Funds sought for Dells staffing
Board closes applications for open principal position
June 20. 2012 2:43PM
Staffing in both the classroom and the gymnasium occupied the conversation between board and community members at the Dell Rapids School Board’s meeting June 11.
Incoming activities director Jeff Dvorak was on-hand to express concerns with coaching staff cuts for the upcoming school year.
The district’s proposed removal of a fourth track and field coach position prompted discussion at the school board’s meeting May 14. This season’s team included four total coaches, and head boys coach Doug Fiedler and girls coach Mike Putnam were on-hand last month to express concern with the move.
“There are definite safety issues,” Fiedler said at the time. “We are not confined to a gym or an office.” The coach cited Madison’s six track coaches and Spearfish’s seven as a telling sign of the need for additional help and monitors.
Dvorak urged the school board to reinstate the cut coaches, citing safety, numbers, liability and instructional concerns in a variety of sports.
“I don’t think we can pick and choose some of them to put back in,” he said, urging reinstating all of the cut positions.
Dvorak also said that removing coaches means participating students often standing in line at practices waiting for someone to coach them. “I just don’t think that’s acceptable for a school of our athletic caliber.”
Title I teacher Dolly Feehan also urged the board to consider expanding the faculty, namely in the growing lower grades of the elementary school, when considering the reinstatement of coaching positions.
Board member Tom Morris responded to the comments, saying that alternative funding from community resources was being looked into in an effort to make these reinstatements happen.
Superintendent Tom Ludens also updated the board on staffing additions and changes in recent weeks, as Kerri Baker was approved as a high school math teacher and Char Faulstich and Jessica Ostwald were officially approved for 2012-13 at the Community Haven program.
In addition, the district is still seeking a fourth grade and second grade teacher for the fall, as well as an elementary school guidance counselor.
And after elementary principal John Jewett submitted his resignation from the administrative role in late May, the district has since sought candidates to fill the position. The application process was closed last week, with 17 potential candidates in the mix. Ludens said that interviews would begin as early as this week.