Abby School Board looks to fill vacancy
The Abbotsford School Board on Monday discussed how to best fill a recently vacated seat after the resignation of member Juanita Hammel. Hammel officially resigned in December after moving out of the district. She had served on Abbotsford’s board of education for nearly five years. With her resignation the board is mandated by the state to find a replacement within the next 60 days, superintendent Sherry Baker said. The makes the board’s deadline land on Feb. 18.
“We missed the Nov. 20 deadline, which would have been what we would have needed in order to put this on the voting ballot,” Baker said. “The board’s responsibility and duty is to fill the vacancy.”
Baker outlined several options the board has at its disposal to find a suitable replacement. Baker said board members could recommend someone to fill the seat, they could hold a special meeting to appoint someone, or they could advertise for letters of interest in the Tribune Phonograph, allowing candidates to submit their nominations.
After discussing the three options, the board approved a motion to pursue the letters of interest, and to post an opening in the paper looking for candidates.
Based on the submissions the board receives, members will attempt to choose Hammel’s replacement during its next monthly board meeting on Monday, Feb. 17.
_ The board discussed the idea of appointing a liaison from the Hispanic community to attend board meetings in the hopes of bringing in an outside perspective on district initiatives.
_ The district’s January head count puts the total number of students at 754, up seven from the previous head count in September.
_ The board is looking to implement a pilot fingerprint program for students in grades sixth and eighth to use the school’s food service program.
Food service supervisor Frankie Soto indicated in his monthly report that he is looking into a new scanning system for meal service. According to Soto’s report, “a fingerprint scanning system will remove the need, especially for younger children, to keep track of an ID card.”
_ The board approved a motion to switch the district’s property insurance provider from EMC Insurance Companies to R& R Insurance Services for the purpose of expanding coverage on the district’s computer data and hardware in the event of a cyberattack. Under R& R, the school would be covered for up to $1 million in losses — up from the $200,000 in coverage offered by EMC.
_ The board approved a motion accepting the resignation of Maryjane Brehm as a middle and high school math teacher and the retirement of Nancy Abel as a 4-K teacher at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.
_ The board approved the hiring of Tonya Gebert as a district administrative assistant/bookkeeper, Nick Johnson as middle and high school math teacher and Tonya Klabon as a JV girls basketball coach.