By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — Due to increased enrollment, the Elk Mound Board of Education has approved hiring another middle school teacher.
The eighth grade class that will be leaving Elk Mound Middle School at the end of this school year has 77 students, and the fifth grade class coming in next fall will have 94 students, said Eric Wright, middle school principal, at the Elk Mound Board of Education’s February 18 meeting.
With the additional number of fifth graders, the middle school will be increasing from 14 sections to 15 sections of students, he said.
“I am seeking permission to hire another teacher at the middle school next year to cover the additional section of students. (The new teacher) would either be a science teacher or a social studies teacher. That would allow us to cover all of the sections,” Wright said.
Based on the current numbers, the fifth grade and sixth grade sections would each have 24 students, seventh grade sections would have 22 students, and eighth grade would have either 22 or 23 students per section.
“Do you have enough rooms?” asked Tim Sivertson, school board president.
“We have enough rooms (although) there will be some moving around just because of positioning for grade levels,” Wright said.
The fifth, seventh and eighth grades would each have four sections and the seventh grade would have three sections, he said.
The school board has already approved hiring a special education teacher; this would be the second teacher for the middle school, said Dr. Ron Walsh, district administrator.
“We like to get out there early and try to track the most candidates we can (in order) to get the best candidate … we want to have a crack at all the best ones right away,” Wright said.
Board of Education member Jim Holte wondered if new graduates would be considered for the position.
Candidates can always apply, Wright said.
The posting will say that the candidate “must possess” certification for the position. If the interview team really likes a candidate, a university advisor can be asked to sign off saying that he or she anticipates this person obtaining the certification. Then, pending board approval, it can be stipulated that the person must have certain certification by a certain date, he said.
Wright said he would anticipate hiring the new teacher either at the end of April or in early May.
The Elk Mound Board of Education unanimously approved hiring another middle school teacher.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Recognized Lisa Hinnenkamp for her notable educational contribution. Hinnenkamp has been working in the school district for 17 years and has taught first grade the majority of the time. “Lisa is always willing to go that extra mile,” said Eric Hanson, principal at Mound View Elementary.
• Received a report from Lexi Grossbier, student council representative on the Board of Education, about her trip in January to Washington D.C. with a leadership group for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
• Learned that 53 students attended the four-year-old visitation on February 15 at Mound View Elementary, which was the largest number of students who have ever attended the four-year-old event. Hanson said it could perhaps be attributed to the school doing a better of job of letting people know about it.
• Awarded the Legislative Scholarship to Sieney Cater, who has the highest GPA in the senior class.
• Approved a contract in the amount of $10,900 for the audit and $1,100 for the stimulus audit for 2012-2013 with Dan Thole, a CPA with Larsen Allen LLP.
• Accepted a bid for a 61-passenger bus from Mid State Bus at a cost of $90,504 with trade-in of $1,000 for the old bus. The new bus will have a wheelchair ramp and space behind the driver to accommodate the wheelchair. The net cost to the fund 10 budget will be $78,491, and the cost for wheelchair lift at $12,000 will be paid by special education flow-through federal dollars.
• Adopted a resolution authorizing a revised 457 (b) plan for deferred compensation. The plan is managed by the state and is sponsored by the Wisconsin Retirement System.
Following a closed session, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Hired Josh Carney as a bus driver.
• Hired Connie Linberg as a custodian.
The Elk Mound Board of Education meets next on March 18. The March meeting date was set at the December board meeting.