Greene County school board approves bowling as varsity sport

By Rick Morain
Jefferson Herald

A new winter sport has been added to the school calendar.
The Greene County Community School Board of Education at its meeting March 8 approved sanctioned bowling at Greene County High School, beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.
On recommendation of activities director David Wright the board approved adding boys’ and girls’ bowling as high school winter sports. Wright presented results from a survey of students in grades nine through eleven, with 19 boys and 12 girls saying they would participate; almost all are students not currently involved in other activities. The bowling season will run from November to February while meets and practices will be held at Spare Time Lanes in Jefferson.
“Adding this program will give more Greene County students an opportunity to participate that might not otherwise get involved,” Wright said in a statement.
In other action, the board voted to ratify the 2023-24 negotiated agreement between the school board and the Greene County Education Association (local teachers’ union). The union has also approved the agreement. It calls for a base salary, for a beginning teacher with a bachelor’s degree, of $33,888, compared to the current base of $33,350.
The base salary is used to compute the other salaries on the “grid.”
The agreement will increase the district’s cost for its teaching staff by 3.459222 percent, or $291,310. That figure includes increased benefit costs. It does not include teacher salary supplement costs, which will increase from to $6,200 from the current $6,000 per teacher.

The board approved staff changes as follows:
• Resignations: Middle school principal Shawn Zanders, preschool teacher Linda Henning, fourth grade teacher Amanda Huff, and kindergarten teacher Kristin Mallinger.
• Hirings: Carla Ogden as a pre-kindergarten associate, Chris Nelson as assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach, and Kyle Kinne as boys’ golf coach.
• Hirings for the current 2023-24 year: Matthew Paulsen as an assistant varsity football coach, Andrew Brouwer as industrial technology teacher and middle school football coach, and Dave Higgins as assistant middle school (seventh grade) football coach.
The board approved the voluntary retirement applications of Henning (18 years) and Zanders (10 years) together with their resignations. The board wished them well and thanked them for their years of service to the district.

The board set a public hearing of the district’s proposed fiscal year 2023-24 budget for the next regular board meeting at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 19.
The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Superintendent Brett Abbotts presented the proposed certified budget, including historical enrollment and tax levy data. The proposed budget calls for an overall levy rate of $14.31 per thousand dollar of taxable valuation, down 11 cents from the current year’s budget. Secretary Brenda Muir will publish the budget in the Scranton Journal and the Jefferson Herald.
The budget must be certified to the county auditor by April 30.
Also presented was an amendment to the current 2022-23 budget. A public hearing for the amendment will also be held April 19 at the regular board meeting. The amendment would give the district authority to spend excess funds available since the original budget that was approved last April. Secretary Muir will publish the amendment in the Scranton and Jefferson newspapers.

• The school board approved an “Egg Your House” Easter egg hunt fundraiser from Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).
• The first reading of a revision to board policy on certified employee probationary status was approved. The revisions would align policy with the Iowa Code, requiring two years of probationary period rather one.

• During the open forum, Daniel Cunningham informed the board of his decision to no longer serve as a substitute teacher, citing behavior problems from a number of students.
• At the end of the meeting the board went into closed session under the Iowa Code provision “to evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered when necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individuals’ reputation and that individual requests a closed session.”
After the 75 minute closed session, the board came back into open session and took no action.
The school board meets regularly at 5:15 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month in the board room of the middle school on Ram Drive at the south edge of Jefferson.

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