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School district business manager resigns

by Del Bartels

Jackie Longbrake, business manager for the Haakon School District 27-1, tendered her resignation, effective September 19, during the August 18 Board of Education monthly meeting.

The board accepted the resignation with regret, with President Bill Slovek voicing, "We wish you good luck in the future."

An interview committee was appointed. It consists of Longbrake, Superintendent Keven Morehart, High School Principal Jeff Rieckman, Slovek and Anita Peterson. Board member Matt Reedy said, "Ideally, we would want to be able to interview as soon as tomorrow."

Longbrake's letter read: "It is with extremely mixed emotions that I am submitting my resignation as Business Manager at Haakon School District effective September 19, 2008. I want to thank you for the opportunity to work in such a friendly, professional and fun loving environment for the past three years. It has been one of the most enjoyable positions I have ever worked at and I will miss everyone involved with the school district."

Slovek commented on the size of the meeting's audience and asked for communications from the audience. The past minutes, agenda and financial reports were approved. Appointments were approved for the standing committees of building, memorial field, negotiations and board member budget.

Instructor Kim Bouman has made a salary lane change from BA to BA+12. Two classified contracts were approved. Theresa McDaniel will work as special education aide for four days per week at eight hours per day. Katie Schultz will work as assistant cook for four hours per day for four days per week.

The Fall sports of football, volleyball and cross country began on Monday, August 18. All volunteer coaches and aides for these sports were officially approved by the school board.

Two students have gotten academic transfers to the Philip school system. Three district students will be home schooled this year. Rieckman reported that 113 high school students were signed up to start the year. This is five more than last year. There are only 34 junior high students registered, with 46 starting school in Philip last year. Milesville Rural Learning Center has 21 students. Cheyenne has 11. The Philip Elementary, kindergarten through sixth grade, has 110 students, with 107 last year.

The 2008-2009 budget was tabled until the next board meeting. Time requirements dictate that it must be approved then. The board plans to discuss funding legalities with the Department of Education at the Philip Capital For A Day on August 28.

The estate of Margaret Durnill has left an interest-based scholarship fund to be used by the Philip High School. Requirements are that the student attended Philip High School and that the student's parents have a Haakon County address. The number and financial amount of scholarships will be based on each year's interest from the principal. The board is investigating the details of the principal and the interest conditions.

The board will no longer offer any 403B options for employee retirement. Employees are encouraged to use the South Dakota Supplemental Retirement system, which has been considered one of the best in the nation.

Rieckman reported that the beginning of the year teacher in-service went smoothly, with a very positive environment. The teachers worked with several new "smart boards" added to the ones used last year. These are used for computer work with groups, like a blackboard-sized, touch-sensitive computer screen.

Homecoming will be the week of September 15. Coronation will not be on Monday, but on Tuesday night. The football game will be against New Underwood.

The next scheduled meeting for the Board of Education will be at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 15 in room A-1 of the Philip High School. The public is welcome.