10-05-2017 Hartford Schools to seek replacement for long time business manager; 2018 Miss Teen Colom

WATERVLIET HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1967… held a 50th Class Reunion on August 19, 2017 at the farm of Jim and Carolyn Smith. In the photo (from the left) are: Front Row – Dave Simanton, Geoff Geisler, Ray Bujack, Doug Osgood, DeeDee Hayes, Pat Cerny McGee, Susan Day Martell, Deborah Skorupa Mock, Dixie Carr Richter, Gayle Seikmann Hutchins, John Reese; 2nd Row – Bill Camp, Sharon Pumfery Rush, Jolene Jarvis Tavolacci, Karen Krieger Nickels, Sherry Schultz Craig, Sherry Harper Eubanks, Betty Dillenbeck Scoggin, Carol Wood Vance, Ron Austin, Con-nie Blevens Austin; 3rd Row – Bill Williams, Steve Dibble, Clas Hakan Lindroth, Sandy McIntyre Mashak, Bill Cartwright, David Smith, Rick Jarvis, Jim Whiteside, Rick Schlipp, Ken Chappel, Audrey Shane DeVault, Jim Smith.

Hartford Schools to seek replacement for long time business manager

By Jon Bisnett

The unwelcome news was bound to come sooner or later, so amid a friendly air of denial, the Hartford School Board got the official word they didn’t really want to hear during their September 28 business meeting that HPS Business Manager Mike Hallgren was ready to retire after over 34 years at the post. In his resignation letter Hallgren wrote with sincerity, “I want to thank the community for allowing me the privilege of serving their children… and am proud to have been both a student and employee of the district… I will treasure the memories always…” Hallgren will depart as of January 1, 2018.

Personnel Updates

Approval was given to an annual contract with Redwood Elementary Teacher Stephanie Hallgren who will serve as ESL/Migrant Coordinator in the amount of $3,000. Funding for the position is provided via federal grants.

A contract was also proposed for High School Principal Dave Janicki to serve as District Safety Officer. Janicki has performed the duties for the past three years and upon recommendation from the Finance Committee would now be compensated $3,000 for the annual position which supervises, coordinates and reports on CPR training plus fire, weather and lock-down drills throughout the district.

Discussion initiated by Trustee Rick Vawter questioned if the compensation was enough, while Trustee Lisa Johnson queried as would these responsibilities take away from Janicki’s prime directive as High School Principal. Johnson understands that staff wants him in the building.

Superintendent Andy Hubbard stated he had contacted the other Van Buren districts for input. Most schools divide the position among their building administrators; many with no additional compensation. The Van Buren Intermediate School District is also willing to perform the service on a contract basis for roughly $5,000 annually. The question then arose from Vawter, “Is Dave worth only half what the ISD would charge?” Hubbard replied that the ISD fee also included CPR Training, which is separately contracted by HPS. Hubbard further commented that Redwood’s first ever fire drill took Janicki off the high school campus for only 30-45 minutes at the most. The staff responded flawlessly and had all students out of the building in short order, even despite the new layout of the Redwood facility. Secretary Meachum then questioned if 30 minutes was enough, “…shouldn’t we expect more time to be spent on the drills at the elementary than just 30 minutes?” Again the response was that Janicki had planned the exercise and in advance had communicated with staff that then carried out the drills with remarkable efficiency.

Hubbard added that VBISD Chief Safety Officer Gary Brown recognizes HPS as way ahead of the curve when it comes to CPR, AED and drill procedures. Following a thorough discussion the unanimous approval was given for the $3,000, (non-retroactive,) annual contract.


Speaking to the retirement resignation of Business Manager Mike Hallgren, Superintendent Hubbard thanked Mike for all the help he provided over the years. “Working under six different superintendents, spanning over 30 years, Mike has sailed the ship through some turbulent financial waters, not to mention occupying the superintendent chair in a dual role for a short period.”

Hubbard plans to officially post the opening in October, interview in November and hopefully have the new business manager “ride along” with Hallgren’s final 30 days in December.