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Nokomis graduation

NOKOMIS (Heartland Newsfeed) — The Board of Education of Nokomis CUSD #22 convened in their May 19 session in the library of Nokomis High School, while allowing board members and attendees to exercise physical distancing.

Superintendent’s report in absentia

District superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr, who was absent due to a family emergency, left a written report with board president Chad Ruppert. The state has made its mandated categorical payments for the second quarter as of April 30. However, the district is still one payment behind with the fourth quarter payment due on June 30. To date, the past-due balance to the district sits at $162,661.22

The district was given approval to carryover Federal and state grants to the district’s 2021-22 fiscal year. Current Federal grants will be part of a consolidation plan with new incoming grants. Grant funds from the state allow the current and new grants will run concurrently.

The Illinois State Board of Education gave notification to the district that they will receive funds in relation to the Federal CARES Act stimulus program. Restrictions regarding funding use is not currently known. However, it comes with the provision that a share of the funds must go to St. Louis Catholic School. Doerr plans to use the funds on medical supplies and remote learning equipment unless restrictions prohibit it.

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Nokomis graduation ceremony tentative for June 6, Prom decision in June

The board and Nokomis High School principal Rachelle McDowell had a discussion regarding graduation proceedings for the Class of 2020. Following discussion, graduation will take place tentatively on June 6, with more information available after May 26.

A similar decision for Prom will be under consideration at the June meeting.

Cost analysis of summer projects provided

Doerr provided a cost analysis of major projects pending completion over the summer:

  • Masonry work at the former South Middle School building (which houses Cornerstone Academy): $134,850
  • Phones: $23,289.90 (previously approved)
  • Roof ladder for third story roof at NHS: $14,225
  • Blacktop roof seal coating at NHS: $16,995
  • Redoing North Elementary parking lot: $34,750
  • Drywall repair at North Elementary: $15,000 (shared cost pact with Poettker Construction)

Other projects include:

  • Installation of shutters in the library (via shared cost agreement with BLDD Architects)
  • Replacement of missing or non-fireproof doors at the high school
  • Installation of moisture-proof lighting in both shower rooms

The board is still awaiting quotes on these other projects, as well as replacement costs of fire pull stations and drywall repair at the high school.

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New business

The board made the following motions among their new business items:

  • School handbooks for the 2020-21 academic year are official.
  • The district will proceed with the masonry bid from Western Specialty Contractors via a 4-3 vote:
    • Jim Eisenbarth, Dennis Bauman, Steve Janssen, and Ruppert were among those voting in the affirmative.
    • Carl Fesser, Joe Gasparich, and Ben Tarter were among those voting in dissention.
  • The district will enter into a four-year bus lease agreement with Santander.
  • Dunn Company was granted approval for asphalt pavement and seal coating via their three bids.
  • The board voted to approve a 10-year extension with Refreshment Services Pepsi. Gasparich was the lone dissenter.

Closed session business

The board had the following items to report after holding a closed executive session:

  • The board did accept the resignations of Jessica Hamrock and Regina Schafer, effective at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Additionally, a voluntary reduction to 5/9 time for Darren Fritts for the 2020-21 academic year was given the green light.
  • Elementary teacher Aubrey Vickers and junior high Title I aide Danielle Herpstreith will soon begin employment for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Derek Johnson will become a volunteer coach for the freshman boys’ basketball team, effective with the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Landon Engelman and Landon German will begin summer work with the district on June 1, following approval by the board. The employment term will expire on August 14 and will be paid minimum wage.
  • Lauri Smalley will become the high school cheerleading sponsor for the upcoming academic year.
  • North Elementary principal Kevin Reedy reports the following administrative moves: Sarah Kim to kindergarten, Dylan Perkins to third grade, and Vickers to fourth grade.

While most of the board members were in attendance, Gasparich was in attendance via videoconferencing, while Doerr was absent due to a family emergency.

Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dogs Sparky and Buster.

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