McCOOK, Nebraska -- McCook Public Schools' board of education members accepted the resignation of a 39-year teacher and approved the hiring of seven new teachers at their monthly meeting Monday evening.
The board also took the first steps in the annual evaluation of Superintendent Grant Norgaard. "My intent is to request a contract extension," board president Tom Bredvick told fellow board members.
The board discussed Norgaard's evaluation in closed session, and will take formal action on his contract in June.
The board accepted the resignation of senior high resource teacher Dan O'Brien, with gratitude for 39 years of service to MPS. Norgaard said that O'Brien was in the first class of Kearney State College to graduate with special eduction degrees, before any federal legislation regarding special education.
New hires approved include: Hillery Kennedy, Heather Milius and Stephanie Sis, McCook Elementary; Arthur Rose and Ashley Schutte, Central Elementary; and Jill Lauer and Cheri Schneider, McCook Junior High.
In administrative comments to the board, Norgaard said that Dr. Roger Breed, Nebraska Commissioner of Education, will visit MPS Monday, May 16, from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Norgaard also forewarned board members that the Nebraska Legislature is contemplating increasing the percentages that schools and teachers pay into teacher retirement; the increases would start in 2012.
Norgaard also said that the board may need to revise its cyber-bullying policies, explaining specific consequences, before July 1.
During "Positive Comments," administrators and board members said:
Finance director Rick Haney said he is impressed that Vern and Sarah Esch annually sponsor a trip to a hippotherapy facility in Hastings for developmentally disabled children. They do this, Haney said, in memory of their son, Christopher, who died in 2007 at the age of 24.
Student body representative Hailey Esch told board members that the senior class's baccalaureate service was May 1, and that students presented an amazing rendition of the song, "Awesome God." She also thanked the board for the opportunity to serve on the board.
Shane Messersmith said that he enjoyed the annual FFA banquet.
Diane Lyons said she appreciated Linda Maiden's and State Farm's sponsorship of the annual bike rodeo, and she thanked sponsors of end-of-the-school-year banquets for their efforts.
Sandy Krysl congratulated Norgaard on his "good hires" of teacher candidates for MPS, and for recruiting "good, new talent" at hiring fairs.
Larry Shields said he enjoyed the baccalaureate service. "The kids did an outstanding job on the music," he said. He also congratulated graduating seniors.
Norgaard recognized math teachers who are in the beginning stages of selecting new math curriculum. He also said he has enjoyed elementary and junior/senior high concerts, and enjoyed helping with the Student Council's leadership banquet.
Bredvick recognized the efforts and hours of class and club sponsors, and activities that "keep youths connected to their school."