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South Putnam hires new technology director

Monday, August 17, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- The South Putnam School Board welcomed its new technology director Steve Ricketts during the regular meeting Monday. Ricketts will start work Tuesday.

"I'm hoping to hit the ground running," Ricketts told board members.

His background includes servicing Brownsburg schools, and he was most recently a technology consultant in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. But he said he loves the kindergarten through 12th grade environment.

"I like helping teachers teach (through technology)," he noted.

Ricketts' first priority is the high school lab. Any problems affecting the teacher's ability to teach a class will become a high priority in the technology department.

Ricketts is replacing Rick Sutherland, who was let go by the corporation following his arrest on charges of theft in early March. Sutherland was accused of stealing more than $100,000 from National Printing Converters in Brazil, where he was employed.

Board members were delighted to meet Ricketts and wished him well this school year.

Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt addressed the school board with positive comments about the new school year.

"We have an excellent teaching staff," he said. "The corporation has many good students (and parents)," he added.

Not having ISTEP to prepare for this fall, students and teachers are able to concentrate on normal curriculum. ISTEP will be administered in the spring this year.

"I'm looking forward to the next month or two," Bernhardt said. "I'm real positive about it."

On another positive note, the corporation passed its state police bus inspection Aug. 7. It received a 100 percent for the second year in a row.

"It's really difficult to get 100 percent," said Chuck Shaffer, transportation director.

In other news, South Putnam will begin advertisement of its proposed 2010 budgets, capital projects plan and bus replacement plan. There will be a public hearing held Sept. 21, which is the regular school board meeting date.

Bernhardt noted the advertised budgets show a higher tax rate than expected. Schools can lower the rate, but not make it higher.

"(The advertised budget) is almost always different than what's received from the state," Bernhardt said.

Just before adjournment Monday, school board president Michael Rissler told the crowd to "beware of state legislation" regarding public schools.

"They keep taking more and more from local schools and communities," he said.

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I was wondering if anyone knows the rules for children getting on and off the bus. They say a 1 HOUR bus ride each way if o.k. I think that is to long for any child to be on the bus. We as parents need to come together and go to the transportaion director or the school board and voice our concerns. Lets stick together and see if we can get some changes made. It is a long time over due.

-- Posted by Mom of Kids on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 8:03 PM

Bondsman these are young children not adults.Children should not have to ride more then one hour on the bus! Yes I limit trips these days and no vacation either. These are tough times!!

-- Posted by coltsfan25 on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 9:08 AM

I agree with you baskets, I also just got through looking at the SP annual report, do you know that SP paid over $40,000.00 to a fund called home school coordinater, what's that all about, and another $50,000.00 for the computer technology director!!!!!

SChool board must go, we need NEW SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS!!!!!!

-- Posted by senior'08 on Thu, Aug 20, 2009, at 12:47 PM

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