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District Update 4-7-10

by Bill Heimann

April 07, 2010

District Update includes a summary of district events from the perspective of the superintendent:

1. High School Graduation Plans
2. April 7th Board of Education Meeting Summary

Mr. Ricenbaw, Waverly High School Principal, wrote the following in regards to the process to find an alternative location for the Class of 2010’s Graduation Ceremony:

The factors consider include the following:  
• Distance from WHS communities
• Environment of venue
• Parking
• Seating
• Inclement weather
• Student input
• Cost of venue/set-up
• Man power needed
• Availability for rehearsal

Mr. Guggenmos and Mr. Ricenbaw toured and/or spoke with representatives from eight different venues. Mr. Ricenbaw also met with the senior class to inform them of the possibilities and talked through the positives and negatives of each venue. Some venues that were considered were:  St. Marks Church, NWU, Pershing, SCC, Lied Center, Berean Church, Viking Stadium, Lancaster Event Center and Lincoln North Star.  After speaking with students, it was clear their top priority was not limiting the number of people they could invite.  This eliminated a number of our options.  We decided to eliminate our football stadium because the contingency plan for inclement weather would limit all graduates to inviting five or six guests maximum. Most students invite many more than that. This year’s weather has not been encouraging for an outdoor event. After researching our priorities, it came down to three venues for serious consideration– the Lancaster Event Center, St. Marks Church and Lincoln North Star.  All of these venues were tops in meeting all the needs above. When we contacted St. Marks again, they were no longer available due to a concert that evening. One concern regarding the Event Center was the odor from agriculture events. The students concern regarding North Star was the fact that they were not excited about graduating in another school’s gymnasium.  
After considering all factors, Lincoln North Star was the best alternative – location, parking, environment, minimal set-up, rehearsal availability, minimal cost and seating. North Star has a beautiful gymnasium and will be the one venue that would have a similar ‘feel’ to our graduating seniors.  This was a very difficult decision because there is no right answer – the only way to make it right for everyone involved was to have graduation in our high school gym.

The Board of Education held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 6th. The Board received a presentation from the Eagle Parent-Teacher Organization. A presentation from Hamlow Elementary was led by Mrs. Shernikau and several students, who shared a service-learning project they have been engaged in during this year. The Board reviewed written administrative reports, and received an update from the Building, Grounds, and Transportation Committee.
The Board took action to accept the resignations of two high school teachers, Jim Jacobsen – Industrial Technology and Duane Dohmen – Social Studies. Extra-duty resignations were accepted, including Mark Zulkoski – Head Girl’s Basketball, and Dan Jensen, Head Boy’s Soccer Coach. Lucas Bingham, technology staff member resigned effective April 5. The Board approved the hiring of Jamie Hesterman as an elementary Media Specialist. She is currently a teacher in Gretna, and will be a great addition to District 145. She will replace Rita Neddenriep, who is retiring this year.

In other business, the Board approved changing the starting time for Eagle elementary in 2010-11 to 8:15am. The current start time is 8:20am. This change will bring the total number of student instructional hours at Eagle closer to the number of instructional hours offered at other buildings. First reading of Policies 2100, 2120, 2121 were conducted (Superintendent Job Description and Evaluation). Approval was given for the reassignment of Mr. Stine as the High School Assistant Principal/Activities Director.

The Board set a date for a special meeting on April 21st at 7:00pm. The purpose of the meeting will be to take any necessary action regarding the amendment of teaching contracts resulting from the Board’s action on March 30th to reduce specific district programs. The Board set dates for committee meetings on April 13 (Planning and Development) and April 21st (Policy).

District News Updates

District Update 4-7-10

Date Subject Posted by:
04/12/2010 When I heard that the 2010 graduation exercises were being moved outside the district, I was extremely disappointed. When I expressed this to Mr. Ricenbaw, I was told that the senior class had chosen this option rather than Viking Stadium, whereby in case of inclement weather it would be moved inside, and the number of guests would be limited. Unfortunately, the members of this class, were only 7 years old the last time commencement was held outdoors, and no doubt, do not appreciate the fact that moving it indoors is usually not necessary. I also wonder if the entire class was in on the decision, or if the class council made a hasty decision on behalf of the rest of their classmates. Bruce Sedivy Bruce Sedivy blsedivy@inebraska.com Waverly Retired teacher

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