by Adam Gruenewald
Wanting to pump up equipment for students Central School Board approved a project to upgrade equipment at the school’s weight room.
As shared by Activities Director Ron Erpenbach, the weight room equipment is in decent shape, but different types of weight room equipment, including individual ropes and stations where individuals are working against their own body rather than traditional weights, are needed.
“We haven’t made any real changes to our weight room in about 15 years,” said Erpenbach. “This would be a really nice change.”
The modern equipment, which has been ordered and is expected to be received in mid-April, will be purchased using donated funds including substantial donations from the Central Booster Club and the public.
While he said he didn’t explicitly seek out donations, Erpenbach said about $2,500 to $3,000 is still needed and he expects they will receive those to make all the needed improvements.
“I’m pretty confident we’ll find that money before the year is over,” said Erpenbach.
Existing equipment that remains in “decent” shape will be sold, Erpenbach said.
“The equipment doesn’t meet our current needs, so we will make an attempt to sell that,” he said. “I don’t know how successful we’ll be because a lot of other people are considering using that same equipment.”
School board members did ask whether Central could reach an contractual agreement with FitnessRX for weight room facilities, but Erpenbach said the current weight room will more than adequate.
“We’ve got a good weight room,” said Erpenbach. “Our set-up, even before this was good. If you went to schools are size, it’s better than most. Now it’s going to be good. There’s no reason to pay anyone else, it will be top of the line. Equipment in there will be better than 95 percent of schools you see our size.”
In other news, school board members started a preliminary discussion on a revised review process for Superintendent Brian Corlett.
While Corlett was not present at the meeting, board members put together a committee of board members Kyle Evenski, Sara Eischens and either Dean Lind or Elroy Latzig to devise an initial process.
“I’d like to see us develop a process looking at 2017-18 so that everybody knows what the expectations are and how it’s going to look and that everybody is on the same page,” said Eischens.
An evaluation was conducted about four years ago, but board members, including Craig Pexa, decided the process would help in future contract negotiations, recognizing that the review will likely not be ready for negotiations this year.
“It’s going to take some time yet and you want to do it right,” said Pexa.
Elroy Latzig agreed.
“I think it’s a work in progress too,” said Latzig of the evaluation plan. “We can tweak it and review it every so often and we can finally get it going.”
Eischens added she didn’t want the board to continue to “kick the can down the road” and have a formal evaluation process.
“I want to be comprehensive and valuable and have a purpose,” said Eischens, adding the annual evaluation could incorporate various district and administrative goals and core competencies. “I think an evaluation is not meant to be punitive. I think it’s meant to have feedback and be constructive and purposeful and used for professional development and stuff like that. I see it as having a very valuable role also.”
In principals’ reports, Elementary Principal Michael Daugs, Middle School Principal Ron Erpenbach and High School Principal Tom Erickson all highlighted upcoming testing schedule that will occur in the spring months once students are back from spring break.
Daugs also shared that teacher Ashley Freund and others attended a Young Writer’s Conference and information about yet another successful Read-a-thon which raised $15,537.60.
“It helps us with budgeting as well,” said Daugs. “Thank you to the community for their support with that fundraiser.”
In addition to sharing updates on the master schedule and study halls, Erickson also shared an update for the Student Council, highlighting the April 13 blood drive put on by council and the American Red Cross from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a Pennies for Patients in April fundraiser.
In addition to quite a few recognitions and donations, school board members also heard from Brian Isles on happenings with the Central Drama department YouTube channel and website, approved the non-renewal of teaching contract of math teacher Anthony Keaveny, named Superintendent Brian Corlett as the identified official with authority to authorize user access to MDE secure websites, approved the resignation of Alexis Jones as assistant varsity track coach, approved the hire of assistant varsity track coach Tim Willems and reconsidered a proposal from U.S. Solar, deciding to take a cautious approach and decline the offer.
Central School Board ISD 108 will next meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 24, at the Hamburg Community Center.
Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.