New teachers introduced, School Board elections to come
Several new faces filled the room at the Tuesday, September 12 meeting of the Nome Public Schools Board of Education. NPS welcomed thirteen new teachers to its ranks, filling several open positions at Nome Elementary School, Nome-Beltz Junior/Senior High School, and a long-awaited Nome Preschool position.
During the regular meeting, mostly positive news was shared with the board as the school year kicks off to a start with high hopes for a successful year. Elections for open school board member seats will be held on Tuesday, October 3.
During open houses on Wednesday, September 13, at Nome-Beltz and Thursday, September 14, at Nome Elementary, students could take the chance to introduce parents, friends and family to some of their new teachers.
The new staff members include Holly Harlow, Sr. High Math teacher from Joliet, IL; Stephanie Bowen, Jr. High English teacher from Ohio, who recently taught in the village of Kipnuk, outside of Bethel; Matthew Johnson, Sr. High Math teacher from Michigan; Amanda Colvin, fourth grade teacher from Ontario, who taught in Bethel for 10 years; Julie Walsh, sixth grade teacher from Montana; Danyelle Ogren, third grade teacher from South Dakota; Dawn Krift, fourth grade teacher from various states, who has been in Alaska since 2013; Shuk Man Osborne, Special Education teacher from Hong Kong; Maria Schifferns, fourth grade teacher from Wyoming; Devin Tatro, Sr. High Social Studies teacher and Cross Country coach from Boston; Heather Jameson, science teacher from California; Aaron Blankenship, Jr. High Social Studies teacher from Ohio; and Christopher “Kent” Black, preschool teacher from Texas.
At last Tuesday’s regular board meeting, it was reported to the board that repairs would begin on the Nome Elementary School roof within the next two weeks. Materials are on their way and a contractor has been hired. It was determined that the Nome-Beltz roof should hold up another year without repairs.
During the business manager’s report, it was reported that NPS is currently ahead regarding the budget, with $2 million in reserve and $800,000 expended. NPS checking account is currently at a “healthy” $4.7 million and the district is confident in its ability to pay bills and make payroll throughout the year. It was also reported that the district will undergo its annual audit the week of September 18, and was ready to provide any requested paperwork to auditors.
The board voted on fifteen board policies, all of which were approved in their first reading. The board agreed to review Board Policy 5040, Student Nutrition and Physical Activity, BP6174, Bilingual-Bicultural Education/English Language Learners, and BP4030, Nondiscrimination in Employment in a future work session before they are approved in their second readings.
In other action items, the board approved Anvil City Science Academy’s contract. The charter school completed the contract in advance of their upcoming application submission. As the contract is now approved, ACSA plans to apply for a ten-year charter, as opposed to their previous five-year charter.
The board also approved an adjustment to the 2017-18 calendar, membership with the FY18 Coalition for Education Equity Membership, and a yearlong leave of absence for staff member Erika Rhodes.
The board did not approve action item G.4 regarding the purchase of new copy machines. The district has recommended using the local services of Boynton Office Systems, even with a price difference of upwards of $20,000 as compared to other quotes. It was explained that Boynton would provide a service contract and local maintenance in addition to the equipment, but the majority of board members requested a more thorough price breakdown and explanation for the cost difference before they could approve the request.
The board recognized students of the month Natalie Parker and Jesse Tocktoo-Kuzuguk, teacher of the month David Padrovak, and support staff person of the month Jim Shreve.
The board will reconvene for a work session on Tuesday, September 26. Elections will be held on Tuesday, October 3 for open member seats. Newly elected board members will be sworn-in at the October 10 regular board meeting.