South Putnam nature trail fixes approved
With an initiative from Boy Scout Troop 99 member Leslie Brown, improvements to South Putnam’s nature trail were approved by the South Putnam School Board during its regular meeting Wednesday evening.
Brown, sophomore, proposed multiple fixes as part of an Eagle Scout project. They would include putting down leaves or mulch to keep the trail from being muddy, as well as cutting a dead portion from a tree, putting furniture in an unused clearing and installing a split-rail fence along a creek bed.
A focus of the project would be replacing, and then gravelling or mulching, a stairway in which wooden treads are rotting or are otherwise uneven or falling.
The trail is used by cross country athletes, and as such the improvements are meant to ensure safety while on it. In the same vein, Brown said the school community in general would be welcome to use it more.
This being an Eagle Scout project, Brown said he was looking for volunteers and donations beginning next week. As of the meeting, a proposal for the project was still to be submitted.
In other business:
• Superintendent Corey Smith presented projected cash flows for the school corporation’s budget this year. While he did not discuss specific numbers, Smith said the corporation was on a “great trajectory” with income and expenses matching the projections.
• The board approved a request by Food Services Director Lori Boyce to purchase multifunctional kitchen equipment. This would allow for more home cooking and using local product. Boyce also discussed issues with a walk-in freezer at Central Elementary School, in which a replacement would cost about $48,000, as well as getting a new warmer.
The request comes with food service having funds which need to be spent before being audited.
• The board approved purchasing a new 54-student capacity special needs bus for $54,973.98. Transportation Director Brad Ogborn said the purchase would be through a grant pulled from the American Rescue Plan Act. This bus would be mainly used for preschool. He added that it would be nine months out from being delivered.
• The board approved a request by Smith to adopt Graduation Pathways as a tool for counselors to track students’ as they go through school. Smith said the cost for the tool would be $4 a student.
• The board approved updates to South Putnam’s re-entry plan. Smith said they reflect recent movements with regard to masking and COVID recommendations, but overall have not changed in practice.
• The board approved a quote for $11,318 for maintenance and upkeep of South Putnam’s sports fields. Pricing would be guaranteed for a year.
The board also approved the following personnel report:
• Resignations: Timothy Parrish – Fillmore Elementary custodian; Jennifer McCormick – Fillmore Elementary food service; and Dave Wood – MS/HS assistant baseball coach;
• Employment: RaeAnne Kimmel – Central Elementary Math Bowl coach; Anthony Duncan – Fillmore Elementary custodian; Emily Bilbrey – MS/HS food service (part time); Bill Jackman and Hunter Croan – assistant baseball coaches; Bethany Combs – JV volleyball coach; and Mark Rogers – boys’ varsity golf coach.
The board also recognized South Putnam’s Students of the Month: Keegan Wells (Central Elementary School); Evelyn Rainbolt (Fillmore Elementary School); Ethan Rooksberry (South Putnam Middle School); and Cada Remsburg (South Putnam High School).
The South Putnam High School girls’ swim team was also recognized for its winning the title at the WIC Swimming and Diving Championships in January, in which it set five new school records.
South Putnam High School’s Ethics Bowl team was also recognized for being within the top four teams in the state. They will go to a state competition at DePauw University at the end of June.
Corporation Treasurer Hilarie Logan and Administrative Assistant Terri Beasley joined Smith and the entire board for the meeting.
The next regular meeting of the South Putnam School Board is set for Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in the South Putnam MS/HS Learning Center.