WHEATFIELD — The highlight of the regularly-scheduled Kankakee Valley School Corporation Board Meeting held on Monday, April 8, was the official hiring of new Superintendent of Schools Donald Street. Street, formerly of the West Central School Corporation, was presented by Acting Superintendent Iran Floyd and was approved 7 – 0. He will take the helm on July 1, 2019.
After the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence, the board members quickly approved the minutes of the last meeting, as well as corporation claims in the amount of $1,337,970, and cafeteria claims in the amount of $62,730.
Board member Kristy Stowers introduced the Students of the Month from Kankakee Valley High School. They are Elizabeth Veldman for Business/Family and Consumer Science; Carissa Seneczko for Fine Arts; Austynn Dodd for Foreign Language; Alexis Swart for Health/Physical Education; Madeline Swart for Language Arts; Jenna Smith for Mathematics; Adam Sheptock for Science; Rebecca Caldwell for Social Studies; and, Isabelle Eenigenburg for Technology/Career and Technical Education.
The board and audience were then treated to an explanation and demonstration regarding the Kankakee Valley Intermediate School Robotics Club and Coding Club by teacher and club sponsor Robin Dietrich. She along with the club members presented a slide show and robot demonstration.
In employment actions, in addition to the hiring of the Superintendent, the board approved the hiring of Courtney Miller as an Elementary Teacher at DeMotte Elementary School, effective for the 2019-2020 school year. She is currently covering for a maternity leave and beginning in Fall 2019, will be filling a vacancy due to a resignation. They also voted to accept the resignation of Kankakee Valley High School Tech teacher, Kara Miller, effective April 26, 2019.
In classified staff employment actions, the board voted to approve Lauren Skowronski as Special Education Aide at KVHS, effective April 9, 2019. Skowronski is currently a substitute teacher and will be filling a vacancy as the result of a resignation. They also voted to approve Duane Vander Woude as Athletic Groundskeeper, effective April 9, 2019. Vander Woude is filling a newly created position. The retirement of KVSC bus driver, Roxie Sanders, effective at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, and the resignation of DES instructional aide, Alexxus Thomason, effective May 10, 2019. were also accepted.
In extracurricular positions, the board voted to approve Wendy Dunham as KVHS Dance Team coach for the 2019-2020 school year, as well as Charles De Moss as volunteer assistant boys’ golf coach and Trevor Jones as volunteer assistant freshman baseball coach.
No old business was undertaken; however, the top of the new business was a motion to place a hold on the purchase of a $15 million bond for the construction of the KVHS activity center until the effects of the NIPSCO plant closing on future taxes are better understood. This motion passed 7 – 0.
The board also approved a set number of allowable non-district transfer students for each grade of each building for the next school year with none allowing greater than five.
Members of the school board then turned their attention to other aspects of the athletic fields building plans and other building projects. They voted: to approve proceeding with the E Building remodel in Fall 2019, after the completion of the football season with costs not to exceed one million dollars and funded through the Rainy Day Fund; to approve proceeding with the KVHS cafeteria remodel during the summer following the 2019-2020 school year with cost not to exceed $800,000, funded through Capital Projects Plan/Operations Fund; to approve proceeding with construction of the half-time building at the football complex with cost not to exceed $800,000, funded through Rainy Day Fund; to approve the DES heat pump replacement schedule; to accept the bid from Gough Construction in the amount of $2,938,000 including alternates #1, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10a along with barrier netting to be funded with bond moneys and Capital Projects dollars; and, to accept the alternate bid #3 from Gough Construction for the KVHS northwest student parking lot, in the amount of $448,000.00 to be funded with Capital Projects dollars.
Approval was given for the 2019 Summer School Schedule, the 2019-2020 KVHS Athletic Handbook and the 2019-2020 Kankakee Valley Middle School Athletic Handbook. Additionally, approval was given for the purchase of furniture for the KVHS Media Center at a cost of $11,910.56 and the creation of an athletic groundskeeper position and salary schedule.
Nine students were granted requests for early graduation. They were KVHS students Steven Arellano, Alexa Call, Raymond Clark, Destiny Clemens, Mercedes Johnson, Brendon McKinstry, Megan Nannenga, Mackenzie Rector and Addison Risner.
Approval was given for a memorandum of understanding regarding video surveillance system monitoring access for police emergency responders between KVSC and the Jasper County Sheriff’s office, which would only be used in the event of an emergency.
Numerous routine items filled out the remainder of the meeting, such as field trip requests, use of school facility requests and professional leave requests. There were no patron comments and the meeting was adjourned in just under an hour.