Minster students recognized for athleticism

MINSTER — At the recent Minster Schools Board of Education meeting, six students were recognized for their athletic accomplishments. Madeline Magoto, Kaitlyn Albers, Gwen Meireing, Jenna Heuker, Ava Grieshop, and Ella Boate were each recognized for their gaining All-State honors in track and field.

The board held discussion on how to resolve cost overrun of $24,000 in the athletic department. Treasurer Laura Klosterman gave the board a report showing overruns in the past. She explained the cost was particularly high last year due to the added expenses for state competitions, new cheerleader and football uniforms, and the purchase of a high jump pit.

In the past, the board allowed advances of $9,000 in 2016, $500 in 2013, and $10,000 in 2012. This 2018 advance was given with understanding that the money would be repaid. Although no decision was made at the meeting, the discussion leaned toward making the most recent advances permanent, rather than expecting repayment being made from the athletic fund.

A $293,000 resolution of the problem of high humidity in the elementary building was offered for board consideration by the superintendent. She said if the board approves the project, the school was guaranteed an annual savings of $37,500. The project would purchase new temperature controls for the entire building.

Superintendent Brenda Boecke outlined the progress of the 2018-2019 Strategic Plan. Under the goal of ensuring academic success for every student, the district had achieved their goal of 85 percent proficiency for high school students, and 90 percent for elementary students.

Under the strategic goal of providing a safe and innovative learning environment, the superintendent pointed to the progress of the junior high/senior high building renovation project. She said that three classrooms remained to be put back in use.

Under the goal of Minster Local Schools reducing the athletic budget deficit to zero dollars by the end of the 2018-2019 school year, Boecke said the current balance is in the black with $551.84. Income was generated through evaluating and charging for facility rental and running junior high concessions. She said the account still needs to return the $24,000 advance of funds from last year.

Boecke recommended to the board that they could look at subsidizing the athletic department account for the cost of the following:

• Transportation: 2018/19 = $23,418

• State competition room/meal/bus: 2017/18 = $15,518; 2018/19= $20,854

The board was also asked to consider eliminating programs, and continuing to offer yearly advance funds.

Under the strategic goal of engaging the community, Boecke said a new website to communication with the community is up. Boecke said new indicators of success for the 2019-2020 school year would be developed this summer.

Boecke also suggested ways to spend a $187,000 contingency fund surplus as the $10.3 million junior/senior building renovation is completed. She suggested projects such as widening the band door, painting some classrooms, providing seating in the outside commons area, and landscaping the front of the junior/senior high building.

Elementary principal Leanne Keller said that spring 2019 state AIR tests showed proficiency rate in seven of nine subject areas. Falling short of the Strategic Plan of 90 percent proficiency goal was English Language Arts in grades four (at 89 percent) and five (80 percent).

Keller said that Maggie Lamm, grade three, was honored with the fourth quarter Spirit Stick Award in recognition of her leadership.

Other awards distributed at our end of year assembly included Perfect Attendance, Straight A’s, Spell Down Champions, Artists of the Year, and Student Council Recognition.

Special recognition was given to Xavier Kitzmiller, who has had perfect attendance for three years.The high school report said that on May 26, 62 seniors graduated, with 31 of those students having earned academic honors diplomas.

The students were awarded a combined $114,250 through donations from the Minster Scholarship Fund and the seniors also earned over $1.8 million in outside money, such as university merit or athletic scholarships and grants.

It was announced that handbook revisions are underway. The most significant changes being considered would prohibit coffee in the newly renovated classrooms. Cell phone policy would be altered to allow use of cell phones between classes.

Valedictorian and salutatorian selection procedures are undergoing revisions, with selection to be made at the conclusion of the third quarter of the senior year. Included will be evaluations of grades throughout the high school years. The two top positions will have to have earned an academic honors diploma and successfully completed certain classes.

The next board meeting was set for July 22, at 8 p.m., in the elementary building.