Clark Wicks chaired his first meeting of the Perry Community School District Board of Education as the school district’s new superintendent Monday.
Wicks spent the past few years at Orient-Macksburg Community School District after a long tenure in Perry, so Monday “felt like I was officially returning home,” he said.
Board President Kyle Baxter and Vice President Jim Lutmer were present, as was Director Linda Andorf, but Directors Kenia Alarcon and Casey Baldwin were absent.
Building and Grounds Director Kevin McLaughlin updated the board on a wide range of summer projects, including the installation of new heat pumps at the elementary school.
McLaughlin said work crews “are real close to being in line with the calendar they predicted,” and he said he expects the job to finish on schedule. Work in the office areas and the kitchen will begin after Aug. 4, the last day of the PACES summer term.
McLaughlin said school staff will need to keep out of the building when heavier pieces of equipment are placed by crane on the roof.
“I don’t anticipate any problems,” He said “but I would rather be safe just in case, and not have someone right under the work when it is being done.” The board shared his sentiment.
New carpet will be installed in the ICN room and fourth grade pod the first week of August, McLaughlin said, adding that the summer paint crew finished the fourth grade area and several high school and middle school classrooms, as well as the middle school office and the east and west walls of the middle school gym up to the height of the padding at the end of the court.
“They have been real busy and have really done a great job in all they have done so far,” McLaughlin said. “It really has been quite a bit they have done.”
Resurfacing the floor, re-painting the walls and adding new duct work to the high school gym will be delayed until next year, he said, informing the board the new roof has shown no signs of the moisture leakage in high humidity conditions, a problem that plagued the site since its construction.
McLaughlin also told the board that the new, larger sign for the high school/middle school would be installed sometime in the next week or so.
Wicks applauded the efforts made to beautify the physical parts of the district, saying he believed strongly in making “a good first impression.”
“Not only do we need to consistently work to retain people (in the district) we also have to be determined to attract new people,” he said. “Rightly or wrongly, people will form opinions on what they first see, and I think curb-appeal is vital. Just because you have a great-looking lawn doesn’t mean others things are perfect, but you have to have that first impression to be a positive one.”
Several appointments were made the board, including reappointing Kent Bultman in his role as Board Treasurer and Board Secretary and naming Drew Bracken from the Ahlers and Cooney law firm as legal counsel for the upcoming school year.
Wicks and PHS Guidance Counselor Anne Horgen were named Level I investigators, and Perry Police Chief Eric Vaughn was appointed as a Level II investigator. Angelica Cardenas-Diaz was appointed PCSD Equity and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer as well as Homeless Coordinator for the district. The board also appointed Kevin Vidergar as Section 504 Coordinator and Laura Skeel as ADA Coordinator.
The Raccoon Valley Bank was approved as the PCSD band depository at a limit of $15 million, with ISJIT (limit $6 million), Wells Fargo (limit $3 million) and US Bank (limit $2 million) named as supplemental bank depositories for 2017-2018.
In addition to approving several personnel matters and revisions to board policies, the school board consented to an Educational Service Agreement with DMACC for both online and on-campus course options.
A sharing agreement was approved with the Woodward-Granger Community School District that will have a certified librarian from W-G spend 12 days at Perry. This is a return on last year’s sharing agreement, in which Perry sent a librarian to W-G.
The board also approved the 29-member list of PLC Leaders for 2017-2018.
The Perry School Board meets the second Monday of each month in the Brady Library at the Perry High School at 6 p.m. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.