SHELDON—Sheldon School District superintendent Cory Myer provided updates on two positions that will have a direct impact on the future of Sheldon High School during the monthly board of education meeting Wednesday, Jan. 11.
The board also approved Myer’s plan to make up the snow days that piled up during the fall semester and to begin the spring semester. Sheldon has had to call off classes eight times during the academic year.
One of the makeup days was Monday, Jan. 16, and two more are scheduled for Feb. 20 and March 31.
There was a more unique plan to make up the other five snow days. The district holds professional development for its staff and most of it takes place after East Elementary, Sheldon Middle School and Sheldon High School are dismissed early on Wednesday afternoons.
Starting today (Wednesday, Jan. 18), Wednesdays will become full days of school for the remainder of the semester. Moving to full days on Wednesdays will allow the district to make up the remaining five days missed.
“There’s never a plan that everybody is happy with,” Myer said. “The teachers association gave their support. It’s not ideal, but it’s making the best of a difficult situation.
If there are two future snow days, those will be made up on May 26 and April 10. Any snow days beyond 10 would be added to the end of the 2022-23 school calendar.
“I want to thank the admin team for sitting down and being proactive and getting this out there early enough to have a plan that says, ‘Hey, this is what we’re looking for,’” said board president Susan Rensink. “I know that parents are really concerned about the number of days and adding those onto the end, so I think having a plan that functions within the calendar we have that can still add those additional education times in there is really beneficial.
“Thank you, because I know it’s kind of a puzzle.”
Myer also updated the board on the search for a new high school principal.
High school principal Sherrie Zeutenhorst submitted her resignation during the December meeting, which the board accepted. She has served as the high school principal since the start of the 2015-16 academic year when she succeeded Matt Meendering. She previously served as the high school counselor 1995-2015.
Myer said the position already has been posted on Teach Iowa’s website, which is educateiowa.gov/teach-iowa.
“We are starting to get some applications in,” he said. “We’ve advertised locally, but it probably won’t get a lot of interest locally, but we are hoping locally people share it that making they will know somebody. We will get some good quality applicants.”
Besides posting the opening, Myer is gathering input from students and staff at the high school about what attributes they want in a new principal.
“What are some of those characteristics?” he said. “If our high school was working on our mission, we are achieving at our best, what does that look like? Some basic questions that way.”
Myer said he will share the results of the surveys once all the information is gathered.
He added he has communicated with different “stakeholders” who will be involved in the hiring process, including sophomores and juniors involved with the high school’s student leadership team.
Myer is hoping to start the interview process in early February.
The other position is for the construction manager at-risk for the potential construction and remodeling of high school. The board approved the process to hire the position at the November meeting.
Myer said proposals have been submitted and he is preparing to submit those to the board members.
He was hoping to start the interview process this week, but there was a conflict with one of the potential firms. Myer said interviews hopefully will start the week of Jan. 23 or they will be moved back to into February after doing the principal search.
Other items on the board’s agenda included:
- Accepting the resignations of Sarah Nelson as the middle school counselor, Gloria Paulsen as a food service, Eddie Perez as a custodian, and the high school cross country coach Maggie Lloyd.
- Accepting a contract adjustment for high school science teacher Nicolette Bracy from full time to part time.
- Approving the contract for Robert Hegenbarth as a substitute bus driver.
- Approving the additions of Christina Moyer as a mentee for $375 to the TLC Leadership Team and Melissa Wenthe as a mentor for $750.
- Conducting a first reading for the transportation and recording devices policy review.
- Approving the 2023-24 high school registration handbook.