Search Starts for New Stark County School Superintendent

Jr. High baseball & softball approved

By John A. Ballentine
[email protected]

The search for a new Stark County School District superintendent will start immediately with the approval Monday evening to hire the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB). Tom Leahy, of the IASB, presented an offer to the Stark County school board on May 15.

Leahy quoted a base price of $6,900 to conduct the search for a qualified and certified candidate. That candidate will replace retiring and current school superintendent Jerry Klooster. Klooster has served in that capacity for Stark County the past 13 years.

Leahy will be the search coordinator and eventually six candidates will be selected for the interviewing process. The IASB will advertise the position through its job bank website and also with conventional advertising.

Focus groups will be formed to solicit discussions concerning candidates. Plus, a paper survey will be conducted to help pinpoint what type of candidate the school district is seeking to hire for the superintendent’s position.

The board voted 4-2 to approve instituting the Junior High School baseball and softball programs for the next school year. Students will be charged $40 per sport to participate in the programs.

The games will be played at the City of Wyoming’s baseball/softball diamonds. Toulon’s baseball diamond at the high school prevented play there because of the grass infield. Shorter base distances for the Jr. High games would have put the base lines across the grass infield, which is not conducive to regulation play.

Superintendent Klooster stated, “The State still owes the Stark County School District $225,000 in State aid. We are not getting those payments. Included in that are Special Education money, vocational funds, transportation, and lunch and breakfast meals. We don’t expect any payment on the backlogged amount this year.”

The board unanimously approved the Leezer Insurance Agency to provide insurance coverage for property/casualty and workers’ compensation. The premium equals $123,902, which dropped from last year’s premium of $130,494.

In addition, approval was given to purchase cyber insurance coverage at a cost of $2,757 for the premium. It covers computer software extortion, lost or stolen computer hardware, etcetera.

Authorization to let bids was approved for the upcoming 2017/18 school year for bread, milk, Rebel Reporter and trash pick-up.
Mail-in registration has begun for enrollment for the upcoming school year. The deadline is June 30 to fill out and submit the enrollment forms.

The Athletic Fund Raiser continues to receive pledges toward the purchase of football field bleachers and for the new basketball court flooring. The total amount of funds now is at $165,000 of the total $350,000 being sought.

Memorabilia boards from the bleachers will be sold on a per foot basis. Yet to be determined is when the original boards of the high school gymnasium will be available for sale. This particular interest item will be advertised when the date of sale is established.

Also concerning the fundraiser, a Polaris Ranger will be “raffled” to aid in obtaining additional funding. There will be 1,000 tickets available at $20 per ticket for the chance to win the vehicle.

The board held an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing appointments, employment, compensation, performance or dismissal of employees, and collective bargaining.

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