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RE-1 gives a salary increase and step, seniors get to go on their trip

by Gretchen Orr

GARDNER — Gardner School hosted an open house to showcase the artist day art, a family night and the Huerfano RE-1 board meeting on Tuesday, with all boardmembers present except Eva Vigil and Elisha Meadows.

The board toured the classrooms, participated in some of the activites, and viewed the art. After dinner, the board started the meeting by recognizing Gardner staff and students. Kindergartener Tye Robison, Raiden Salazar (1st), Sacoya Jardine (2nd), Millie Espinoza (3rd), Gabe Ortibez (4th), Kimmy Padilla (5th), Dominick Gonzales (6th), Harmonee Valdez (7th), and Hannah Cordova (8th) were given Excellence in Education awards by Superintendent Mike Moore. Gardner teacher Jody Medina was also recognized for her excellence. Then the JMHS Salutatorian Courtney Bradsby and Valedictorian Robert Andrew Vigil were recognized as well.

Teacher salary negotiations were last week, and went well. The  Huerfano Education Association and the district agreed to a $1,000 base salary increase and a step for all employees. Extra duty stipends will be reinstated for extracurricular club sponsorship. The board approved this agreement.

Members of the John Mall senior class and class sponsor Tanya Gatlin were present to discuss the senior class trip. The trip was planned for after graduation, so the board consulted with the district’s attorney, John Keilback, on how to handle the situation. Per his advice, the board will make a one year exception to the district’s senior trip policy, and give the money raised by the class to the seniors.

The three day trip to the Denver area will be taken as a non-district sponsored event, and the class may hire a school bus to transport them if needed. In future, seniors will not be allowed to take a senior trip after school is over.

Updates were given on the search for a high school principal. Moore stated there were few candidates available at this time, so he suggested two additional possible options: create a combined Superintendent/principal position for Moore with Jody Pool and Joshua Vialpando as assistants, or alternatively, reconsider Pool’s application for principal. Moore stated he would bring these proposals and any new information to the board at the end of May.

The board hired Megan Gurule, a Colorado certified UNC graduate, for an elementary position at Gardner school, and approved a high school football coach extra duty assignment for Christopher Johnson of Monte Vista. Johnson has 19 years experience, and may apply to do some substitute teaching in addition to the coaching.

In principals’ reports, Peakview Principal Brenda Duran noted preschool promotion will be held at 5:30 pm on May 17, Kindergarten promotion will be at 5:30 pm on May 23rd, and 8th grade promotion will be held on May 25 at 6 pm. Various classes will be heading out on year end field trips ranging from the Sand Dunes to Cave of the Winds, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Pam Levie reported Gardner School will offer a salad bar option next year with part of the food coming from the gardening club’s efforts.

The Peakview/Gardner Turnaround Leadership team will meet in June for a three day retreat to continue their collaborative work.

JMHS Principal George Purnell reported Dr. Comilla Green and her senior math class are tutoring Peakview students to help build their foundations for Algebra. Graduation will be Saturday, May 28 at 10 am.

In other business, the board approved the BOCES agreement for 2016-2017.

The next DAC meeting will be on May 16th at 5:30 pm at Peakview Elementary. This meeting will be the organizational meeting for the Mil Levy Override committee. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

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