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Triton School Board Meeting

May 10, 2011

05/11/11 A member of the Triton Teacher’s Association appeared before the Triton School Board on May 9 asking that a contract for teachers be ratified before July 1, 2011. Anita Orcutt, negotiating chair person for the union, said she was making the verbal request in lieu of a written request.  Orcutt said new laws at the state level will go into effect and contracts not signed by July 1 would be under the new laws. Orcutt said, “We don’t want to spend a lot of time on this.” After the meeting, Orcutt said, “We (teachers) are willing to stay with the status quo.”

Orcutt pointed out that there is only one board meeting scheduled prior to the July 1 deadline.

The board took no action on the matter.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent Carl Hilling said he would be attending a meeting to hear updates on the new laws concerning the teacher contracts.

The board also heard a request from the Triton Destination Imagination Team Manager, Lisa Eiser. Eiser said, “They (team) did something that no other students in Indiana have done.” She said they competed in three challenges and placed in all three. She said, “The seven DI teams all advanced to the state and all placed 5th and above.”

In her written request, Eiser said, “The four boys from Triton, Thomas Eiser and Jacob Stouder, both seniors, and Ethan Yazel and David Stewart, both juniors, and their families are requesting Triton Schools allow them to travel to Knoxville, TN to compete in the 2011 Destination Imagination Global Finals from May 23-29.” She added, “Team members are already securing their funding to be able to attend.”

Another portion of the request was to alter the test schedule for the students involved. Eiser said, “They would like the opportunity to be able to take their finals early for the Friday finals, and understand they will be expected to complete Tuesday’s finals with the rest of their classmates.”

Speaking on behalf of the team was Jean Yazel, parent. She said they live in Mentone and lie within the Tippecanoe Valley School system but enrolled her children in the Triton Schools because of the DI team. Yazel said,”The literacy standards (set by state for the year 2014), really mirror what Destination Imagination works on.” She said, “As long as you have this program, my kids will be going here.”

Since the team is smaller that in other years, Lisa and Mike Eiser will be transporting the students to the Global Finals.

Eiser added, “Triton’s reputation as a powerhouse in Indiana’s Creative problem solving program is known throughout the state.”

The request was granted by a vote of 5-0.

Several students were acknowledged for their accomplishments as a part of the Triton Jr.-Sr. High School Technology team. The team recently won a “tenacity trophy” after competing in a contest that challenges students to build engines to get maximum gas mileage. Speaking for the students involved was sponsor Sam Davis. He said the students interacted with other teams by trading or borrowing parts to get their engines running.

The board entertained a number of recommendations under the personnel section of the agenda. Among those approved were the following: Mary Hayes, junior high girl’s softball coach; Jill Finley, Curt Kreft, Laura LaMaster, Laura Reese, Shawna Shively and P.J. Watkins, summer school teachers for the 2010-2011 school year; and Denise Shafer, Pat Shearer and Brittany Slaymaker, summer school instructional assistants for the 2010-2012 school year.

The board also approved the hire of a part-time summer custodian. Hilling said the proposed hire is due to the extra work with construction going on in the building and the department being short-handed. According to the board, the compensation for the position is set at $3, 800.

All were approved unanimously.

The board voted 4-0 to accept the resignation of Sam Davis as varsity wrestling coach effective immediately and the termination of employment for Gary Clarkson, technology director. Effective June 30. 2011.

The board also approved by unanimous vote to allow a blanket approval for any and all donations made to the Concession Stand Fund. The matter was on the agenda at the last meeting, but was tabled until a resolution could be presented. Hilling said the cost for the stand could come in at between $75,000 and $80,000. The final tally will depend upon the number of donations received. He said they do have money left over from a bond and they are receiving donations of labor and materials along with monetary donations. Hilling said at one time, the construction was expected to hit $150,000. He said, “We had to set priorities and be realistic.”

The board acknowledged with gratitude the donation of a batting cage by Hensley Fabricating & Equipment Co., Inc

Approval was extended for the Triton softball coaching staff to hold a softball clinic on Monday, June 27. The clinic will be presented by Kristina Thorson and additional players from the professional softball team, The Chicago Bandits. According to the request presented to the board, the clinic will be advertised throughout northern Indiana and girls from other towns will be allowed to participate as will as girls from Triton.

The board gave a nod of approval to allow the rental of the school’s football field for the Mishawaka Warriors (semi-pro league). They had a similar contract last year with the K.C. Mustangs who are no longer using the Triton facility.  The team will pay $500 per game. They are expected to play four home games; however there could be more for playoffs. Triton personnel will still be in charge of the concession stand and receive any profits from concession sales. The Mishawka Warriors will be responsible for providing a security officer and will have to carry their own liability insurance.

The board voted to accept updates to the corporation board policies as provided by NEOLA, addition of the suggested high school textbooks for science and health for the 2011-2012 school year, and adoption of the high school handbook for the 2011-2012 school year. Hilling said they may have to come back before the board if there are any policy changes to the handbook.

Triton Elementary Principal Jeremy Riffle said they will be holding a volunteer work day on June 4. He said they would be doing some painting on the playground and landscaping. He said, “We are proud of it (school) and we want it to look nice.” Those wishing to volunteer may contact the school office.

Board President Dick Trowbridge commented that a media publication in

April reporting the repair of leaky faucets in the school buildings was listed as a “project”. Trowbridge said it was not a project. The matter of the leaky faucets had been brought up in previous meetings prior to the April 11 meeting where the repairs were discussed. It was confirmed at the April meeting that Richard Anders, maintenance director, had inspected both buildings and issued a report stating that all leaky facets had been repaired. In the official minutes of the April meeting, it was noted that the cost for a total replacement would be approximately $135,000. However, instead of the replacements, a monthly inspection will be done to keep abreast of any needed repairs. Replacement of round handles to paddle-type handles was being made to make it easier for small children to operate faucets in some cases.

Carol Anders Correspondent