It was another busy Thursday night for the Westminster School District’s Board of Trustees members as they approved two resolutions, 3-2, that would discontinue several administration services if the state budget does not improve.
The board also honored some of the district’s finest teachers as each school selected a teacher of the year for the 2012-2013 school year.
The positions that were eliminated for the 2013-2014 school year included administrator of categorical programs and assessments, administrator of curriculum and instruction, coordinating director of supplemental services and a music teacher for an elementary school.
The board did however withdraw a resolution that would have reduced two other administrator positions.
If more funding becomes available, the board would then put the eliminated positions on a priority list. From there, positions can be reinstated based on funding availability and priority ranking.
Trustee Jamison Power spoke against both resolutions, calling the night’s vote very hasty and reckless. Power said that more study should have been conducted in order to make a better informed decision.
Power and Trustee Dave Bridgewaters were the abstaining votes.
“We as a board have not been given enough information about this situation,” Powers said during the meeting. “This whole process feels very rushed, forced and haphazard.”
“(We need to) Slow down, study this thoroughly and do our due diligence which I feel we haven’t done as a board yet,” he added.
However, Mary Mangold said that the resolutions had ample studies and that board must adhere to a May 15 deadline.
“If we don’t make a decision tonight, then we are stuck,” she said.
Superintendent Richard Tauer spoke about the importance of two of the eliminated positions, administrator of categorical programs and assessments and administrator of curriculum and instruction. He expressed some of the concerns that could arise and urged the Board to bring the two positions back when possible.
“These are very, very complicated programs,” Tauer said about the categorical funds program monitored by the administrator of categorical programs and assessments. “They don’t come free. We have to monitor them frequently. If we don’t, we run the risk of losing the funds.”
The meeting began on a high note, however, as sixteen teachers were awarded for their outstanding services during the current school year. Each teacher received an award and many accolades and praise from colleagues and administrators.
Colleen Dudas, a drama and history teacher at Johnson Middle School, was selected for the WSD Teacher of the Year award, as well as teacher of the year at her school site.
“She is highly respected from students, parents and teachers that think of her not only as a teacher but also as a role model,” said Leisa Winston, assistant superintendent of human resources, about Dudas’ relationship at her school.
Dudas has taught at the district for 21 years and she said receiving the award has been a blessing and inspiration.
“I feel completely overwhelmed. It is truly a blessing,” she said. “The Westminster School District is at the forefront of everything and they have taught me a lot.”
The Board also heard a presentation offering a glimpse in the upcoming curriculum changes at Clegg Elementary School and Warner Middle School. Both schools will be converting to a magnet school program in the fall, titled STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics).
The program will emphasize science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics for the 21st century.
Clegg’s Principal John Staggs, who presented on the program, said the programs could also be used to attract students from other areas and help maintain retention with students already in the district.
The Board also honored eight district students as the winners of the PTA Reflections Contest and received an updated Measure O presentation on the current modernization projects on several school sites.