EACSD Board of Directors approves several personnel matters, identifies legislative priorities for the upcoming school year

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Board of Directors met Monday, July 17 at Kee High in Lansing. Board Presidnt Bobbie Goetzinger and board members Melanie Mauss, Kelli Mudderman and Arla Wagner were present, with board member Tony Becker being absent. New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas, EACSD Superintendent/Kee High School and Middle School Principal Dr. Sarah Murray and Board Secretary Michele Martin were also in attendance, along with visitors Dr. Bill Withers and Stan Rheingans from Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA).

After the meeting agenda was adopted, Keystone AEA Board of Directors member Dr. Bill Withers and Keystone AEA Chief Administrator Stan Rheingans addressed the board to thank its members for their continued support in utilizing Keystone AEA resources within the school district. Rheingans also provided an overview of what Keystone offers and agency goals.

The board approved the July consent items, minutes of the June meeting, bills for June 30 and July thus far, the Secretary’s Financial Statement, and the Student Activity and Food Service Reports for June.

In personnel matters, the board approved contracts with Megan Schwartzhoff as an Elementary Teacher, Ian Zahren as Vocal Music Instructor for 15 extended days, and Sarah Whitehead as Food Service Director. The board also approved a 28E sharing agreement with MFL/MarMac Community School District and the EACSD for a Vocal Music Teacher. The board regretfully accepted the resignation of elementary teacher Shelly Baumgartner.

Approval was also given by the board to the following handbooks for the 2023-2024 school year: the Kee Connect Handbook, the Grades PK-12 Parent and Student Handbook, the Paraprofessional Guidebook, and the Grades 7-12 Teacher Guidebook. In addition, the board approved the Confidential Safety Plan/Guide, as well as the Lau plan, which is an equal access plan that protects all English learners.

In financial matters, the board approved the renewal of its liability coverage through EMC Insurance. Finally, the board discussed the Iowa School Board Legislative platform and identified four items as being top priorities for the Eastern Allamakee Community School District: Area Education Agencies, Mental Health, School Safety, and Teacher Recruitment and Licensure.

During the Administrative Reports portion of the meeting, Elementary Principal Thomas informed the board that the concrete improvements were made at New Albin Elementary School for safety reasons. She also advised that New Albin Elementary School received a STEM Grant for math. Thomas noted that summer school is going well, and she also reported that the Spanish trip she chaperoned went well and that she enjoyed the trip.

Superintendent Murray stated that she is still in need of an art teacher and additional paraprofessionals for the upcoming school year at Kee High School. She reported that the concrete work in front of Kee High School will be completed by August 9 and that the community picnic will be held Monday, August 21, from 4-7 p.m.