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New School Board Seated

By Staff | Sep 18, 2008

A new face, and a familiar one, were officially welcomed to the Emmetsburg Schools Board of Education during their Monday night meeting on Sept. 15.

Board Secretary Pat Swanson administered the oath of office to newcomer Laure Oppenheimer following the school election held Sept. 9. Returning board member Kent Egland was sworn in prior to Monday’s meeting. Retiring board member Scott Dettmann was thanked for his years of service to the board after opting not to run for re-election to his seat. Current board members are: Karla Anderson, Kent Egland, Don Hagen, Laure Oppenheimer, Steve Pelzer, Linda Tienter, and Dave VanOosbree.

Board members then cast ballots to fill the positions of president and vice president of the board. Karla Anderson will continue to serve as board president after receiving four votes. Steve Pelzer and Dave VanOosbree each earned one vote for president. Dave VanOosbree will again serve as the board’s vice president after receiving five votes. One vote went to Karla Anderson.

The new board made committee assignments for the 2008-2009 school year: Education & Policy Development – Karla Anderson, Don Hagen, and Laure Oppenheimer; Facilities: Laure Oppenheimer, Don Hagen, and Steve Pelzer; Negotiations: Steve Pelzer, Karla Anderson, and Linda Tienter; Transportation: Kent Egland and Dave VanOosbree; Emmetsburg Educational Foundation: Dave VanOosbree; District Leadership Team: Linda Tienter; Superintendent Advisory Committee: Laure Oppenheimer and Karla Anderson; Iowa Association School Board Delegate: Karla Anderson; County Representative: Don Hagen; and Palo Alto/Kossuth Empowerment Board (PAK): Linda Tienter.

In other business, the board discussed a number of board policies.

• Board Policy 210.2, Regular Meeting: The board amended this policy to reflect it’s new meeting time of 5:30 p.m.

• Board Policy 401.7, Employee Travel Compensation: With the recent increase in state and federal mileage reimbursement, the board chose to raise the existing 30-cents per mile reimbursement rate to the state rate of 39-cents per mile. Pre-approved lodging expenses within the state will be based on actual costs.

• Board Policy 406.6 and 412.4, Licensed/Classified Employee Tax Shelter Programs: The board chose to end payroll deductions for tax sheltered annuities (or 403(b) plans) for certified and classified staff. The IRS has changed the guidelines that now require that a third party be hired to administer the plan.

• Board Policy 505.9, Parental Involvement: The board reviewed the district’s policy on Parental Involvement.

Members of the school board set the hearing date for the Early Start/Innovative Calendar Year for 2009-2010 for the next meeting of the board, Monday, Oct. 20. The district wishes to continue starting the school year prior to Labor Day in order to parallel Iowa Lakes Community College’s starting date. Several Emmetsburg High School students are enrolled in dual credit classes through the college.