USD 410 Board of Education appointed Joe Sechrist to fill a vacancy on the board Monday. The position was vacant after Brent Barkman chose not to run for re-election in the spring.
Kimberly Jost also applied for the vacancy. Selecting someone to fill the position was the board’s responsibility because nobody ran for election, and all write-in candidates either were disqualified or declined to serve.
Sechrist has resided in Hillsboro for 12 years. He is a 1990 graduate of Tabor College and middle school counselor in Wichita.
Good teachers are the district’s biggest strength, while declining enrollment is one of its biggest challenges, Sechrist said.
Board president Eddie Weber said he was glad to see two serious candidates for the board position.
Jost said she thought Sechrist would be a good board member. Because he was appointed, his term will last until the next school board election.
Budget includes tax increase
The board approved its 2009-10 budget, including a property tax increase of about one mill.
The 2008-09 rate was 57.4 mills, and the 2009-10 rate will be 58.5 mills. The increase was necessary because of decreased funding from the state.
The budget includes about $730,000 in capital outlay. Superintendent Steve Noble said a district the size of USD 410 needs to keep about $500,000 in capital outlay in case of an emergency.
In other business:
- Hillsboro and six other schools are considering forming a league. Kingman, Sterling, and Pratt also are being considered for the league. If a 10-team league is formed, it could include divisions to reduce driving time to activities, Noble said.
- The board approved a lease for Midway Motors to continue occupying the building the district purchased for a district office. Midway Motors is awaiting approval to begin construction of a new dealership from General Motors. The company will pay the school district $4,500 per month.
- The board approved a new technology-use policy for its efforts to equip each high school student with a laptop. The policy will be on the district’s Web site soon. Among the policy’s provisions are Internet filtering at school and home, and different sites will be accessible at home than at school. Students will be responsible for protecting and securing the laptops. Violations of the policy will be punishable by suspension of computer privileges for up to three weeks.
- The district will hire a district office secretary to take Jane Long’s position. Long will retire in October. Noble said he wanted the new employee to spend two weeks learning from Long. The board met in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss the position’s duties.
- The board met at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the board’s expectations of Noble.
The next regular board meeting will be 7 p.m. Sept. 14.