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Fun Start to the School Year at Cerro Gordo

Staff Writer

The Cerro Gordo School Board held its monthly meeting Wednesday, August 18, at 7 pm in the auditorium.

The board went into executive session quickly with no public participation or correspondence available.

After returning to the open session, the board approved the posting of a unit secretary position and the changing of the assistant volleyball coach to two half-time positions for Elizabeth Owens and Jennifer Moore.

The board also approved the semi-annual review of and action on closed meeting minutes.

The board then approved the minutes of the July meeting and the August 8 special meeting, the financial reports, the payment of August bills in the total of $492,247.97, and finally the authorization to pay KEC Design in the amount of $12,484.50 for the dishwasher and disposal order at the Jr/Sr High School.

At the start of the administrative reports, Principal Jodi Neaveill stated that the elementary school goals for the year will be focused on socio-emotional issues, communication improvement, and math curriculum.

New teachers engaged in a new teacher institute and met with mentors. This institute and the mentoring program started the year off well for all involved.

Principal Brandon Willard reported that the numbers in football and volleyball have increased this year. The staff vs the volleyball team will be held before the football scrimmage. Willard also praised the success of the new staff orientation as this program made for a smooth start. Back to School night was also a success with the help of Rhonda Lovin, Jarod Schonert, Jennifer Thomas, Jason Jacobs, and Diann Durbin.

The Back to School assembly started the school year energetically with football players leading the student body in chants and many staff members showing off their skills.

Superintendent Emily Wiedner then started her report with how well the motivational speaker in-service went. The main event of the second in-service day was a reunification drill held in Monticello. This drill prepared staff for the event of a disaster that would necessitate relocation of students and staff. WHOW radio station will interview Superintendent Wiedner each month to highlight the good programs of our school. The HVAC project is still on course with the chiller to arrive September 1.

In New Business, the board approved the tentative budget for FY24, the transfer of $250,000 from the Working Cash Fund to the Operations & Maintenance and to the Capital Projects fund to pay for the remaining projects of the HVAC and tuckpointing projects.

After discussing an Internal Revenue Service proposed penalty, the board decided to accept the services of a law firm that would work pro bono for up to 6 hours to resolve the situation.

On a lighter note, the Marshall scholarship from Dr. Marshall, a Cerro Gordo graduate, left a considerable amount from his estate to Cerro Gordo schools. Part of this money is to set up a scholarship that would award the valedictorian and salutatorian $4000. As the estate is still being settled with the help of the estate attorney, the board tabled any action on how the lawyer’s fees will be handled.

President Karen Freese adjourned the meeting.

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