Cloverdale Schools considers 4-H graduation cords
CLOVERDALE -- The major topic of discussion at the Cloverdale School Board's regular meeting Monday evening was whether to allow students to wear 10-year 4-H member cords at graduation.
Cloverdale High School Principal Sonny Stoltz, who will make the final decision, reported that he had received the request for Putnam and Owen county students in October and has been researching the idea ever since.
While he said it is a "noble idea," his current opinion is either to reject the request because 4-H is "really not a school program" or to set requirements to be met in the school's agriculture program or FFA chapter to qualify students for wearing the cords.
In asking for the board's opinion, he received similar responses from nearly all the board members, most of whom either were, are or have children involved in the program. The major concern was that allowing 4-H would open the door for other programs like Boy Scouts etc.
"I 110 percent support 4-H," Donna Fidler said, "but we would have to put criteria in place for another organization down the road."
President Vivian Whitaker, who was a 4-H member, pointed out, "We don't recognize Eagle Scouts," and went on to say that 4-H is not necessarily about agriculture, offering events in photography and leadership as well.
Duane Huge echoed her sentiments, saying "There is definitely a separation between 4-H and FFA. You're doing a huge disservice to students in 4-H if you tie it into FFA. I think 4-H kids get their recognition at the fair. I'm extremely supportive of 4-H, but I also know we don't control 4-H in our school corporation. It should reflect the organizations we have in our school corporation."
Principal Stoltz reported that Greencastle Community School Corporation, having no agriculture program, has declined the request, but South Putnam Community Schools and North Putnam Community Schools have already accepted.
In other news:
-- Absences: Katrina Lewis was absent.
-- Claims: The board approved claims at $652,918.45, a decrease from last month of $122.810.90. The year's average is $706,516.69.
-- Comments: In speaking of the band and boys' basketball achievements over the weekend, Superintendent Greg Linton said, "We appreciate the parents and staff who take the time to prepare students for these events."
-- Donation: The board approved the donation of boulder signs for each school building from Goss Boulder Designs, a company of Gary and Julie Goss, at a value of $1,750. Gary is a 1970 graduate of Cloverdale High School.
-- Ford F350: The board declared a 1996 Ford F350 van surplus, after a report from Superintendent Linton that it would cost more to fix the vehicle than it is worth. He said the school plans to replace the van with a used pick-up truck this spring.
-- Personnel: The board approved the following personnel report:
-- Resignation: Paula Shadwick (CES part-time custodian); Natasha Archer and Mandy Evans (CES/CMS part-time cafeteria employees)
-- FMLA: Debbie Fidler (CHS secretary)
-- Coaching: Paige Gruener (7th-grade volunteer softball coach); Tom Royce, Mark Couch and Clyde Spencer (CHS volunteer assistant softball coaches)
-- Policy: The board heard the first reading of general updates to Volume 30 Number 1 of the Cloverdale Community School Corporation policy. The policies in question relate to general issues.
-- Students of the Month: The March Students of the Month were Killian Blair (kindergarten), Isaac Maldonado (8th grade) and Olivia Boothby (senior).
The Cloverdale School Board's next regular meeting is set for April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Arthur C. Johnson Administration Building at 401 E. Logan St.