Praise and compliments flow at New London board meeting
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON — “I’m really proud of our staff,” said Laurie Hempen, board president during the regular New London School Board meeting Monday night. “They really helped to make the best of a bad situation.”
Hempen was referring to Emma Ritchey, the ninth-grade student who died in a car accident a little over a week ago.
“The entire staff was outside Monday morning. It was good for parents to see that as it was a hard day to drop students off at school,” superintendent Stephen McAllister said during the meeting.
“We are also proud of our churches. They really stepped up and gave the students the guidance they needed. People from the churches were here before 8 a.m. Monday and helped the students to return to normalcy. We are proud to see our community come together,” high school principal Scott Kracht said.
It was a trying week for New London last week, but it proved that a community could really stick together.
The continued kudos for students and staff dominated Monday night’s board meeting.
Kracht went on to explain how proud he was of the students for taking on leadership roles. “They really took charge during homecoming week. They played an active role and everything you saw, the parade and what not, they did. The adults pointed them in the right direction, but the students made the calls,” he said.
“I would like point out Summer Miller (a student). Even though all students did very well, she went above and beyond. She was out there and at everything. I was really impressed by her,” said Todd Palmateir, middle school principal.
“The students also took an active role in the blood drive,” Kracht added to the discussion. “Overall, we are proud of our students. The only thing we need to work on is getting students engaged in activities. We want them to come back to school and to also have community involvement,” he finished.
Palmatier informed the board of the upcoming fall play that will be taking place Nov. 15-16. The title of the play this year is “Sleeping Beauty and the Beast.” He also talked about parent/teacher conferences that will be taking place on Nov. 5 and Nov. 7 from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“We also had a night hike here at the elementary school that was sponsored by Henry County Conservation. We had about 75 people attend, it was really good,” Palmatier shared with the board.
“Tiger TV is going great,” said McAllister. “We received the desk that Sleepy Hollow created for us and we have added the lights in the production room,” he said. Nov. 1 the district will hold an event for Tiger TV, allowing the community to come in and see everything. More information to come at a later date.
The students have had four live shows so far this year and they can be view on Youtube, the shows website or the New London School District Facebook page.
“We have even received a comment about the show from Afghanistan,” McAllister added to the discussion. “We really should be proud of our students.”
McAllister discussed enrollment at New London and he said, “We are up in enrollment this year, as well for the past two years. You don’t see that often, especially in small schools. Southeast Iowa is up about 2,000 students and that is really, really good news.”
During the meeting, the board also:
• Approved the resignation of Karen Wilkins, special education associate.
• Approved the resignation of Kendra Huff, special education associate.
• Approved the appointment of John Alden to special education associate.
• Approved the appointment of Joel Prottsman to middle school boy’s basketball co-coach.
• Approved the retirement of Gina Anderson, high school special education teacher.
• Approved the terms of offering for American Appraisal to do the asset inventory.
The board will meet again on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in the boardroom.