ACSD Board of Directors approves variety of personnel decisions, begins preparations for next school year as current school year comes to a close

by Brianne Grimstad

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) School Board met for a special board meeting Tuesday, April 30 to act on a handful of personnel items. The following recommendations were approved, pending a satisfactory background check: Dani Bucknell, Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach; Kelli Olson, High School Computer Science Teacher/TLC Leader/Education and Curriculum Specialist; and Scotti Hagensick, Student Success Coordinator/At-Risk Interventionist.

The board also approved a pay increase for the Food Service Director which was a total package increase of 4.65%. The increase gives ACSD a more competitive salary and will also include two personal days and two temporary days, to be more in line with other 11-month directors and administrators. The board accepted a resignation from Taylor Seibert, Paraprofessional and also approved a transfer for Caleb Ferring from assistant to head varsity boys wrestling coach.

The board met for its regular monthly meeting Monday, May 20. The Consent Agenda was approved, and the following recommendations to hire were approved, pending a satisfactory background check: Ryan Steffen, Assistant Varsity Boys Wrestling Coach; Mark Schmadeke, 9th Grade Boys Basketball Coach; Ben Pline, Assistant FBLA Director; and John Papp, Softball Volunteer Coach. The Board accepted three resignations: Caleb Ferring from his 7th and 8th grade football coach position; Stacie Cooper from her Elementary Guidance Counselor position; and Jessica O’Connor from her teaching and FFA Advisor position.

Under the Consent Agenda, the board also approved an out-of-state field trip to New York City in March 2025 for the 10th, 11th and 12th grade music department students. As explained in a letter from the Allamakee Music Boosters and instructors Jo Ann Knipfer Sherman and Sarah Bieber, students begin fundraising for this trip in middle school through the Music Boosters Tastefully Simple sale. Students who have not raised enough funds to pay for their trip are responsible for paying the balance. The Music Boosters have helped to reduce costs by using some money from their trip fund and also by purchasing one meal a day for the students. There is no cost to the district for this trip.

The board approved three open enrollments out and two open enrollments into the school district. The board also approved renewal of the Iowa School Finance Information Services membership and participation in the Youth Frontiers Kindness, Courage and Respect Retreats. The Wellness Plan and Corresponding Policy Regulations received approval.

The following Operational Sharing Agreements were approved: Human Resource Director with Postville; Social Worker with Keystone AEA; and Special Education Director with Keystone AEA. Preschool Partnership Agreements with St. Patrick’s School Preschool Center and Growing Bear Daycare Center were approved. The board also approved use of the football field for the Fields of Faith Event, which will be held October 9, 2024 this year.

During the Communications portion of the meeting, the ACSD School Board members were recognized for their work and dedication to the district and the students. Board members also heard a presentation on the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Plan and how that works with the different levels of leadership among the teaching staff.

In his Superintendent’s report, ACSD Superintendent Jay Mathis noted that there are no major summer projects planned, which will allow ACSD custodians to be able to focus on cleaning and will help the district build up PPEL and SAVE funds. ACSD is also working with Keystone AEA leadership to design supports for students for the next school year. He also noted that the district is planning to cancel its membership with Rural School Advocates of Iowa pending the board finding a different advocate to represent the district with their legislative agenda. The current advocate appears to have a conflict of interest.

To read the full article, pick up the Wednesday, May 22, 2024 print edition of The Standard or subscribe to our e-edition or print edition by clicking here.