McCOOK, Nebraska -- McCook, Nebraska, Public Schools Board of Education members accepted the resignation Monday evening of a fellow board member found guilty in May of driving while intoxicated and disturbing the peace.
Board president Tom Bredvick read a brief letter of resignation, dated May 27, from board member Maury Green, a McCook attorney found guilty of DWI and disturbing the peace in Red Willow County District Court on May 26. Green wrote that his resignation was effective with his letter. He offered no explanation for the resignation in his letter to Bredvick.
Green was chairman of the board's Policy Committee and a member of the board's Facilities Committee. He was in his first term as a school board member.
At their monthly meeting Monday evening, the board unanimously accepted Green's resignation on a motion by Diane Lyons and a second by Larry Shields, with gratitude for Green's 21⁄2 years of service on the board and dedication to the school system. With the resignation, the board declared a vacancy on the board. There was no discussion as to how to fill that vacancy.
School board members tabled the adoption of the 2011-12 student handbook for the junior and senior high schools until they can hear from activities director Darin Nichols the reasoning behind requiring that all students involved in activities purchase activity passes.
The "pay to play" activity pass requirement was in the handbook last year, but Lyons said she does not remember that the board officially acted on it.
Bredvick said that by officially adopting the handbook, the requirement becomes policy, and he's not sure he wants to continue to do that without discussing it further.
Finance director Rick Haney said the activity pass helps prevent kids from sneaking into activities without paying, and helps prevent scenes if they're asked to leave.
The board approved the student handbook for McCook Elementary and Central Elementary.
Lyons asked that a policy regarding cell phones and other electronic devices be clarified to state that school officials can seize them and review their data if they feel the information may be valuable in an investigation. In the handbook, the board reserves the right to search school property, such as students' lockers.
Both handbooks include more stringent policies regarding truancy, reducing from seven to five the total number of missed days allowed per quarter. "That's eight fewer days per year," Norgaard pointed out.
The board accepted these certificated staff resignations:
Gayle Sharkey, curriculum director, after four years with MPS.
Dana Juenemann, senior high journalism, newspaper, annual, dual credit English, mythology and young adult literature, after seven years.
Kay Mohr, speech/language pathology, after one year.
The board approved a contract with Kristen Harris, who has been hired to fill the position vacated by Juenemann.
During "Positive Comments," board members and administrators said:
Rick Haney, finance director, said he appreciates efforts by maintenance and custodial staff to keep the senior high clean while contractors work to install air conditioning.
Lyons said that she appreciates the summer training and continuing education activities of staff and teachers. She said earlier in the meeting that she has always been impressed with Gayle Sharkey's knowledge and dedication, and with her help to create a "phenomenal" reading program for MPS.
Sandy Krysl congratulated the McCook High School golf team and coach Rick Haney on their Class B state golf championship. "This is very exciting, and they're a great group of guys," Krysl said.
Larry Shields thanked Gayle Sharkey for her dedication to MPS, for her "financial wisdom" and for "always coming in under budget" in purchases of new curriculum. "She will be missed," he said.
Bredvick said he looks forward to Norgaard's continuing leadership of McCook's school system. He also thanked Maury Green for his 2 1/2 years of service to the school. "I hope he takes something positive away from that experience," he said.
Norgaard said that many teachers are involved in ITIP (Instruction Theory into Practice) training that teaches instructors how to design lessons that help students learn in the classroom. He also thanked the board and Haney for their foresight in planning for the improvement in heating and air conditioning at the high school.