Altamont Board Reviews Summer Work, Acts on Several Personnel Items


Published on September 14 2018 1:30 pm
Last Updated on September 14 2018 1:30 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Altamont Board of Education held three meetings this week, all on one evening.

The first meeting involved Board members touring the grade school and high school buildings to see what improvements were made over the summer.

At the grade school, projects included a bathroom renovation, upgrading the gym backboard winches, new flooring in the band room and chorus room, and discussion of placing the Coslet Memorial plaque in recognition of a donation for a new playground, discussion of the next phase of the playground addition, and discussion of repairs of cracks in the concrete at the Coslet playground. There was also a tour of the 5th grade and 6th grade classrooms.

The high school visit included discussion of the main staircase treads and possible repair options.

The second meeting was to hold a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year budget. The Board approved the budget.

The third meeting was to handle regular monthly business. There was recognition for Sally Zimmerman of the Grant Meemic Foundation, the four individuals who helped with surveys during registration, Pyramid Marble for the marble plaque at the Coslet Playground, and former students Kacie Phillips and Aaron Goeckner for receiving outstanding academic honors at SIU Edwardsville.

The Board heard from Julie Stanley, a parent of sixth grade and third grade students concerned with the size of her child's sixth grade class, which is trying to handle 31 students.

Board members heard from grade school principal Doug Hill on the results of PARCC testing. The results showed that 274 students were tested. 18% did not meet standards, 53% partially or approached standards, and 29% met or exceeded standards. Hill reviewed the teacher in-service on August 16 where, among other items, staff was trained on the use of Epipens. High school principal Jerry Tkachuk talked about the work done by Mrs. Elam to balance section numbers, and commended assistant principal Peggy Bueker for efforts that have led to a "dramatic decline" in tardiness. 

Tkachuk also spoke about students from other districts who are attempting to register in Altamont. He said he's working with School Resource Officer Suckow to contact the students and give them the option of transferring or paying out-of-district tuition.

Tkachuk also reported that an athletic co-op is in place for Golf with the Brownstown district, and that they are now working to complete eligibility so a foreign exchange student can compete.

In other business, the Altamont board approved a Prevention Initiative Program with the Effingham County Health Department; and took action on personnel matters. Those included hiring Wayne Bloemer as a grade school teacher; hiring Amy Miller as a grade school aide; accepting the resignation of Brooke Osteen as girls 7th grade basketball coach and approving her as a volunteer assistant coach as well as hiring Lindsay VanBlaricum as girls 7th grade coach. The Board also approved Brittany Hites as a volunteer high school volleyball assistant coach, approved the resignation of Mitchell Martin as a non-certified staff member as he has taken a job in the private sector, hired Jeremy Mulvaney as a grade school custodian and Keith Evans as a high school custodian; approved an early graduation request; approved a leave for Beth Lawler; and approved memoranda of understanding with the Altamont Education Association regarding the employment of Sue Poe and Logan Hill for this school year.