Noel returns at NPSC board meeting

Friday, February 20, 2015

BAINBRIDGE -- After an unexpected departure from his role as superintendent in December, Dan Noel returned to his position Thursday night while in attendance of his first board meeting since stepping down for medical reasons.

"I'd like to thank you all for your kindness," Noel said at the opening of the meeting.

He went on to thank Terry Tippin for filling in as interim superintendent as well as the whole of the board and community at large that not only helped fill his shoes professionally, but that helped him with kind words and visits during the incident.

While not on the job full time just yet, he has been able to begin spending part of his week getting back into the swing of things as he continues recovering.

After giving thanks, Noel pushed the meeting onto matters of the board.

Beyond the news that Noel will be a presence at the school once again, a new greenhouse, an end in sight for major renovation projects and looking to the future with solar panel possibilities were major points addressed during the monthly meeting.

The greenhouse for North Putnam High School and Middle School is a project of particular pride to both NPHS principal Jason Chew and Noel, who told the board how excited he is to show the public the completed structure.

Information on an open house will be made available when a date and time for the event has been established.

Overall costs of the greenhouse were $73,580.

The board approved a recommendation for a roof replacement at NPMS, with a recommendation from Johnson-Melloh solutions to accept a bid of $405,270 from Horning Roofing.

Ongoing renovations at North Putnam schools are expected to be finished by April, which include major overhauls to the HVAC units at Roachdale and Bainbridge Elementary Schools.

"It appears everything is on schedule and should be finished by the time you come back from spring break," project manager Andy Cooper said.

Cooper also spoke to the board about legislation that would drastically affect NPCS control over its energy usage, dovetailing into a conversation about the school working to get solar panels to remain more energy independent.

"The neat thing is that we can net zero," which means the panels can create enough power to run the school at its current rates of usage and that energy credits can be used to offset colder, cloudier months in the winter to remain at a "net of zero," Cooper said.

Noel also seemed to think that solar panels were a step in the right direction for the district.

"There are some real advantages to our schools (with installing solar panels)," Noel said.

Dispensing of bonuses for teachers from having received "A" grades of effectiveness began a conversation about the best way to do so, citing the current method as unfair.

Under the current model, $62,391 will equate to a $620.22 bonus for teachers in the district, regardless of whether or not the teacher, or the school they teach at, was deemed exceptional, an issue both Noel and Jill Summerlot, acting as board president in the absence of John Hays, were both vocal about.

"I know every one of our teachers try really hard," Summerlot said, but she wondered about the fairness of giving a blanket bonus to every teacher without taking into consideration the individuals who go above and beyond.

Noel felt similarly, explaining that he had wanted to "give 'A' schools 'A' payments and 'C' schools 'C' payment" as a means to more evenly apply the bonuses according to classification of effectiveness.

Both were sympathetic to the efforts that teachers put forth but were also conscious about not wanting to "reward bad behaviors" in circumstances where teachers hadn't received highly positive ratings.

The incentives were approved but it was suggested that the board determine a more specific distribution policy for the next academic year.

The board presented a first reading of a new drug testing policy for North Putnam High School that has been worked on by several board members along with Chew. The principal encouraged placing the possible new policy on the school website so that the general public could review and provide feedback until the second reading of the policy during the March board meeting.

"We want to make sure that people have a chance to see it," board member Travis Lambermont said, mirroring the desire to keep the policy as transparent as


As per board approval from the January meeting, monthly board meetings will now be held on the third Wednesday of each month, as opposed to the third Thursday as it has been for some time.

Meetings will still be held at 7 p.m. at the Administration Office at 300 N. Washington St. in Bainbridge but will now be on the third Wednesdays of each month.

In other business:

* The board approved a contract to install 1080 square feet of carpet tiles at a cost of $57,000.

* The board approved a $2,500 Neola contract that will go toward a credit that NPCS already has

with Neola.

* The board approved acceptance of a PIE grant in the sum of $1,000.

* The board approved a recommendation to accept a $10,000 donation from Hendricks Regional Health.

* The board approved a recommendation to accept a $500 donation to NPMS to help pay for extracurricular activities.

* The board approved a number of new hires at NPHS, including Jesse Dean as business teacher (while Nyki Jordan is on medical leave); Justin Danaher as girls' and boys' track coach volunteer; Brent McColgin, Bill Merkel, Ashley Moeller, Brittney Nees and Paxton Stephenson as assistant girls' and boys' track coach volunteers and for the spring musical Megan Allen was approved as vocal director; Sarah Bond as choreographer; Linda Freund as pianist and Linda Gjesvold as technical director.

* The board approved multiple hires for NPMS, including Mick Buchanan and Allison Everman as assistant swim coach volunteers; Alyssa Chew as girls' track coach; Bucky Kramer as head track coach and Brayden Montgomery as assistant wrestling coach volunteer.

* Additionally, the board approved Ryan Hill, a graduate student at DePauw, as a student teacher at NPHS to complete 15 hours of teaching and the resignation of Janet Haarbauer from her role as temporary contract teacher at NPHS.

* Terry Tippin sat in on the meeting while both board president Hays and board member Ron Spencer were not in attendance.

Regularly scheduled meetings of the North Putnam School Corporation Board of School Trustees are conducted at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month and are open to the public.

The next meeting is slated for March 18 and will be held at the school corporation administration office at 300 N. Washington St. in Bainbridge.

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  • Why did the board make Hays president when he never goes to meetings? He didn't even run. They should get paid based on their attendance. I bet they all would have been there last night!

    I also want to know if they have taken smoking/chew out of drug policy? They sure don't want to discuss it!

    -- Posted by NPNO on Sat, Feb 21, 2015, at 10:18 AM
    Response by Kyle:
    The school has posted its proposed new drug testing policy on the front page of its website, you can find it at

    They have also asked for feedback from the community, which you can provide using the following form:

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