Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Moving on from BHS

February 17, 2005

Three Baldwin High School faculty members had their resignations accepted at the school board meeting Monday night.

Carl Brooks, C.R. Herpich and Roger O'Neil will be retiring from USD 348 at the conclusion of this school year. They have combined to dedicate 67 years of service for the district.

"I think it will be a challenge to replace people who have devoted a good proportion of their life here," BHS Assistant Principal Bret Jones said. "It's also a challenge and a bit of excitement to bring in some new staff members."

Herpich started teaching at the high school in August 1967. O'Neil became the district activities director in August 1991. Brooks was BHS principal from 1986-1988 before returning in August 1993 to be the BHS counselor.

O'Neil said he is ready for something different.

"I've been thinking about it for a long time, and I am just ready," O'Neil said. "I've been in the profession for 32 years. I'm ready for a change."

O'Neil also said he would miss his job and he would miss the people even more.

"I will miss it a lot," O'Neil said. "I feel like we have great kids, parents and faculty. It's been a great experience for me. The only thing I won't miss about it will be the long hours."

Two other hot topics at the meeting were the BHS senior projects and next year's budget.

Ginny Honomichl presented the update on the senior projects. She said there were about 10 students who have failed to turn in the first part of their project.

"We are several months behind with some of these students," Honomichl said.

Every senior must complete and pass all four parts of the project to graduate. BHS Principal Allen Poplin said those students who don't complete the project will not graduate.

Honomichl said the faculty involved with the projects met with the senior and their parents last spring to inform them of the project.

Honomichl also said the seniors meet with their seminar teacher twice a week. She also said they have held after school sessions for the seniors, and that every teacher knows and reminds the few students who are behind on their projects.

"I believe they have had plenty of time and plenty of help," Honomichl said. "Just like everything else, not everybody buys into it. But other than maybe writing it for them, I think we have run the gamut."

The other big topic was again about next year's budget. The board members briefly discussed what they need to do to prepare for the state's decision on how much money will be provided.

"We anticipate that they are going to add some additional funding on the base budget per pupil," Supt. James White said. "I'm encouraged that there will be some funding increase, but right now we just don't know how much."

The board discussed possible personnel cuts if they don't receive additional funding. The board decided to hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. on March 7 to fully discuss next year's budget and what they can afford to keep.

"We are looking to discuss worst-case scenarios," board member Scott Lauridsen said. "If we get no new money, are we going to make some very tough cuts. I think this conversation even applies if we do get new money. We need to look at making some of the cuts anyway, if it's the right thing to do for the district."

Lauridsen said he doesn't want the board to start cutting teachers before reducing the number of building administrators.

"It breaks down to classroom teachers, support staff and building administrators," he said. "I'd like to see us not reduce the number of classroom teachers we have. If that's the goal, then you have to cut somewhere."

In other business, the board also approved the hiring of four assistant coaches. Jason Patty will be an assistant baseball coach, and Ginger Crist, Kristen Wessel and Laura Torneden are assistant softball coaches.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.