LCS Board gets tour of summertime work

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

LE MARS — Le Mars Community Schools Board of Education members took a tour of improvements at the middle school and high school Monday before their 6 p.m. meeting.

The front entrances of the middle school as well as the south entrance, had new doors installed. The front of the middle school also received a facelift and new windows with cement replacing the pea gravel between the sidewalk and the building.

The entrances also have a buzzer system, similar to those at the elementary schools, to ensure that once school starts, all guests be buzzed in by staff.

Board members said the new doors are a huge improvement at the entrance. They also noted the new security cameras at the entrances as well as in the school hallways.

Once inside, board members walked to the middle school restrooms by the south entrance, which were redone.

The board also went to the high school to see work being done on the building’s ventilation system. They specifically stopped in a classroom on the east side, where they saw the system installed in each room on that side to ensure fresh air comes into the room.

“It’s not the most beautiful thing but when trying to retrofit the building, it works,” Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner said. “We also have new units going on the roof for various parts of the building.”

He pointed out along the east side, the old vents were taken out and that area was bricked in, with a new vent installed.

Webner reminded the board the ventilation system will be paid for with COVID funds, meaning the district will get reimbursed for the cost.

In their meeting, the board dealt with four resignations and three contracts.

The resignations are:

Rachel Fey resigned as a teacher associate at Franklin effective immediately.

Thomas Long, high school night custodian, resigned effective Aug. 19.

Dorene Schimek is as a special education teacher at the high school, effective Aug. 15.

Hannah Helms resigned as an IMC associate at Franklin effective Aug. 1.

The board approved the resignations.

Webner commented, “I would like to thank these people, particularly Dorene Schimek. She’s been here a long time and decided it was time for her to retire and we wish her all the best. I would recommend approving these resignations.”

Three contracts were added to the agenda. They are:

Greta Prichard, high school special education teacher, $57,274

Haley Birks, 9th grade girls basketball coach, $4,081.50

Greer Milledge, head girls wrestling coach, $6,122.25

Webner said with receiving the high school special education position retirement very late in the game, the district was fortunate to interview Prichard.

“She did an exceptional job in the interview. She previously has been a Spanish teacher in several different districts,” he said.

Her husband, Michael, is the high school band director.

“With her position, the state has an ‘executive director decision license’ for someone who has a teaching license, for example in Spanish, but not in special education.

“I spoke to the Board of Educational Examiners and let them know we offered her a position and she accepted. They will approve her for a one year conditional license, until June 30, 2023. By that time she has to have 50 percent of her special ed credits completed and then the state will give her another year of conditional licensing to complete that license,” Webner explained.

The board approved the hiring of Prichard pending suitable licensure.

The board then approved the contracts for Birks and Milledge.

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