The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, September 18th.
Receiving approval for the 2017-2018 school year were the General Fund, Bond fund, Depreciation Fund, Employee Benefit Fund, Activities Fund, School Lunch Fund, Special Building Fund and Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund budgets.
Board members approved the 2017-2018 tax request resolution for Dawson County School District No. 11 as follows: General Fund - $8,564.742.34; Bond Fund - $561,212.12 and Special Building Fund - $168,979.80.
A transfer of $10,000 from the General Fund to the Employee Benefit Fund was also okayed in response of employees for staff wellness stipends to the Community Wellness Center. 48 staff members chose stipends for an annual membership and 46 went with the punch card option.
An additional transfer of $16,500 from the General Fund to the Activities Fund was approved for the following designated accounts; Athletics: $10,000; Speech: $4,000; National Honor Society: $500 and One Act: $2,000.
All financial reports and claims were approved.
The board received notice of the retirement of Enid Macken, Administrative Assistant in the District Office effective October 9th. Macken has worked tirelessly for the district for the past nineteen-plus years.
Resignations were accepted from Jennie Smith, Para-Professional at Cozad Elementary effective September 14th and Jodi Spencer, Para-Professional at the High School effective September 22nd.
Salary advancement applications were accepted for Gavin Skiles and Morgan Williams.
The Cozad Education Association was approved as the exclusive bargaining agent for the district’s non-supervisory certificated staff for the 2019-2020 school year.
Under Administrative Reports, Activities Director Jordan Cudney submitted a report to board members. “I hope to show you where we’ve been and where we’re projected to be so that I have a solid framework and guidelines when talking to coaches and sponsors,” Cudney said. “We had a low balance in the Athletic Fund on July 31st and it is my goal to be more conservative if possible,” he continued. $30,000.00 will be transferred to the Athletic Fund from the General Fund throughout the year during the fall, winter and spring sports seasons.
The first drug testing took place with 20 high school students with $400 being allocated for each sport with a budget of $8,000 for athletics. The second testing will involve 15 high school students and five middle school students. The testing will also involve fine arts and other activities in the high school and middle school in future months.
Due to the NFHS (National Federation of High Schools) coming down hard on copyright licenses for songs being played over public address systems; Cudney has purchased an agreement with a company in Texas, Game Time, that allows for more than 6,000 songs to be played during activities with a PA announcer.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that as part of the Marzano training teachers are posting their learning goals for each day in their classrooms. MAPS testing was completed last week. Instructional rounds will be scheduled for later in the semester and Integration Specialist Patty Wolfe is coordinating monthly meetings with the science teachers in grades 6-12 for blended learning classrooms. The high school building continues to have issues as the air conditioning went out and a new board had to be installed. The roof is completed but tiles need to be replaced and other work completed in the classrooms affected. This work is covered by the district’s insurance.
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported that the solar eclipse was a great way to start off the new school year and a lot of learning took place. There are 16 new students in the middle school. 56 percent of the 7th and 8th grade students are involved in the three fall sports and one third of the student body has joined the drug-free youth organization, SMASH. Middle School Guidance Counselor Bill Shafer has been working on student leadership with not only the members of the Student Congress but with those who ran for positions in the Congress. Committees are being formed for Student Affairs, Teacher Appreciation, School Spirit and Fundraising. The middle school will also be utilizing the ‘Second Step Curriculum’ that is presently used in the elementary school for character building. Each middle school student is hooked up to the Nebraska Career Connections website with 6th graders exploring their interests and 7th and 8th graders planning for their high school careers and classes. “Interventions are a big focus again this year,” noted Regelin. “Homework Center works for about 85 percent of our students, but we at seeking interventions that work through our Student Assistance Teams for the other 15 percent,” he continued.
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that the new building is being called ‘the annex’. “As soon as the electrical system out of Hastings is installed we’ll be able to put in the flooring and continue other necessary work,” Henderson explained. Elementary students are working on assessments in math and reading and starting on MAPS testing. Six 5th grade students have been selected to attend the Region IV Leadership Conference. Henderson also reported that the attendance on Grandparents’ Day on September 7th was phenomenal.
Special Education Director/CEEC Principal Jill Beckenhauer reported that both the ‘Pyramid Roll-Out’ for preschool students and their parents and the ‘Goodies with Grandparents’ were very well attended. The first advisory board meeting has been scheduled and staff members at Cozad Early Elementary will be attending the Early Childhood Conference this Friday.
Superintendent of Schools Joel Applegate reported that final enrollment numbers for the district are due on September 29th and state reports are due on October 15th. His advisory committee will meet quarterly.
In the final item of discussion for the meeting, it was decided that the Fall Board Retreat would be scheduled for Wednesday, November 8th at Cozad Elementary
The next regular meeting for the school board is scheduled for October 16th at 7 p.m.
Getting the opportunity to enjoy some Nebraska Beef in Gothenburg were a select group of Chinese Beef Buyers that are part of the first USDA Beef Buying Mssion from China.
