The Hillsboro School Board prepared for next school year by hiring new staff at the end of their meeting on Tuesday, June 9, at the unit office.
School board members, administrators, department heads and support staff were present at the meeting; the public could watch by a live online feed.
After a closed session, the board hired Josh Horn as high school business teacher and Andrew Jones as Beckemeyer PE teacher. They accepted the resignation of Jeremy Stevens as band director and continue to interview applicants for that position. Aimee Shelton was hired as district comptroller–a financial position at the unit office–and Amber Connor was hired as junior high volleyball coach.
"We got an early start," district maintenance director Fred Butler said during a report to the board on summer maintenance and construction projects. "Coffeen is pretty well done. Custodians have done a lot of work in-house."
In the project that will air-condition the high school gym, "we are well on our way and will be on time and ready for school," Butler said.
No single item was the culprit, but what Superintendent David Powell called “a ton of projects” was the cause for capitol expenses to be over budget. Board member Bryce Rupert posed a question about the budget line item.
In response to another question from Rupert, Powell expects the district to get about $375,000 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding. The superintendent anticipates much of that money will be used on after-school tutoring for students who fell behind while out of class due to the coronavirus school closure.
The board renewed commercial insurance at an expected increase, and approved a proposal from the district auditor to continue the service at a cost not to exceed $15,500.
"Graduation was a success, I believe," high school principal Patti Heyen said under the agenda item in which administrators report good news. "It sure was," the superintendent echoed. "I have heard lots of good comments."
Under the same agenda item pre-K director Marci Gutierrez reported that the birth-to-three program has received a "quality confirmation designation" for the Baby Talk program.
"This is big to us," Gutierrez said. "We have not only tripled the size of our program, but have some new people working in it."
In addition to filling vacancies at the end of the meeting, the board also accepted letters of intent to retire from high school teachers Laura Rench and Bret Tuetken at the end of the 2023-24 school year. They also approved raises for employees not covered by collective bargaining or a current step-chart: bus drivers and bus aides will get a two percent raise, non-certified directors and department heads will get three percent, and administrator raises range from two to six percent.