12-28-2017 Hartford Schools look forward to the New Year 2018;

CHAMPIONS… The Watervliet High School wrestling team won the Calvin Christian Team Duals Championship on December 9, 2017 in Grandville, MI. Standing are (from the left): Manager Emma Yazel; Isaiah Yazel – 2nd Place 152 lb; Team Captain Logan Swigart; Team Captain Klayton Marshall – 1st Place 135 lb; Assistant Manager Cody Nearpass; Team Captain Dylan Lynch – 2nd Place 160 lb; Jessee Height; Trever Pelton – 1st Place 103 lb; Jimmy Collis; Coby Hensley; and Coach Dan Isbrecht. Kneeling (from the left): Team Cap-tain Matthew Melcher – 1st Place 285lb; Cole Hunt; Korben Camp; Dillon Clemons – 2nd Place 112lb; and Alex Isbrecht – 2nd Place 119lb.

Hartford Schools look forward to the New Year 2018

By Jon Bisnett

The final 2017 Hartford Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Dec. 21 ended the year on an uptick with a positive Superintendent evaluation, unanticipated income, a new Business Manager and cake!

Superintendent Evaluation

 For the second consecutive year Hartford Superintendent Andrew Hubbard received solid marks from the closed session evaluation from the board conducted at the workshop meeting earlier in December. Hubbard scored on “Effective” rating described by Board President Ben Chambers as just a couple points shy of “Highly Effective” rank.

Responding to a post meeting interview question, the fact that the board did not extend Hubbard’s contract in the case of a positive review, Chambers stated, “His current contract was signed in February 2016, and was an extension that began in July 2016 and is good thru 2019. It had a merit pay increase and slight salary increase at that time. I know it’s typical for automatic renewals and/or extensions at evaluation time, but we are currently not set up that way. The entire board did not feel we needed to act after the completed evaluation in December 2016 as we just signed an extension thru 2019 a few months prior.

“My goal as Board President will be to have our committee meet this coming January or February and bring a new contract extension to the entire Board in March. We will also be reviewing language to try to clean things up and moving forward, I would like to see an extension or automatic renewal based on an effective or higher evaluation each December.

“Mr. Hubbard and the entire district worked extremely hard over the last few years on goals the Board of Education set as well as the primary focus of our Strategic Plan. I am very happy with the strides the District has made and the future we are moving toward. Mr. Hubbard’s leadership has been outstanding, and we will look at all the information as we look to extend his contract early in 2018.”

Finance Report

 Mike Hallgren thanked the Board for his retirement cake that preceded the meeting with the best kind of news his office can provide. Hallgren reports revenue is up by some $900,000 with expense increased to just over $600,000, leaving a projected surplus of $240,000 to equity. Hallgren noted the increased expense reflected the 1% across the board employee raises, while the additional revenue came from the increase in enrollment of 73 students. Casino revenue was also up while expenses also accounted for a new bus purchase, land acquisition near Redwood Elementary and the cost of the driver for the new city bus route. Hallgren thanked the Board for the opportunity to serve the school and was pleased to present this most positive budget amendment on his final appearance as Business Manager. He leaves the District with a positive equity position of 21%.