The group of Chinese buyers along with Mark Ford, the Director of the Ag Trade Office for the Embassy of the United States in Bejing, China; and Stan Garbacz, the Nebraska Agricultural Trade Representative for the State of Nebraska; all toured the Hi-Gain Feedlot Inc. in Farnam prior to enjoying some delicious beef at the Hi-Gain Feedlot Inc. offices in Gothenburg.
The honored guests from China sampled brisket that was prepared by Doug and Vickie Keiser along with grilled steaks prepared by Hi-Gain Feedlot General Managers Jeff and Brenda Rudolph and served by Gothenburg FFA members Presley Wendelin and Savannah Peterson.
“I selected this group of Chinese buyers for the initial buying mission because they were coming to me befoere the Chinese market re-opened to United States beef in June,” expressed Mark Ford, Director of the Ag Trade Office in Bejing.
Soon after the market re-opened, Ford communicated with Nebraska Department of Agriculture representative Stan Garbacz about the beef mission.
During the visit, Ford explained, “A lot of the cuts coming to China are high-end cuts which are expensive. I told the buyers you will always pay a little more for high-end cuts, but when the production starts to increase, the market will dip. Which has already started in China.”
Along with all the honored guests, Nebraska State Agriculture Director Greg Ibach assisted with the promotions of Nebraska Beef during the tour.
After the visit to Dawson County, The Chinese Beef Buyers will continue their trip through Nebraska by visiting a beef processing facility in Omaha.
A sendoff luncheon for the latest Dawson County Hero Flight is slated for September 27th. Everybody is welcome and encouraged to attend for the ceremony and meal.
A free will donation meal will be served by the Heartland Wounded Veteran Project starting at noon at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington.
A short program will begin around 12 p.m. with the veterans loading up for their memorable tour around 2 p.m.
Dawson County Hero Flight is organized for the sole purpose of honoring America Veterans for sacrifice and service above self. There are 25 veterans, along with their escorts that will travel to our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. from Omaha on September 27th and return back to Lexington on September 30th. No return celebration is planned.
Some of the activities include stops at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Memorials; Army/ Navy Club, Arlington National Cemetery, visits to the USAF, USMC and Navy Memorials; FDR Memorial, the Smithsonian Institute and many more.
Veterans chosen for this flight come from 13 communities and five different counties. Among those going included a pair of Purple Heart recipients. All of the veterans served in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Veterans selected for this trip are:
ANSLEY – George “Ted” Govier and Lyle Lovitt
CALLAWAY – Dennis Malcom
COZAD – Ken Anderson and Alan Anderson
EDDYVILLE – Stan McFarland, Gary Rohde and Charles Watkinson
ELM CREEK – Jack Shubert
ELWOOD – Ray Yeutter
EUSTIS – Bob Dutton and Dean Wolf
GOTHENBURG – Courtney Schroeder and Leon Vogel
KEARNEY – Erwin Cox and James Goedert
LEXINGTON – John Kerner, Tom Nelson, Gary Schultz, Bernard Svoboda and Alan White
MERNA – Bruce Kennedy
OCONTO – Ron Lauby and Maynard Struempler
OVERTON – Larry Johnson
Dawson County Hero Flight is organized for the sole purpose of honoring American Veterans for all of their sacrifices and service above self. The committee is still accepting donations and looking for veterans for future flights.
The Lexington Public Schools Board of Education had a jam-packed agenda for their regular scheduled meeting on Monday evening.
The School Board approved for the School District under the direction of Superintendent Dr. John Hakonson to fill out the needed applications to become a future member of the Central-10 Conference for activities.
The purchase of two 2016 Dodge Grand Caravans from Platte Valley Auto in the amount of $19,800 per vehicle was also approved by the School Board.
The 2017-2018 district budget was approved by the Lexington Board of Education along with the approval of the proposed 2017-2018 property tax request as well.
The school board also heard rave reviews about the first Mobile Food Pantry that was hosted at Lexington Middle School. There were over 320 families that were served. The details are being worked out to host the event once a month to serve those in need.
The Lexington School district has been in contact with Tyson Foods, Inc. about the use of local beef in the Lunch Program. The Lexington Schools Lunch Program director Kerry Teetors has been doing research about the potential of using local beef as well.
The Skills Armory that is adjacent to the Lexington Public Schools Central Office hosted an open house on Tuesday to showcase the facilities that will host automotive and welding technology programs.
The school board were informed of the professional development inservice that is slated for September 18th for the staff of Lexington Public Schools that will spotlight on Calmer Classrooms: Working with Traumatized Students. It will empower staff members to reach out to all students in need as a result of their diverse backgrounds.
The Lexington Board of Education also approved resolution to close specified programs to option students for the 2017-2018 term.
The review of the agenda was approved by the Lexington School Board as was the approval of minutes, the payment of invoices and the financial report.
The next regular scheduled Lexington Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, October 9th at the Lexington City Council Chambers at 7 p.m.