02-02-2017 Hartford Public School Board moves into 2017 with optimism

 Hartford Public School Board moves into 2017 with optimism

By Jon Bisnett

The Hartford School Board kicked off 2017 with the Annual Organizational Meeting held January 12 that began with the swearing in of Jason Meachum and Rick Vawter who both prevailed from a field of four candidates vying for board seats in the November election. With his reelection, Meachum now has become the elder statesman of the board, first elected in 2006. Vawter is in fact no stranger having served on the board several years prior including a time as board president.

EVERY STUDENT MATTERS, EVERY MOMENT COUNTS… is the mantra of the 5-Year Strategic Plan for Hartford Public Schools, led through the 2017-18 school year by trustees pic-tured (from the left): Back row – Rick Vawter, Kurt Kuehnle, Jason Meachum, Ben Chambers, Mike Banic; Front row – Ginny Wesaw Rice and Lisa Johnson. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)

The board then went about the business of selecting officers. Ben Chambers will again serve as president with Mike Banic as vice president. Jason Meachum continues to serve as secretary along with Kurt Kuehnle who assumes the role of treasurer for the first time.

The Board also welcomed new Student Representative, junior, Olivia Zeimer.

Board compensation was set at $30 per meeting, representing no increase from the prior year.

Personnel Updates

The business session of January 19 began by recognizing one staffer while saying farewell to another.

Travis Vagts, 2nd Grade teacher at Red Arrow Elementary, was awarded the Golden Keyboard Award in recognition of his superior utilization of technology in the classroom. District tech gurus Kim DeBoom and Rob Steffey presented the award noting Vagts extensive use of video production with his students to the extent of “green screen” technique to create high quality videos crossing lines of several subjects in the classroom.

Superintendent Andy Hubbard announced the unexpected resignation of Middle School ESL Paraprofessional Andrea Trevino. Hubbard commended her work in the classroom in the short time Trevino has been in the position citing familiar matters as the cause for her departure.

Other Business

Final board approval was granted to the Class of 2017 Senior Trip to Orlando, Florida May 5 – 8.  Fifty of 61 seniors have committed to the 4-day, 3-night trip to the Sunshine State.

Technology bids for the construction at the Woodside site were awarded to MOSS Communications in the amount of $138,827.26 for classroom AV systems and to Amcomm Telecommunications for cabling infrastructure at a cost of $67,400.

First reading of NEOLA updates to the District Policy Manual was read into the record.

A brief discussion of the methodology for sale of the Red Arrow property led to the matter being tabled and slated to be revisited in February.

The board also gave approval for conference expenses for new Trustee Vawter to attend training sessions.

Bond Update

Hubbard and Mike Hallgren jointly reported that construction is moving along as expected at the elementary site.

High School and Middle School is still experiencing some bugs in the new energy management system. Hubbard stated as he has previously that con