By J.R. Sparke
WHITE CITY — Three staff resignations from the White City attendance center were accepted by the Rural Vista Unified School District Board of Education during a regular monthly meeting Monday night at White City.
Leaving employment with the district at the end of the current school term will be Amy Moore, second grade teacher; Mary Lawrenz, instructional coach; and Kendra Arnold, pre-school instructor. Moore, who is entering retirement, and Lawrenz are long-time teachers at White City. Arnold is completing her first year of employment at the school.
In another employee matter, the contract of Superintendent of Schools Harold Blevins was extended one year through the 2014-15 term. He is officially employed on a part-time basis (four days a week).
Board member Duane Blythe of White City cast a “no” vote on the contract extension motion. He did not publicly explain his vote.
The board met in closed session for a total of 1 hour, 40 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel. This included discussion of the superintendent’s evaluation and other personnel matters. Superintendent Blevins, Hope Schools Principal Mike Teeter and White City Schools Principal Kate Robinson joined the board at various times during portions of the meeting closed to the public.
The only action taken following the closed sessions was extending the Supt. Blevins employment contract. Board president Jim Barten told the superintendent he had been doing a good job, but that the board had areas of improvement to address during a future meeting.
Barten praised Supt. Blevins in helping lead the effort to make the district schools look better visually and improving the bus system,
Summer mowing contracts were renewed with Steve Riedy at Hope and Rusty Rice at White City. Riedy is paid $2,000 for mowing and trimming. Rice receives $1,700 for mowing and $15 per hour for trimming. The board placed a $500 cap on the trimming.
Board members were informed in a letter from Hope Mayor Ruby Davis that the City of Hope was ending a lease agreement with the district pertaining to the use of the former district office at Hope. For the past year, the building had been used while the While City hall was being remodeled.
The question of whether to retain possession of the building or offer it for sale was discussed by board members for several minutes.
Blythe said if it was of no use to the district, then it should be sold. Superintendent Blevins agreed.
However, board member Larry Goracke of Hope asked for information relating to utility costs at the district office at White City. The office was relocated from Hope a few years ago.
Board member Esther Dillon of Hope expressed concern about the amount of work needed and the cost associated with making improvements to the building.
The matter was tabled until the April board meeting.
Also scheduled for that meeting is a decision relating to the cost for B&B Baileyville to host a football game in September on the Hope High football field. The matter was first discussed at the February board meeting.
Justin Coup, a Hope High alumni and head football coach at B&B, made the request since his team has a contest scheduled with a distant opponent. Hope would be a mid-way point for both teams.
Board members approved senior trips for Hope and White City, including providing transportation and paying for the first tank of gas.
Hope High seniors Jenni Whitehair and Raelyn Lorson said their class planned to travel to Branson, Mo., May 4-7.
Robinson read a letter from WCHS senior class president Jace Beavers in which he noted class members were planning to go to the Colorado Springs area in Colorado and to a professional baseball game in Denver May 3-7.
The board also agreed to provide transportation to the recreation center at Kansas State University in Manhattan for White City High students and their guests attending an after-prom party on April 20. A request was made in person by Angela Beavers, who serves on the after-prom committee.
Permission was granted for a fund-raising play-a-thon April 6 in the new gymnasium at Hope High. Monies will go to the JOY Club. Debbie Linder made a request through a letter read by Teeter.
Monthly reports by principals Teeter and Robinson included information about recent parent-teacher conference and the start of state assessment testing in their attendance centers.
They also mentioned that basketball teams at their respective schools qualified for the Class 1A tournament at Hays. The White City boys finished second, while the Hope girls were eliminated in the first round.
The board’s next regularly-scheduled meeting is slated at 7 p.m. Monday, April 8, at the Hope Schools library.