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Cloverdale board examines ongoing issues

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale School Board Monday evening discussed several ongoing issues, such as the roofing project, school safety and the 2013-14 school calendar.

Dan Sulkoske gave another update on the roofing project, which is nearly complete after running into several unexpected issues and less-than-ideal weather.

"Both are going pretty well," Sulkoske said. "At the high school we are running into a lot of unforeseen issues. On a case-by-case basis we have been able to address those issues."

The roof is already completed at the high school, while a small section remains to be done at the middle school.

What remains is the metal and the down spouts for both buildings. The gutters on both buildings are currently going up, it is expected that the roofing project will be completed within the next two weeks. However, both roofs will need to pass a final inspection.

Following completion, the contractors will also landscape areas that may have been damaged during the process.

Sulkoske also gave an update on the HVAC project, which is currently under way.

"The HVAC project is mobilized and started work on the demolition of the chillers over at the high school," Sulkoske said.

The corporation is looking to use the remainder of the money on such projects as resurfacing the track and painting the gym. The track project was estimated to coast anywhere from $30,000-$90,000 with the gym at $10,000-$40,000.

The next project will be approved as soon as the corporation has a definite answer on how much money it will have to use on other projects. Sulkoske estimated there will be nearly $200,000 leftover in the spring to use on these projects.

Once again community members and students showed up to show their support for Cloverdale High School football coach John Butler. The group, which elected Daniel Boyd to represent them, was given just a few minutes to speak about the issue.

It was noted during the brief remarks that Butler has not only shown honesty and integrity throughout his years at Cloverdale as well as been a role model for many.

"He has showed them what they need to do to win in life," Boyd said. "A program cannot be turned around in two years, especially when it has to built up from the basement. It seems that Coach Butler may have been ambushed by the review process."

Boyd pleaded that the board re-examine the issues regarding Coach Butler, even stating that there may have been a conflict of interest.

The board thanked the community members and students for showing their support for Butler, stating that they will take all comments into consideration. Although, a decision was not made Monday night, it is expected that the board will make one during the February meeting.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings, many are concerned with the safety of their children and all schools are again looking at what security measures are in place.

Cloverdale High School Principal Sonny Stoltz came before the board to speak about this issue. Stoltz noted that all Putnam County schools work together on their security measures and after a recent audit, the security measures already in place are considered "top-notch."

"School safety is something that we don't want to really put out there for everyone," Stoltz explained. "I feel like you've done a great job from 2001-13 making our students feel safe."

In a time of budget cuts and minimal funding, the corporation has allowed for upgrading security measures no matter what the circumstance.

"With budget cuts, it's very difficult," Stoltz explained. "It's been really difficult, but we continue to stay on track. I cautiously say this, I think we've done a good job with what we are doing here and over the last 13 years, we've tried to be at the forefront of school safety."

Stoltz explained that a lot of time is spent discussing and implementing new measures of school safety to ensure students and staff feel safe.

"I think we're doing the best we can with what we have. Is it enough? It's never enough," Stoltz said. "I do know this, we've got some great support. This is bigger than just us making sure we have plans in place. We actually live this every day."

Eight individuals in the corporation have advanced safety training, which requires these individuals to renew their certification each year.

"We are as safe as we could be," Stoltz said. "Without actually turning an educational institution to a school safety institution. I think we're doing about as well as we possibly could do."

Following months of preparation, the Cloverdale School Board finally approved the 2013-14 school calendar.

Like many schools in the county, the school year will start on Aug. 12. There will also be a full weeklong break on Oct.14-18.

"I wish I could tell you that it matches all (schools)," Superintendent Carrie Milner said. "We have one school that is having their fall break on a different week, but it is very close."

In total there will be 180 student days, with 87 in the first semester and 93 in the second. Teachers will have 184 student days, 89 in the first semester and 95 in the second.

Due to a change in state law, the board had to again go through its board organization. All positions will remain the same, which include Duane Huge as president, Bobbi Nees as vice president and Donna Fiddler as secretary.

Debbie Rollings will remain as the corporation treasurer with Lynn Lotz as the deputy treasurer. Germaine Willett of Ice Miller will also stay as the corporation attorney.

The following personnel items were approved: The resignation of Heather Patterson as a high school instructional assistant, the hiring of Jarrod Duff as a seventh- and eighth-grade baseball coach and Kyle Walter as the middle school boys' track coach.

The board also approved several people in volunteer coach positions, including Rod Mann as assistant girls' track coach, Neal Jordan as assistant softball coach, Tyler Payne and Jim Archer as assistant baseball coaches.

The board also again agreed to keep its meeting times the same, the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. as well as a board compensation of $2,000 per year.

The following students were honored as Student of the Month: Desiree Sizemore of Cloverdale Elementary, Samantha Woods of Cloverdale Middle School and Vanessa Richardson of Clover-dale High School.

The board also recognized Miranda Tate as the winner of the DAR 2012 Award.

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