The Southwest Dubois School system is in a state of flux with the change in administration from former Superintendent Terry Enlow to new Superintendent Mike Eineman from Southridge High School principal. That change, which occurred earlier this year, has caused a ripple effect to other positions.
The board voted Thursday night to hire Kelly Murphy, former football coach and assistant principal to the permanent position of principal of Southridge Junior/Senior High School.
Murphy said about his appointment as principal:
Murphy said he would miss being on the sideline as a coach, but expressed strong support for their choice in new head football coach, Scott Buening by saying:
The new coach Buening will have another responsibility, too. He will assume the role of Dean of Students and according to Murphy, will handle student discipline and attendance.
The board also learned Thursday night that Chad Schenck, Assistant to the Superintendent, has submitted his resignation to take a position with the West Clark Community School District as Director of Transportation with responsibility for a fleet of 60 buses.
Schenck says his position will begin July 1st in Sellersburg. No word from Eineman on who will replace Schenck.
And it doesn’t stop there: Southridge Baseball Coach Brad Wibbeler has resigned as has Southridge Middle School Girls Volleyball Coach, Dee Nunamaker. This has the Southridge Athletics program facing major changes, too. Athletic Director Brett Bardwell was not available for comment.
After the dust had settled on personnel moves, the board tackled the topic of school-issued computers for the up-coming school year.
Huntingburg Elementary Principal John Seger told the board that he wants a long-term plan that keeps devices in the classroom, citing excessive wear on existing laptop computers. Seger also wants to move the school system to Apple iPads, but had no strategy to present to the board of how to roll them out to the second grade with just six weeks to go until the new school year begins.
Board member Chris Neu complained that the board should have been notified earlier about the need for the new technology tools to use in the classrooms.
The issue comes into play because iPads could replace some textbooks, which affects textbook rental fees.
Neu made a motion to table the discussion on the new iPads so he can review the options before the July meeting. That motion passed the board. And the board passed the textbook rental fees for all grades except the second grade until next month pending a decision on the iPads.
If passed next month the board would institute a new $100.00 fee for new iPads in the second grade.
The board also discussed the Student Handbook for the 2013 – 2014 school year. Board President Kevin Wertman voiced concerns about a perceived discrepancy between the Handbook and Student Athlete guidelines regarding discipline over violations of policy.
Wertman said that he has long opposed the fairness discrepancy between the two, but nothing has ever been done about it. He was told that the Student Athletic guidelines could be reviewed independently of the Student Handbook to make sure that both are consistent and in agreement. The board passed a motion to accept the Student Handbook.
Finally, Schenck made the recommendation to the board that they consider the purchase of two new buses, a 2013 model 28 passenger and a 2014 model 78 passenger to add to their fleet.
Schenck talked about the reasons for the purchase by saying:
Schenck reports that there is over $450,000.00 in the bus replacement fund and the two new buses would cost in the neighborhood of $150,000.00.
He said that the fund would still be very healthy even with the purchase. With a November tax draw into the fund, it would stand at about $600,000.00 without the purchase. The board took no action on the recommendation by Schenck.