Alva Review-Courier -

South Barber hires three, says no to golf at this time, recognizes retired teachers


September 14, 2022

Yvonne Miller

South Barber Superintendent Dr. Mylo Miller presents gifts to say thank you to two longtime teachers who retired at the end of the 2021-22 school year. They are Jill Daughhetee (left) and Deb Hitchcock.

The South Barber USD 255 Board of Education held a near three-hour meeting Monday night with a full agenda.

As the meeting began, Superintendent Dr. Mylo Miller had invited and gave special recognition to the three longtime teachers at South Barber who retired at the end of the 2021-22 school year. They are Jill Daughhetee and Deb Hitchcock who attended the meeting and Cathy Cox who didn't make it.

There was a decorated cake for all at the meeting to enjoy and Dr. Miller presented individual gifts to each of the retirees. He said the school lost such "talent, ability and experience" with their retirement.

"Thank you for what you've done. Thank you for loving and caring for our children. It's all about our kids. There's not a greater asset than our children."

"This is a genuine, heartfelt thank you. Thank you for committing your life to our kids," the superintendent said.

Board President Mark Pollock added and said to the women, "We could never pay you enough for what you guys are really worth." He said that being married to an educator he realizes all the sacrifices and hard work teachers do beyond the classroom.

All board members were present including: President Mark Pollock, Bryan Quick, Deb Helfrich, Jenna Mostert, Mike Miller, Karen Watts and Emily Lohmann. Superintendent Miller and Board Clerk and Business Manager Julie Johnson also sat at the head of the board table.

South Barber School Board Action

Randy Ford presented the financial audit for 2021-22. He mentioned one violation that is already fixed that involved a bank letter of credit that was not in place. Ford said there were no issues and added, "Everyone out here is easy to work with." The board approved the audit report.

Steven E. Neal received board approval to be the business/computer applications teacher and also be assistant junior high coach for both girls and boys basketball. Dr. Miller told the Newsgram that Neal comes from Vana, Colorado. He currently resides in Alva but is trying to buy a home in Kiowa. He has three children in college and a 15-year-old whom Dr. Miller said he does not believe will be coming.

The board approved the appointment of Alyssa Blair Gonzales as the Board Clerk effective Oct. 1. This is when longtime clerk and business manager Julie Johnson retires. Johnson has been training Gonzales for months in preparation of her new job.

A lengthy discussion ensued among board members regarding rental fees for the high school auditorium. Dr. Miller said they need to consider custodial pay; supervision and preparation before and during the event; clean-up; utilities, etc.

The board agreed the rental price for the auditorium will be $75/hour. They also approved a request for a pageant to be held there Oct. 22. It's the Princess and Pumpkins Our Diamond Miss Preliminary Pageant. Two South Barber students are affiliated with this pageant and won awards with it earlier this year. They are: Lydia Sciara, 8th grade; and Jenna Shields 5th grade. Earlier this year Lydia won Young Miss Model, Kansas State Grand Talent and Kansas State Diamond Girl. Jenna won Kansas State Glamour Girl and Kansas State Young Miss Model. Later in the summer they competed in the National Pageant and Lydia walked away holding the top honor for her age division.

Monthly expenditures of $419,479.22 received board approval.

Activity Bus and Golf Discussed at Great Length

The board again discussed the ESSER III money and possible ways to spend the $340,000 in federal funds that are COVID related and must be spent by 2024. Dr. Miller said the school is locked in to $156,000 for the HVAC system. He suggests the school purchase an activity bus to replace their 2013 model that seats 45. There's some discrepancy regarding the guaranteed price for the bus. One listing says $118,000 price good through October 31 of this year. Yet a "possible cost" is $136,000.

The activity bus proposed is white. Quick says it can't be used as a school route bus unless it's yellow. Lohmann said she is in favor of the bus, but also wants it to be yellow for more use. Quick suggests the vehicle be called a route bus rather than an activity bus.

The board again tabled the activity bus purchase.

The agenda had an item that asked for discussion and possible action to allow a South Barber student to golf. When asked, the Newsgram was told the senior is Teddie Hooker who has been playing with the Medicine Lodge High School golf team. She is driven by her father Shawn Hooker, who was hired in June as the South Barber K-12 Physical Education teacher and as head basketball coach for the South Barber Chieftains and Lady Chieftains.

Board member Helfrich said, "The board should have been briefed on this issue. The student, parent or administration should have talked to us. There is a process we have to go through."

Lohmann said, "I agree 100 percent."

The superintendent apologized to the board for allowing the golf arrangement before going through the board. Quick requested the board go into executive session to discuss this matter for 15 minutes which was extended into 10 minutes and then another 10 minutes.

Upon return to open session Quick recommended the board stop the golf arrangement until the board can hear about the proposal. Tuesday the superintendent said a special meeting time will be Wednesday at 6 p.m..

The board met in another executive session for 15 minutes earlier in the meeting to discuss non-elected personnel.

South Barber Principals Comment

Elementary Principal Kaynette Scheck said enrollment for kindergarten – sixth grade is 105 students. The Pre-K has 21 for a total of 126 students at the elementary.

Principal Brent Shaffer's report showed high school enrollment is 51 with 35 at the junior high.

Principal Scheck said they welcome new staff members this fall including: Coach Shawn Hooker- PE, Darise Fillmore- Librarian/Pathways, Beth Smith- PreK, Nikki Brattin- 4th Grade, Kevin Veatch- 5th Grade, Heather Miller- Mental Health Liaison, Nicole Kraft- SCK para, MacKenzie Roach-SCK para.

Scheck said they are short on para professionals – 1.5 at the elementary and three at the jr/sr high school.

Parent's Night at the elementary had an 85 percent turnout, Scheck said. The elementary's core value for August was "Honor." "Honor is letting someone know how valuable they really are," the principal said.

Principal Shaffer said 10 students are taking college classes; eight students are using Career Community Connection through Jenny Cantrell's class. The high school has two foreign exchange students: Khao Teemanond from Bangkok, Thailand; and Jesus Reyes from Madrid, Spain.

SBHS Football Homecoming is October 7 with the Chieftains hosting Stafford. The homecoming parade down Main Street is at 2:30 p.m.

FFA members are out selling Blue and Gold food items.


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