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Veteran teachers retire, new Hillsboro School Board members are sworn in
jason oetzman jenni schrock denise huntley
The three newly elected Hillsboro School Board members posed for a group portrait April 13 following the Boards monthly meeting. Left-right: Jason Oetzman, Jennifer Schrock, Denise Huntley. - photo by Tasha Mueller photo

The Hillsboro School District took a major hit in the area of experienced teachers Monday night when the Board accepted the retirement notices of Coleen Burns, Susan Donlan, and Diana Marshall.

Superintendent Curt Bisarek spoke for the entire School Board and staff members, along with current and past students, in expressing appreciation for the veteran educators’ years of service.

Later in the meeting, while discussing the Employee Handbook and Post Employment Benefits, the Board unanimously voted to amend the notice of retirement from April 5, 2015 to May 8, 2015.

The Board’s current position is that the future of post employee benefits is uncertain and will continue to be evaluated during the next few months.

Three newly elected Board members, Denise Huntley, Jason Oetzman, and Jennifer Schrock took the oath of office and were welcomed to the Board by Bisarek and current members.

In the spring election April 7, Huntley was the top vote-getter with 329. Oetzman was close behind with 326, and Schrock placed third with 312. Incumbents Carl Baller and Robert Stekel came up short in their re-election bids, with Baller receiving 302 votes and Stekel 264.

Huntley returns to the Board after a one-year hiatus.

After an update from a representative of the Community Educational Cooperative, the Board unanimously approved membership in the organization that will provide students an opportunity for apprenticeships in the area during their senior year beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

Following a discussion, the Board unanimously approved a reduction of high school pre-algebra and middle school reading and enrichment sections for the 2015-2016 School Year. The decision was based on enrollment and budget figures.

A new Elementary School/Community Garden is in the works. The Board unanimously approved continued planning for the garden that will be constructed outside the building and cared for by students, teachers, and parent volunteers.

Turning to thoughts of Summer School, the Board unanimously approved Middle School and High School courses on driver’s education, humanities/credit recovery, strength and conditioning, and possibly Drama Club/Play.

The Board also voted to use remaining Act 32 funds to replace the unit ventilators in the Middle/High School buildings.

A new plan to address negative lunch balances was approved by the Board after an update on a growing concern dealing with ignored bills. Information is available upon request.

In the final piece of business for the meeting, the Board chose Hawkins & Ash as district auditor after reviewing bids.

After a closed session, the Board reconvened and approved the following actions:

• Final notice of nonrenewal of the teaching contract of Jodi Meyer for the 2015-2016 school year.

• Preliminary notice of nonrenewal of a teacher’s contract for the 2015-2016 school year due to enrollment and budget considerations.

In the reports section of the meeting, Elementary Principal Cara Wood told the Board:

• The children will participate in a statewide tornado drill on Thursday as part of Tornado Awareness Week;

• Registration for Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will be Thursday, April 23rd in the 4K/Early Childhood room. Children with birthdays between 9-1-2010 and 8-31-2011 are eligible. Please call Ashley Shaw with questions at 489-2224, ext. 1628.

• The Elementary Spring Program will be April 28, at 7 p.m. in the High School gymnasium. No Plus One on that night.

• The fourth-grade Heritage Fair will be April 30.

• Fifth graders Shelby Brown, Cedric Bruce, Izzy Gates, and Noah Hardy will participate in Kids’ College at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on May 1.

• Proposed Summer School rules are: June Session for K-3, June 15-18, 22-25, June 29-July 2. August session for K-6, August 4-6, 11-13, 18-20. Hours are from 9-12.

High School Principal Greg Zimmerman reported:

• ACT results (class averages - 36 students from March 3, 2015.) English 21.9, Math 21.83, Reading 22.33, Science 21.55, Writing 20.86. Composite 22.3 (Although not complete, it was one of the highest composite scores.)

• Middle School Presentation Contest (March 11) finalists from each room were Mia Brown, Cade Jensen, Cam Huntley, Grace Holte (second place) , Andrea Auel, Hannah Munson, Jake McCoic, Sierra Johnson (third place), Mitch Huntley, Garrett Sagert, Trent Thorson (first place), and Abby Nemec.

Upcoming events:

• Badger Exam (Grades 3-8) window for exam–April 14 - May 22.

• State Forensics April 17

•  State Solo and Ensemble Recital April 21

•  Junior Prom April 25

• Cheerleaders Florida Trip - Leaving April 27, returning May 2

• ACT Aspire (grades 9-10) window for exam April 27-May 22

• State Solo and Ensemble May 2

• Show Choir Performance May 12

Bisarek thanked the numerous community members who generously provided financial support for the student athletes who participated, the “Tiger Nation” that proudly represented the school and the community at the state basketball tournament, the band and the choir for representing our district so well and the fans who cheered on the team.

Also, Hillsboro Equipment for generously providing the transportation for spectators.

Bisarek also read a note from a New Lisbon community member who pointed out what fine students Hillsboro has and how well behaved they all were while supporting the Tigers.