A box of tissues had to be passed throughout the Warsaw Community School Board of Trustees meeting as members said goodbye to two administrators: Tom Kline, chief accountability officer, and Elaine Bultemeier, chief technology officer.
Kline will be moving from the administration building to Madison Elementary School to be principal.
“I don’t want to let you go, you’re just so valuable,” WCS Superintendent Craig Hintz said. “You asked not only, ‘How do we help our children achieve their dreams,’ but also, ‘How do we help our staff achieve their dreams’?”
Kline was presented with a plaque to honor his commitment to the school system and gave a tearful acceptance speech.
“I saw his dream,” Kline said of the superintendent. “I’ve been promoting his dream with the results you see. We’ve taken our corporation to places we’ve not seen.”
Next, Hintz thanked Bultemier for her time as CTO. Bultemier will be relocating with her husband to his new job.
“She created such a vision of instructional technology in our district,” he said. “It is phenomenal what has been accomplished.”
It was clear Bultemier was reluctant to leave the position and that she was proud of her work and her team.
“This was a very difficult decision, so I’ll share with you something that Dr. Hintz told me about his transition,” she said. “He was looking for work and wanted to get back in the game as a superintendent. His wife said, ‘I love my job, but I love you more.’ That’s how I feel. This is my 14th move, so at least I’m very good at it.”
But new positions were also welcomed.
Wendy Long spoke on her new responsibilities as director of Communications and Language Programs.
“I love this school system, I love this community and I love my job,” she said. “I’ve said that 10 times this week, and it’s only Monday.”
Lorinda Kline announced her position title will be changed from math coach to Professional Learning Community coach to emphasize the collaborative nature of the new teaching system.
Finally, Matthew Deeds, the new assistant principal at Lakeview Middle School was introduced . He said it has been an educational dream of his to become a principal, and he can’t believe he achieved it after only six years in education.
Tom Kline, although leaving for a new position, went out with a bang with his final monthly accountability report. He shared nothing but good news regarding ISTEP+, IREAD and Dual Credit statistics.
Last year, Warsaw Community Schools earned a ‘C’ in academic performance. This year, they’re moving up to at least a ‘B.’
District-wide language arts scores rose from 77.5 percent in 2010 to 84.1 percent in 2012. Math scores rose from 78.6 percent in 2010 to 83 percent in 2012.
While the scores themselves were impressive, the improvement was the real success. WCS was the most improved district in the Upper Wabash Valley. In the state, the district placed 22nd out of 290 school systems in language arts improvement and 11th in math.
IREAD scores also improved this month. In May, 87.91 percent of students passed; in July, 84.15 percent. Additionally, 511 of 513 students were promoted to the fourth grade.
WCS and the Warsaw Area Career Center saw a significant increase in participation in the dual credit program. In all, 809 dual credits were earned in the 2009-10 school year by 82 students. In 2011-12, 414 students earned 2,122 dual credits.
“I think when we allow students the opportunity to participate in dual credit courses, we think of the dollars in many ways that we are saving students and parents on their post-secondary studies,” Hintz said, thanking Kline for an “excellent” report.
Tracey Akers then delivered the Nursing Service Annual Report, outlining the many services offered by the nurses and stating children were using the resources more than in the past. There were 43,683 sick or injury visits to the clinic last year and 50,392 sick or injury visits this year.
Delores Hearn, trustee, thanked Akers for her team’s service. “We don’t realize how much our nurses do in the classroom or at the school,” she said.
In the 2012-13 Strategic Plan Results Statement, Hintz outlined four strategies that will be implemented by 2017:
- Build collaborative relationships with the community to share our time, talent and resources to support our mission and strategic objectives.
- Supplement core standards with additional district standards to align all offered courses and programs with our mission and strategic objectives.
- Assure that all current and future staff understand, trust and contribute to our mission and strategic objectives.
- Embrace and engage technologies as accelerators to achieve our mission and strategic objectives.
Before beginning the administration reports and requests for action, WCS Chief Financial Officer Kevin Scott joked about the tears being shed. “Now we’re to the dry part of the evening, so no more tears,” he said. “Actually, these numbers are nothing to cry over. They’re okay.”
Scott reported that, although expenses are up from last year, revenue increase is outpacing expenses — leaving the budget in a good position.
The financial report was approved.
Scott then requested the board to approve the purchase of new financial software totaling about $300,000, including software and hardware updates.
Tom Robinson voiced concerns regarding the cost of new servers, but Bultemier explained that a complete system back-up is essential. The board then approved the purchase.
Text book fees, approved by the board, will remain relatively flat this year in the ball park of $150 to $175.
The budget calender was also approved.
The only item discussed in the Monthly Personnel Report, aside from the introduction of Deeds, was the funding for a new certified preschool teacher. Originally, the position was to be paid for by the general fund, but Hintz is confident that the district managed to raise enough in grants.
Two students were recognized by the board at the meeting: Megan Mishler, a second-grade student at Eisenhower Elementary School, and Kendall Wayne, a third-grade student at Jefferson Elementary School. Both students were recognized for winning the School Transportation Association of Indiana School Bus Safety Poster Contest. They were awarded with certificates, checks and ribbons.