by Janet Schultz
The Lewiston-Porter Junior ROTC Color Guard opened the January Lewiston-Porter Board of Education meeting by presenting the colors.
The session then led off on a high note as Lew-Port faculty members Suzanne Hedemann and Maryann Parker were recognized for achieving National Board Certification. The certification, which took a year to achieve, is based upon successful completion of a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards based on what teachers should know and do. Five Lew-Port faculty members have achieved this status.
Faculty member Justalene Olson then addressed the school board, expressing concern that her appointment as a coach has become a personal issue with board members. Olson cited commendations she received from Superintendent Christopher Roser, who also encouraged her to keep up her good work. She then questioned the board, asking why each time her name was on the agenda for an appointment (for the past year and a half), the action was tabled or taken into executive session.
"I have no idea what is said behind those closed doors, but I cannot sit in the back of the room for another meeting and let these allegations affect my coaching career," said Olson. "If I am such an untrustworthy and unqualified individual, why have I coached 15 different teams, including volleyball this past fall, and been entrusted with students day after day in the classroom."
Once again, without board comment her appointment to the 2010-11 softball coaching position was tabled until February. In a separate agenda item the board approved nine coaches for the 2011-12 season.
The board withheld a health insurance payment to the Lew-Port faculty health care insurance provider. Board member Edward Waller directed Roser to withhold the payment for January until the board has had time to learn more about where the funds are going. The directive does not require an official vote by the board and no board members objected to the move. The BOE plans are to take action at the Feb. 15 board meeting.
In other business the board approved:
•Policy revisions to three policies, including duties of the extra-classroom activity central treasurer and faculty auditor; inventories and accounting of fixed assets; and entitlement to attend-age and residency. The updated policies can be found on the school's website.
•The Lew-Port 2011-12 proposed calendar.
•Retirements of teacher aides Gloria Albion and Florence H. Lorenz effective June 30, 2012.
•Resignation of Shannon Wilkesmore, co-cheerleading coach, effective immediately.
Board President Jim Sperduti called for an executive session at 8:30 p.m. to discuss collective bargaining issues with no actions to be taken when they reconvened.