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USD 410 hires math and engineering teacher

Lease for church services approved

News editor

Hillsboro USD 410 Board of Education approved hiring Lance Sawyer for a new position teaching high school math and engineering at the board meeting Monday. There were 32 applicants for the position.

Hillsboro High School Principal Max Heinrichs introduced Sawyer at the beginning of the meeting. Sawyer is a native of Inman and currently teaches in White City. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and their 11-month-old daughter.

The board approved hiring Sawyer without ever meeting in closed session. He will also be the high school head football coach, a high school assistant boys’ basketball coach, and the spring and summer weight-room supervisor.

This is the second teaching position the school district has added for the 2012-13 academic year. The board previously approved adding a third section for second grade.

On Monday the board also approved adding positions for a choir accompanist, weight-room supervisor, and summer curriculum work. Superintendent Steve Noble projected that potential increased enrollment and state aid per pupil for 2012-13 should more than cover the expense of the additions.

Board member Joe Sechrist emphasized how much the district is putting back into classrooms as the budget situation improves. The addition of the two teaching positions and piano accompanist amounts to $96,500, compared to $6,000 for the athletics-related weight-room supervisor supplemental position.

Church lease approved

The board approved a six-month lease for Grace Community Church to use space in Hillsboro Elementary School for worship and Sunday school every Sunday. The lease is valid through Oct. 7.

The church will be able to use the Gordon Mohn Community Center, gymnasium, southeast hallway adjacent to the gymnasium and preschool area, faculty lunch room, preschool activity room, preschool lunch room, art and music room, and restrooms in the north-south hallway across from the gymnasium. The church will have access 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.

Rent will be $1,500 per month, and will include all utilities and cleanup by a district custodian. Grace Community Church must provide liability insurance of $500,000 per occurrence with $1 million aggregate naming the district as an additional insured party.

When the lease expires in October, the church and district may negotiate a new lease. Either party may terminate the lease with 30-days written notice.

The church requested leasing facilities to help establish a congregation at the March board meeting.

Computer purchases

The board approved purchasing 27 laptop computers for teachers, 200 laptop computers for the one-to-one computer program at HHS, and 15 desktop computers for the HHS technology lab for a price not to exceed $159,000. The computers will replace older hardware circulating out of use.

The new student computers would be bigger than the current miniature laptops students use, as well as sturdier and with better battery life. A portion of the miniature laptops could be sent to HES for students to take reading tests on.

The cost for new computers is more than the district budgeted, by about $31,000. Board member Gary Andrews asked if there was any salvage value to the old computers. There is practically no salvage value, other than using them for parts to keep the computers that will be used for HES reading tests.

Board member Debbie Geis said she wished the school could hold off purchasing student laptops for another year while tablet computer technology and software improves, but the battery life on the current computers is becoming a major hindrance.

Noble said the one-to-one computer initiative at the middle school will need serious discussion before buying computers for it again, but he said there is no question the high school program should continue.

“I do believe the one-to-one initiative at the high school is a success,” Noble said.

It would be a big step back to end the high school initiative, he said, and board member Mark Rooker agreed. Sechrist moved to purchase the computers and Andrews seconded the motion. The proposal was approved unanimously.

In other business:

  • The board approved a lease for Prairie View, Inc., to use the HES gymnasium and Gordon Mohn Community Center for its 2012 summer program. The only change from previous years was requiring Prairie View to carry liability insurance of $500,000 per occurrence and $1 million aggregate naming the district as an additional insured party.
  • Several HHS business students will compete April 18 at a state competition in Wichita sponsored by the Kansas Council for Economic Education.
  • Technology Student Association won a robotics competition during the weekend.
  • The board took no action to opt out of a class-action lawsuit against the state seeking capital outlay fund equalization for the current and two previous academic years. Using the equalization formula from when the state funded it, USD 410 would have received $124,734 for the two previous academic years. By taking no action, the district will remain as part of the class-action lawsuit.
  • A request from TAPP for transportation to an after-prom party Saturday in Wichita was approved. The group will pay $1 per mile and $20 per hour per driver to use three vehicles.
  • Tim Kersten was hired as a middle school custodian.
  • The board met in closed session to discussion negotiations. No action was taken on return to open session.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be 7 p.m. May 14.

Last modified April 12, 2012

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