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Four candidates, two open seats on Hillsboro School Board
The order in which names will appear on the spring ballot is set
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Four candidates, including one incumbent, will vie for two open Hillsboro School Board seats April 5 in the spring election.

During the School Board’s regular monthly meeting Jan. 11, Superintendent Curt Bisarek and Board member Brian Hora drew the candidates’ names from a red Farmers State Bank bag to determine the order in which they  will appear on the ballot.

The candidates’ order of appearance will be: Jill Stekel; Stacy Sosinsky; Randy Seeley; and Jenny Hynek.

Hynek is seeking re-election. Stekel’s husband, Bob Stekel, has previously served on the Board; Seeley already serves on the Hillsboro City Council; and Sosinsky is the founder of Cub Packs, a program that provides free bags of nutritious food to children who go without adequate meals during weekends and extended breaks when school is not in session.

Building maintenance

Two building maintenance issues figured prominently in Bisarek’s report to the Board.

He reported that, in the morning, five  rooms in the Middle/High School building were without heat. Precision Controls was on-site and had the rooms heated during the day.

The company is advising the district to tie unit ventilators together as soon as possible to help maintain steady, consistent temperature control in the building’s classrooms.

In addition, BR Bleachers performed an assessment of the building’s bleacher system and offered a preliminary proposal which calls for $31,000 in repairs.  Bisarek reported that he has contacted another company for a comparison proposal.
He did not offer specifics on the nature of the repairs.

Also, Bisarek thanked David Alexander of Alexander Furnishings for donating to the district six chairs featuring a distinctive tiger’s paw print design on their backs.

Personnel matters

Bisarek reported that the district has received 71 applications for the  opening for a co-principal of students for grades 4K-12 that  the Board approved during its December meeting.

The superintendent said he had expected only 40 applicants for the  job, which will begin with the 2016-17 school year.

In closed session, the Board reviewed applications for the co-principal position. The administrative team will continue to review candidates with the goal of conducting interviews with finalists during the first week of February.

Other business

In other business, the Board approved the second reading of a compensation policy for student event workers. The policy had its first reading in December. Business Manager Mindy Boldon said at the time that the district formulated the new policy at the request of its auditors.

Also approved was a revision to a policy on filling Board vacancies, which Bisarek said was in response to changing state statutes. The revision deals with voting  for the new Board member by roll call instead of signed ballot at either a regularly schedule meeting or special meeting 21 days after the resignation is submitted; and how the Board should  proceed if voting ends in a tie.

The Board approved the district’s continued participation in a Carl Perkins grant consortium with other  surrounding districts. Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) 4 is the group’s fiscal agent.

Also approved was the number of regular and special education open enrollment spaces for 2016-16. Six spaces in total will be open–four in grades 4K-5, and two in grades 6-8.

No action was taken on a resolution supporting a FabLab grant proposal/project. Due to requirements of the grant application, Bisarek said the district will be unable to pursue the grant this year.

Revisions to a policy on full-time public school open enrollment were tabled pending further review from the Board’s policy committee.

Bisarek offered for an initial review a rough draft of the school district’s calendar for the 2016-17  year. He said he tried to keep it similar to this year’s calendar, though he admitted there are “things to clean up.”

He added that, following input from staff, he would present a revised version at next month’s regular meeting, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.–one half-hour later than usual–on  Feb. 15.

Dates to remember

Zimmerman said that semester exams will take place Jan. 20-21, followed by a staff in-service day–and a day off for students– Jan. 22.

Elementary Principal Cara Wood said report cards for the second quarter will be sent home with students the following week.

Before that, a sledding party for 4K students is set for 4-6 p.m. Jan. 14, and the local spelling bee will be held Jan. 18. The top two contestants will represent Hillsboro at  the Mississippi Valley Gifted and Talented Network spelling bee in Westby Jan. 26.