By Julie Johansen
In his last meeting as superintendent of the Emery School District, Kirk Sitterud received many accolades and well wishes. Newly selected Superintendent Larry Davis praised Sitterud for his commitment to the students of Emery County and his ability to direct the district for the past 19 years.
Business Manager Jared Black appreciated his cooperation and leadership in the district office. Board member Sam Singelton spoke about his years as a student in his classes in school. Board President Laurel Johansen spoke of the impeccable integrity, dedication to educational standards and his ability to minimize any negative impact on the district. She then presented Sitterud with a large picture entitled “Turning the Hearts.”
Dayna Terry from the counseling office at Emery High spoke to the board about increasing the number of requirements for graduation and the possibility of changing to block scheduling. She talked of increasing gradually with yearly increments. The board listened intently but took no action; consideration and discussion will follow. Green River Principal Kacey Fluckey also asked the board for permission to try block scheduling for a year. Green River High is also working to increase graduation requirements. The board approved this on a one year trial basis.
A motion was made to open a public hearing to discuss the budgets for 2017 and the pre-final budget for 2016. Black gave a slide presentation showing a decrease in pupil numbers, which was 2207, the lowest in several years. Emery district has 260 teachers and a total of 330 employees. He also reported that assessed valuation of Emery County has dipped to the lowest in 10 years, $1.9 billion down to $106 million. This, of course, means an increase in tax rates; .004216 % in 2016 to .004362 % in 2017. The budget considered showed no retirement increase, health insurance at 94%, funds for steps and lane changes plus 1% cost of living increase, no judgment levies, and the special revenue fund for charter schools that is filtered through the district. The budget must balance with revenues and expenditures. The public hearing was closed and all budgets were approved.
The following names for hiring were presented to the board by Sitterud: Alissa Blake and Burton Sant, teachers at Book Cliff Elementary; Richard Nobbe, band teacher at Emery High; Jill Weber, kindergarten teacher at Castle Dale Elementary; Crisanne Durrant, teaching assisitant at Huntington Elementary; Sydney Jewkes and Shelby Bagley as drill team coaches at Emery High; McKette Taney, teacher at Cottonwood; and Dustin Service, head custodian at Emery High. Black recommended Courtney Cox as the head custodian at Huntington Elementary. Davis then announced the new administrative personnel: Yvonne Jensen, principal at Canyon View Junior High; Steven Gordon, principal at Emery High; Dean Stilson, vice principal at Emery High; Ryan Maughan, director of student services, who will fill the vacancy of Jon Crawford’s retirement. There was discussion on a technology specialist to assist Maughan, but the board said only if this position was filled by a present employee. With the decreases the district is facing there was no way to approve an additional administrative position. These individuals were approved by the board for hiring. Retirement letters were accepted from Collette Clement and Barbara Quist.