School board approves new hires, Warm Springs principal
Changes to the athletics handbook, discussion of the in-service schedule and approval of several new hires were among the actions taken by the School District 509-J Board of Directors Monday night.
Six different positions were approved for hire by the board, consisting of Tom Norton, Laurie Danzuka and Kevin Richards, who made up the quorum. Two board members were not present.
The new positions include the somewhat late hire of Bambi Van Dyke as the principal of Warm Springs K-8 Academy.
"We are excited to get (her) on board," said Ken Parshall, 509-J superintendent. "She served as a principal of a K-8 school just outside of Billings, Montana, on the Crow reservation. She taught there at the school for a number of years before becoming the principal."
Another spot just filled welcomes a full-time certified elementary music teacher to the district. The teacher, Mark Combe, will be splitting his time between Buff and Madras elementary schools. The district budgeted to hire certified music teachers for the elementary schools last spring, and Combe is the first one the district has been able to find.
In the past, the schools have had AmeriCorps volunteers teaching music, who, according to Parshall, did a great job. The volunteers received a very small stipend for their work, but were able to get funding through the program to go on and further their education. Both teachers ended up leaving to do so.
"They are hard to find," Parshall said, about certified music teachers. "We were looking at the college students in education programs. We saw four music teachers statewide in all programs."
The board also approved the removal of a passage in the athletic handbook that said the district would require mandatory random drug testing of athletes during the season. The policy hasn't been in use for several years, but it remained in the handbook.
District in-service begins next week when teachers and staff members will go through different trainings and prepare classrooms for student arrival during the first week of September.
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