The board met on Monday evening, and as a matter of formal business said our goodbyes to longtime Director's Maureen Hanson and Trent Goodnight. After a brief meeting of the outgoing board, we were quickly on to new business. Please be sure to check back next week since my post will be devoted to the extraordinary service of both Maureen and Trent. We will take time to reflect on their years of service and memorable moments. I can assure you that it will be something you won't want to miss.
After a quick final meeting of the retiring board, we had to take some time to organize ourselves for the new session. The role of President is a critical component of the board, and we were all thankful that Jerry Griffith stepped up to the task. Jerry and I will work very close over the course of his presidency to set the agenda and direction for the board, serve in a ceremonial capacity, and to ensure that the board stays on task during meetings. He will be the one to control the tempo of the conversation, making sure everyones voice is heard before calling for the vote. We are in very capable hands!
Director Marsch graciously volunteered to remain in her capacity as Vice-President. This too is a critical role for our board, stepping in when the President is unable to attend or at other official functions. We are very lucky to have Director Marsch serve in this capacity, and she is always willing to attend an extra meeting when necessary and can be available in a pinch. I am also grateful that she is once again going to be our representative to the Delegate Assembly in November when we vote for our legislative platform.
Rounding out our returning board members is Director Cory, who is a fantastic board member. Mr. Cory is the member we can count on to boil the issues down into common sense facts. He is not afraid to ask the tough questions and is willing to hold people accountable. Director Cory has a marvelous understanding of the issues and has courage to stand up for what is right for the citizens of Hudson and taxpayers. He has the ability to look critically at the issue from all sides of the equation and make a decision that is in the best interest of the school district.
When Maureen and Trent decided not to seek re-election, there was certainly some time spent trying to persuade them to seek another term! We are very sad to see them depart our board, and there was some anxiety felt, especially early in the nominating process, when no one filed paperwork. Luckily it all worked out for the best, because Tanya Higgins and Karyn Finn both heard the calling!
Monday evening was their first meeting, and I can say that so far I am very impressed with their passion and poise. Both were willing to jump into the fray immediately and try to gain an understanding of the issues. Great questions and thoughtful comments are hallmarks of outstanding board members. Both have those skills in spades!
After all the ceremonial and organizational issues, we still had regular business that needed attention. Among those items:
- Approved the second reading of the Board Policy Code No. 401.13 Among other things, this policy will permit teacher use of Facebook and other social media for educational purposes with the permission of the superintendent.
- Approved the first reading of the Student Driver Permit Policy (Code To Be Assigned) Adds a requirement that students must complete the 8th grade before being eligible for a student driver permit.
- Waived the second and third readings of Board Policy Code No. 212 Closed Sessions Policy and Board Policy Code No. 401.5R1 Employee Records Regulation Further defines when a board can enter into closed session and what employee records are considered public documents. These policies were amended to reflect recent changes to the Iowa Code.
- Approved the first reading of Use of Video Cameras Board Policy Code No 711.2R2 Describes the use of video cameras on school property and that those video can be used and become part of the record of a student disciplinary hearing.
- Approved Board/Superintendent Goals These are goals that are established annually that are used as a measure of the effectiveness of the superintendent and school board. They will become the focal point of my annual evaluation. In a few weeks this will be the subject of my blog, so more information will be provided at that time.