School Board meeting newsWritten by Theresa Rose on July 19, 2016
The Mt. Pleasant School Board met in regular session Monday night. It was the new superintendent’s first regular monthly meeting with the whole board. John Henriksen began his duties July 1. He told the board it has been a whirlwind start mostly due to moving the district office last week. Otherwise, he said he continues to re-acquaint himself with the district. Before serving 10 years as the Central Lee Superintendent of Schools, Henriksen was an administrator and coach in the Mt. Pleasant district. Henriksen sees relationship and team building as not only first steps coming into a new school system but also as a necessary ongoing process. He needs to add to his administrative team before school starts at the end of August. The Harlan Elementary principal’s recent resignation comes at a difficult time to find a replacement. The school board would like to hire a one year interim principal but that is proving difficult, as well. Henriksen reported he hasn’t had much luck in finding a retired principal who is interested in the position . There are 2 or 3 teachers in the district who have an administrator’s endorsement. If no one is found by August 1, Henriksen may be looking at 2 principals for 4 elementary buildings for the coming year.
The school board approved a bid from Barton Construction for a paving project at the high school. Two bids were received. Barton’s was low at $39,756. A portion of the drive around the north side of the building will be paved as a way to prevent the potholes created by buses and trucks.
Mike Vens of Gamroth Doyle Vens Insurance visited the school board meeting to explain the increase in insurance costs. Liability and auto went up because coverage limit went up but the real increase is due to the significant increase again in workers compensation premiums. In fact, of the $379,000 the district will pay next year for insurance, 267,000 of that is for workers comp.