following the presentation, the Altus Public School P.E. Department received a $1,500 check from Miss Altus Outstanding Teen, Altus High School sophomore Lexie Herron, who held a 5k walk/run fundraiser event in October for her platform “Forever Fit.” Her platform aims to motivate kids and students to exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. All of the proceeds raised were donated to the Altus Public Schools P.E. Department.
During Superintendent’s Reports and Comments, Superintendent Hill, Board President Dr. John Thomas, and Board Member Darrell Moss thanked each school for allowing them to visit and observe students while learning in the classroom.
“What a pleasure it was to go around and visit with teachers and support staff, and really to just casually say ‘thank you’ and to see what was going on in school on that particular day at that particular time,” Hill said.
“I really believe I learned something by getting into every school…” President Thomas said. “I think any parent, any patron, going into the Altus School system should be able to get up in the morning and trust and know their child is going to go to a school, it’s not the newest in the world, but its up to date, its modern, its clean, it has all the technology that you could ask for, and it’s got a great faculty and staff from the crossing guard all the way up to the Principal. People who are interested in kids learning.”
Board Member Darrell Moss stated, “It was an eye opener for me, and I enjoyed it. Seeing the kids and how well behaved they were. The thing that really opened my eyes a lot is that every time I go around, I see how dedicated the staff is and how hard you guys work and how hard the teachers work, and it’s such a pleasure to go see that. I do want to thank you so much for all the hard work you do.”
The Board then approved the consent agenda, and then accepted resignations from certified personnel Brooke Fay, Special Education teacher at Altus Intermediate School, effective Dec. 20, and Ed Jones Athletic Director/Asst. Principal at Altus High School effective June 30, 2014, and non- certified personnel Tanya Jones, Secretary to Asst. Superintendent, effective June 30, 2014.
The Board approved the reassignment of non-certified personnel with a change in salary for Randall Hawkins, from a 2-hour Bus Driver to 4-hour Bus Driver, effective Jan. 6, 2014. The Board also approved a list of of substitutes including Alice Cantu, Theresa Duerden, Ambra Finstad, Sophie Hartig, Amanda Leach, Nico Maldonado, Lucinda Taylor, Estella Toledo, and Carole Town, as well as a list of volunteers including Joseph Bishop, Jeffrey Blurton, Carl Brantingham, Robert Engle, Johnross Kavanagh, Adam Medvit, Jacquilyn Mermolia, Kryssianna Paulo, Rangeline Rosario, April Silva, William St. Clair, Lyndon Stoudmire, and Mark Wolford, and Yma Wall was approved as a time sheet employee.
New certified employees approved include Juliana Crane, 4th Grade Teacher at Sunset Elementary effective Jan. 6, 2014, and Jillieta Norwood, Music Teacher at AIS effective Jan. 6, 2014.
The Board approved the 2014-2015 School Calendar before approval of claims. There was no new business, so the meeting adjourned.