New London bids farewell to school board member Bob McPheron
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON — It was a tearful goodbye as board member, Bob McPheron, left his school board position during Monday night’s monthly school board meeting. “I guess I will have to adjourn the leaving board member because I’ve been told there isn’t enough Kleenex in the district,” joked superintendent, Stephen McAllister.
McPheron was presented with two plaques for his service on the board. “One for your office and one for home,” said McAllister.
“He has always been about the kids. No matter what has happened in the district, he (McPheron) put the kids first,” said McAllister. “Dr. Bob McPheron is a true team member and he really understood his role as a school board member. He will be missed,” finished McAllister as McPheron departed from the school board.
Once McPheron had left his position, Shane Mettler, incumbent board member, was given his oath of office. He was then welcomed to the board.
During the organizational part of the school board meeting, offices were voted on and assigned. Laurie Hempen remained board president, Travis Benz was nominated and accepted as vice-president, the representative for the Henry County Conference Board was Dennis Carter and finally, the voting delegate for the Iowa Association of School Boards was Dennis Carter.
Barb Meyer, middle school English/TAG teacher, asked the board if the district could cover the cost for substitutes and the bus ride for the sixth-grade campout this year. After a short discussion, the board approved Meyer’s request.
There were a few new appointments made during the meeting. Daryl Shy was given a contract once again to be the driver education instructor for the district; Nic Chiri was approved to be a volunteer wrestling coach; Mike Richart was approved to be a volunteer wrestling coach; Thelma Watkins was hired to be a kitchen worker as was Tracy Swanson and Elizabeth Curry. Kendra Huff was approved as a special education associate and finally the agreement with Winfield-Mt. Union to share the industrial arts teacher was approved. Joe Garvey, the new industrial arts teacher, will divide his time between the two districts.
McAllister, during his superintendent’s report, expressed gratitude for the PPEL bond issue passing. The PPEL helps fund the 1:1 computer initiative and proposition E also passed. Proposition E will help the district to improve security issues at the high school and elementary, to remodel the school library, to work on the hallways by the cafeteria in the elementary and to update the consumer sciences room. “We are appreciative that this passed,” McAllister said.
Scott Kracht, middle-school/high-school principal, discussed how some of the classes looked this year. “Heather Sharp and Tresa Zaragoza are doing flipped classrooms. Students watch the video as homework, and then use class time to complete the work. It’s actually really cool how it works,” Kracht said. “Hopefully soon we will have one more teacher doing this, they are just getting comfortable with the program right now,” he continued.
“Homecoming this year has been done by the students. They have really stepped up and shown us what they can do,” Kracht praised. ‘When you see the dance and other things, it was the students, we should be really proud of them.” New London’s homecoming will be on Oct. 4.
The high school will also be looking into standards-based grading. A group of six teachers have been studying the system. It (standards-based grading) will take more time to organize because of the GPA aspect of grading.
Elementary principal Todd Palmateir informed the board that there are 235 students enrolled at Clark Elementary. “We are only down about nine kids from last year,” Palmateir said. The annual Clark open house will be on Sept. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The board meets again Monday, Oct. 14.