School may review budget requirements

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Graduation requirements may get a little more strict in the future for McCook school students.

Without getting into specifics, Superintendent Grand Norgaard told McCook School Board members Monday night at the regular board meeting that he and staff were researching the possibility of "expecting more out of McCook graduates." Further research would be done on the idea, he added.

Norgaard also said that new and veteran teachers are excited with the first day of McCook schools on Thursday.

"Positive Comments" made at the close of the meeting included:

* Diane Lyons: with the high temperatures this summer, she is grateful that the decision was made to install air conditioning at the senior high and before that, at the junior high. In talking with a maintenance person this summer, she learned that the temperature in one classroom at the junior high had reached 91 by the afternoon.

* Sandy Krysl: in visiting with new teachers, she learned how much they appreciated the mentor program the district uses, where a veteran teacher is matched with a new hire. "It really helped them to adjust," she said.

* Larry Shields: commented that it has been one year since Teresa Thomas joined the board.

* Teresa Thomas: thanked the board for the opportunity to serve on the board. Thomas said she was looking forward to the new school year, with her kids feeling "nervous, excited and bummed out at the same time."

* Shane Messersmith: commended FFA and the cheerleaders for their fundraising activities during the Red Willow County fair.

* Tom Bredvick: praised administrative office staff who have been keeping up with all the mailings to students over the summer. Also mentioned that three school board members, himself included, will have seniors graduating this year.

* Rick Haney, McCook Schools business manager: complimented the employees in the school district who oftentimes don't get recognized: those who drive and maintain transportation vehicles. Not only are they responsibile for the safety of students traveling but are also responsible for maintaining the vehicles. "We have a good history on safe transportation and they do a great job."

* Grant Norgaard: has seen a lot of comraderie among veteran and new teachers. The administration and teachers "are all ready to get back to work and make a difference in the lives of kids."

Principals and administration staff who were present at the meeting were asked to comment on the new year, incuding:

* Kate Repass, Central Elementary principal: thankful for all the positive energy she has seen among teachers.

* Tim Garcia, McCook Elementary principal: impressed with the support and guidance teachers and administration give each other. The teachers' excitement with the new school year "is a great reflection of the administration team."

* Jerry Smith, McCook High School principal: also enthusiastic about the new year. "Can't wait for the kids to get here."

* John Hanson, Special Education director: in the district's mentoring process, where new hires are matched with a veteran teacher to help adjust to the school, he was paired with the new school psychologist. He thought that the mentoring program is a great idea and "I wish I could have had something like that in my first year."

* Dennis Berry, Junior High principal: mentioned how for the past few weeks, in anticipation of the school year, teachers have been coming to school early and staying late. "We have a dedicated staff," he said.

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