WOLCOTT — Tri-County School Corporation recognized four people who have dedicated their careers to the school system.
The school board meeting Aug. 12 started out business as usual, until Superintendent Patrick Culp stood up with gifts in his hand and began speaking about the small recognition ceremony.
“I heard that Tri-County was a special place many times when I became the superintendent in January, and I get to work with some very special people every day,” he said. “Their years of service is appreciated.”
Culp asked Kayleen Henry and Jack Mitchell to come forward, as Henry approached the front of the room.
“Kayleen has been with Tri-County schools for 11 years,” he said. “She has worked as a custodian for us and all her work is appreciated.”
President Don Pampel presented her with a retirement clock. As vice-president, Bob Gerber presented Mitchell with his retirement clock.
“We appreciate the 17 years of service as a teacher and custodian that Jack has completed with us,” Culp said.
He also recognized Karla Buntin, who recently completed her 30th year with the school corporation.
“As she begins her 31st, we want to honor her for this milestone,” Culp said.
Secretary Kyle Arvin presented Buntin with a commemorative pen.
Finally, Brandi Schemerhorn presented Marsha Bell with her commemorative pen.
“Marsha just finished her 45th year with us,” Culp said. “She is the treasurer and, on my behalf, I want to personally thank Karla and Marsha for all their help, guidance, and I really do get to work with two very special people every day.”
Bell seemed completely surprised to walk in and find her entire family at the board meeting. After being presented the pen, she said, “It was a surprise to see them all here, but I appreciate them coming, this is a shock. Thank you for this. I appreciate it. All my children have graduated from Tri- County. This is very special.”
In other business, Patti Kem was present to give an update on Cooperative School Services. Tri-County is the only school that has a levels program for high school-aged children. The board had many questions about how this will continue to work, as they are the smallest district, and as the case loads got larger what their options are.
“Patti has done a very good job at our directors meetings,” Culp said. “She has been very gentle but firm with the idea that it is a possibility for Tri-County to make that action if we feel that it is necessary. The superintendents are aware and its very clear that it is something we are considering.”
Culp asked if Tri-County took action to no longer offer the high school levels program with the co-op, “What does that entail for all the out-of-district students and when do we need to make that decision?”
Kem said it would not be during the middle of a school year, to which Culp agreed, adding that the board “always wants to do what is best for the students.”
“If we are going to add or subtract any program, I would want to know early in the second semester,” Kem said. “I think that would give us plenty of time to get things in order.”