September 18, 2023 at 11:05 a.m.

Long time guidance counselor retires, electrical work needs handled at Iowa-Grant School Board meeting

The Iowa-Grant School Board will be searching for a replacement for a long time guidance counselor who submitted her resignation Monday night.

Jackie Benish announced her intent to retire at the end of the school year, ending 23 years of service with the district.  The board accepted her request and thanked her for her many years of dedicated service.

The board approved spending close to a quarter million dollars to take care of necessary electrical upgrades at the high school.  The board had two companies interested in the project and awarded the job to Pilling Electric LLC. It was noted that Pilling has spent considerable time in the building going over the 11 panels and coming up with recommendations.

Director of Maintenance Mike Oium said servicing the present electrical will face a problem soon when he runs out of stock with the  present set-up.

The board approved the Pilling Electric LLC bid for $260,754.8` which will be funded through theCapital Projects Fund.

The board also approved a change to the support staff health insurance and dental benefits which will make  the nine month employees the same as the rest of the employee groups.  It will cost an additional $48,180 but according to District Administrator Michael Shimshak it will be more fair for all.

The board also approved the pay schedule for co-curricular staff.  Shimshak said it is in line with other area school districts.

The board heard from a representative of Royal Bank and later approved a “positive pay agreement.”  The new process deals with questionable checks that the district will work with the bank in deciding to accept them or not.

The board approved a second reading for 19 NEOLA policy updates and spent some time discussing the library/media center policy that includes the procedure for material receiving objections.    Shimshak presented three options and asked the board to pick the one they wanted to see in the policy.  They picked option 3 that spells out how long something can remain on a list until questioned or not.

Also approved was the policy outlining use of district facilities.  The board accepted the second reading with some changes in language.

The board also approved the professional handbook for this school  year.

Several overnight trips were approved with most of them dealing with FFA overnights for conventions and conferences.  Also approved was a fall/winter FFA officer lock-in at the high school.

During reports by the administration it was noted that:

-the start of school has gone extremely well.

-Homecoming will be celebrated this coming week.

-WASB conferences will be held September 27 and November 4 on various topics related to being a successful school board.

Accepted with appreciation were several donations.  They included:

-the use of two UTVs for the cross country invite from Ritchie Motors.

-$940.00 for new basketballs from the I-G Youth Boys Basketball program.

-$408.55 from Community First Bank for the staff back to school breakfast and afternoon refreshments.

-$232.89 from Cobb, Livingston and Montfort Methodist Church Sunday School to be used towards Panther Packs.

-a back to school luncheon given by United Methodist Church of Livingston

After convening and returning from closed session, the Board took action to hire:

Jen Volenec as a part-time educational assistant

Megan Zoromski as a full-time educational assistant;

Danielle Reiter as a long-term substitute.