Tonasket school board fills district four position

TONASKET – The Tonasket School Board filled the vacant District Four position at their regular board meeting on Monday, Feb. 9.

Ernesto Cerrillo will be the new board member and will fill the position until November of this year when it is up for vote again.

“I’m really pleased to welcome him,” Patti Baumgardner, board member, said. “I think it’s really important to represent our entire community.”

Board Vice-Chairman Jerry Asmussen said he was pleased there were three very different applicants for the position. Lloyd Caton agreed, saying he appreciated the fact that there were three diverse candidates, even though it made the process of choosing one harder.

“[Cerrillo] certainly has been involved with very many communities and will make an excellent addition to our board,” Catherine Stangland, board chairwoman, said.

Also during the meeting, the board heard from Kody Ayers, Kimberly Nelson and Austin Olma, three members of Tonasket High School’s Future Farmers of America club who attended the National FFA Convention in Kentucky in 2008. During their trip they visited Churchill Downs, Mammoth Cave National Park, Claiborne Farms and toured the Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark and Jack Daniels distilleries. The club also visited Amishville and Dinosaur World. Nelson said there were over 50,000 FFA members at the convention from all over the United States.

The board then heard a presentation from Keith Moeder, a science teacher at Tonasket Middle School, about the Professional Learning Communities. He said that with the standard based grading system, if a student receives a B on a unit in his class and they do the work and learn the objectives of the unit they can then earn an A. He said this system is better at showing whether the students have learned the objectives of each unit rather than just absorbing it to pass a test and then forgetting it right after the test.

Jeff Cravy, Tonasket Elementary School principal, told the board that Megan Huckaby, math coach, is planning a parent/student family night in the next couple of months during which they hope to tie a math night in.

Cravy also said that teachers will start training this month on science notebooks.

“Lara Owsley is part of the region’s training cadre and will be providing some of the training for grade two teachers,” he said.

Tonasket High School Principal Jeff Hardesty then gave his report to the board. He said that last Wednesday the high school made a move to provide teachers with more Professional Learning Communities time and that there were groups all over the school working with each other during this time.

Superintendent Randy Hauff told the board about the fuel bid they received from Coleman Oil Company which was based on Jan. 16 numbers. The board approved the bid of $2.1254 per gallon for diesel fuel, which cost $2.609 last year and $1.5639 on unleaded fuel which cost $2.90 last year.

Jeff Yeckel reported that he received two bids for two buses the district is going to purchase. The board approved the purchase of two buses from Harlows Bus Sales, Inc. for $184,619.02.

Hauff then informed the board there have been changes in the law that have to be included in the food service contract so the school board approved the call for food service bids.

Hauff read a letter of resignation from Shirly Deverleaux, elementary school aid, who will be retired at the end of the school year. The board approved her resignation before also approving the hiring of Jamie Barker as middle school assistant track coach. Jan Ottman was approved as the director of the sixth grade camp and Val Kauffman, Jody Terris and Jean Cravy were each approved as camp staff.

Finally, the board heard the first reading of two policies. The first policy, number 2413, titled Equivalency Credit for Career and Technical Education Courses states “Each high school shall adopt core academic course equivalencies for high school career and technical courses, provided that the career and technical course has been reviewed and approved for equivalency credit by a district team appointed by the superintendent or a designee.”

The second policy, number 2410, titled High School Graduation Requirements, is not a new policy, but has had changes made to it. The requirement to pass Washington State History in high school has now been moved to the seventh grade beginning with the class of 2014. Another policy change approved was that the Algebra I credit may now be earned in the eighth grade.

The next Tonasket School Board meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the district board room.