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Cerro Gordo School Board reports on programs and repairs

By JANE HENRICKS
Staff Writer

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the Cerro Gordo School Board met in the auditorium. The first item addressed was the presentation of the students of the month: Maggie Petty, 6th grade; Marley Bone, 7th grade; Tatum McCrae, High School.

Superintendent Robinson read several thank you notes thanking the board for their service from the junior high student council and elementary school principal Jodi Neaveill, as well as thank you notes from both principals in appreciation for gift cards celebrating Principals Day. The board then approved an honorarium to reward all sports volunteers. In the area of employment, the board accepted the resignations of High School football coach Nick Walker and High School volleyball coach Victoria Hermann.They also approved the employment of Judy Ennis as BAS director. Bills for November totalling $373,895.52 were approved and paid.

Elementary Principal Jodi Neaveill reported about various past and future events; Star Testing, Mid-Terms, Picture Retakes, staff CPR/Norcan training, bus drills, Hearing and Vision testing. She also introduced her PrinciPAL program where students from each grade selected by teachers will enjoy conversation and a sundae with Mrs. Neaveill. The November 11 Veterans Day program was praised. Special thanks was directed to the American Legion and Auxiliary Post 117, Mr. Robinson, Wil Pritchard, Jarod Schonert, Todd Henricks, the HS kitchen staff, FCCLA Club, Rebecca Milligan, Amanda Roberts and Sara Looper.The elementary will collect canned food items for the holiday baskets. Hams will be donated by the Legion. The Church of the Brethren Ladies will be donating fresh fruit and blankets for these baskets. Mandy Isaac and Heather Skelley did an awesome job for PreK night. The PTO will host a family reading night November 17. The district is thankful for all the work the PTO has done so far this year.

During the high school section of the reporting, Principal Brandon Willard praised the implementation of software that monitors the use of the students’ chromebooks during class time. Students wishing to acquire service hours to meet district requirements may now volunteer to tutor during the Wednesday Study Tables. The administration is continuing to celebrate higher grades especially with 68% of Junior High students on the Honor Roll. Dr. Gilpin put on the play “Makin’ It” with a cast made up of staff, community members, high school and junior high students. Agriculture teacher Megan Mead and Math teacher James Vogel took several students to the FHA convention. Mr. Schneider took 8 students interested in the trades to meetings in Springfield Later he took all of the sophomore class to Richland to Heartland Technical Academy to introduce the programs available.Seniors Romeo Montes and Carson Brown volunteered to help Tony Piraino with highway cleanup.

Willard thanked Leah Durbin and all of her helpers for the Day of Awesomeness. Approximately $8000 was raised. Both Bement and Cerro Gordo were represented at the state Cross Country meet with Will Fuson and Dylan Howell competing.

Superintendent Brett Robinson announced that all school safety drills were practiced except the Bus Safety Drill, which will be postponed until Spring. In the district students have the option of participating in Richland Transfer Academy to get a jumpstart on college or in Heartland Technical Academy to train for the trades. The ROE has now set up meetings for a transition-to-work program for students going directly into the workforce after graduation. FCS teacher Cassie McCleery attended these meetings. All schools of Cerro Gordo district were given commendable ratings on the school report card. The district received the second highest designation. A marionette show of “Snow White” was performed for the elementary students. The bids for the HVAC project of the 1929 building will be accepted and opened November 22. The board will hold a special board meeting November 30. With the help of the Piatt Co Sheriff deputy David Lansford, the grade school improved the pre-school dropoff and pickup area. The new sound system in the high school gym is done.The north steps should be in operation; however, gaps will be repaired by the company at no cost to the district.

The unfinished business portion of the meeting found board member Debbie Greenwood accepted as the delegate for the Convention Assembly. The new business portion introduced the grant given by the state for maintenance as it did last year. Last year the money went to tuckpointing a portion of the 1929 building. The application for the grant this year will be to complete the tuckpointing. If the district applies for $100,000, the state will pay for half of that total. This action was approved. Low maintenance landscaping projects done by NEAT were also approved for the elementary school.entry, the north stairs and the front entrance of the new building. The amounts to be levied for the district will need to be fired in December. Las year’s amounts were $3,114,165 and $705,607 for bonds. The estimated amounts for this year of $3,447,330 and $792,804 in bonds were approved. A Truth in Taxation hearing will be held next month. Because of the equalized assessed valuation of property possibly increasing, the taxpayers tax rate may actually decrease potentially. The Policy Committee will be before the next board meeting in order to have the first reading of ISB recommended policy provisions. The meeting was then adjourned.

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