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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo School Board Holds Reorganization

Issue Date: May 20, 2021

The Peshtigo School District Board of Education Reorganization meeting was held on Wednesday, May 12 with several changes to the Board.

Muriel Carter was nominated as Temporary Chairperson and is leaving the position of President; Kelly Jones was elected as Board President, replacing Carter; After nomination for Vice President of Muriel Carter was respectively declined by Carter, Steve Coble was nominated as Vice President and he will retain his seat as such; Rebecca DeMarce was nominated as Secretary/Clerk; Gary Larsen remained in the Treasurer position and Jenny Schwittay was nominated as Deputy Clerk, replacing Kelly Jones.

The last order of business in the reorganization portion of the meeting was for the new Board President, Kelly Jones to appoint Board Committees and Chairpersons, which will be announced in the future when she has time to review and discuss with the board members.

District retirees were recognized including Second Grade Teacher, Tavia Kotchon, Sixth Grade Teacher, Pat Devine, 5th Grade Teacher, Cheryl Lange, Middle High School Art Teacher, Lisa Devroy, Director of Technology, Jim Meyer, Middle/High School Nurse, Kathy Bayerl and Varsity Cross Country Coach, Keith Nault.

On the flipside, there were three hirings with Larry Schultz as Director of Technology, Deanna Fried as Band Teacher and Hanna Wagner as a Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center (PELC) Teacher.

With Cheryl Lange being the only retiree present, PELC Principal, Kate Willet recognized Lange saying, "It is my honor to speak about Cheryl, I spent the last few days speaking to many different teachers who have worked with all the retirees over the years and I have learned so much about their devotion to the community and the students that they serve. The things that came to mind about Cheryl is her passion, for not only the content that she teaches, but the students that she serves and is very considerate of their needs. I appreciate all your efforts".

Lange then spoke saying, "I have spoken to the board over the years about things I was concerned about and the word passion, when you have it you can't hide it, it just comes out and what I would like to say to the board is thank you for the opportunity to serve the people, students and community of the Peshtigo School District for 36 years. It has been a dream come true, it was a dream of mine to teach since I was a young girl and fulfilled that dream as a young woman, now as a more mature woman and lastly going onto the next chapter of my life. It has been a great ride and its all about the colleagues that have been there to walk with me and do all these crazy things, especially in this last year".

After the Reorganization was adjourned the board convened into the regular open School Board meeting and approved the retirements and hirings as presented at the beginning of the reorganization meeting and then continued with regular board business.

Donation gifts were received from Zion Lutheran Church for Post Prom 2021-22 school year in the amount of $1,000; Square One Art donated $2,024.31 for Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center (PELC) Student Engagement; The Stem Scholarship was given by Tyco/ Johnson Control Inc. (JCI) for six scholarships of $1,000 each for six graduating seniors for this 2021 school year graduation.

Superintendent Patrick Rau then discussed the community survey for the next referendum stating, "The more information we can gather, the more beneficial it will be and we will be better prepared for moving forward. We can start the design process in Spring or Summer with a possible referendum time line Fall, with the Board decision if we choose to do Spring or Fall. We have a budget of $10,750 for a survey. There will be a lot of leg work in designing the survey questions".

Coble asked, "Is it the same company that did the survey last time"? Rau responded, "Yes". Coble replied, â€There were some issues with the last survey with wrong mailings, residents out of area received the survey, residents received the questionnaire too late, and some residents never got a surveyâ€. Rau added, "Let me know in writing the issues and we can address them". Coble responded, "I would like to make sure upfront that everything is all rectified before we do this again". Rau replied, "With the timeline we have, we will make that happen. I prefer not to do every door direct, because Marinette residents would get the survey".

Schwittay added, "There was a lower amount of turnout of returned surveys". Gary Walters said, "I believe it was only 18% returned. Based on the demographics, they claimed the referendum would pass, but they were wrong". Rau interjected, "We need to figure with Doreen and Lauren, they said, "This may be something we can co-ordinate with Historical Days as well as working with Peshtigo Times. The other issue is that there were a lot of people that didn't vote". Coble asked, "What do we get for the $10,700"? Rau responded, "It includes development of questions, compiling information, composing the questions and surveys and logistics. We have to pay for printing and postage. Doreen and Lauren have worked with them in the past". Josh Seefeldt replied, "That is a pretty good chunk of change if that is all they are doing". A motion was made to go forward with the survey with two nays from Seefeldt and Coble.

Rau talked briefly about referendum planning adding that he met multiple times to develop strategies with Doreen and Lauren. We have not received a bill from PSI (Performance Service Inc) and we won't because they only get paid if the referendum passes. I feel it is the right thing to continue with PSI or we come to a complete halt and would have to start over. It was then unanimously approved to continue with PSI.

In other news, Larsen was nominated to be the delegate for WSB along with also being a delegate for the CESA 8 Agency Convention and Board of Controls.


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