The Prairie Central school district said goodbye to outgoing board members and welcomed new ones during Thursday’s regular Board of Education meeting at Fairbury.
Ann Steidinger, Corey Steffen and Tim McGreal were each presented a Golden Hawk pass from Superintendent Paula Crane and a plaque from board president Mark Slagel. The three reflected back on their time with the board.
Steidinger noted the fun and not-so-fun times during her tenure.
“It’s about the kids,” she said.
Steffen reflected on all of the changes he has seen during the past eight years – from board members to the district administration.
“You realize you are going to do what’s best for kids.”
McGreal also pointed to the changes during his four years on the board.
“It’s been good,” McGreal said.
Slagel said it has been a pleasure serving with all three of the outgoing members who will leave a “big hole” on the board. Crane expressed her appreciation for a board that is all about the kids which sometimes made tough decisions.
The group authorized a motion determining the successful candidates from the April 2 election to be Brad Brown, Dana Kafer and Lori Schahrer. In one of its first actions, the newly-seated board accepted a letter of resignation from Brown. The board will appoint someone to the post for two years, which is until the next election even though Brown was elected to a four year term.
“The board has authority to appoint whoever they want to appoint,” Crane explained.
The candidate will likely be voted on in May with the vacancy posted to the district’s website in the near future, according to Crane.
Slagel was once again chosen as board president, Schahrer will serve as vice president and John Wilken is secretary. The board will continue to meet the third Thursday of each month.
During her superintendent report, Crane gave a legislative update. She predicts the teacher minimum salary issue will pass, which would not impact Prairie Central like the new minimum wage requirements.
“We will need to start making some long-term plans for that,” Crane admitted.
Other pending legislation includes House Bill 1561 which requires development of a threat assessment protocol and House Bill 2263 teaching students about work ethic and offering anger management classes. Crane noted the base minimal funding is coming through but worries remain about categorical payments.
In another matter, the board learned construction has started on the Bright Stalk wind farm near Chenoa. Crane said the turbines are assessed by the megawatt and the district could receive around $300,000 for the first year. It may be 2021 or 2022 before Prairie Central would see tax revenue.
“They are very willing to work with our transportation,” Crane explained. “They are very easy to get along with so far.”