Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, Unified School District 207 staff and faculty recognized the members of the school board during the monthly meeting Jan. 25.
Because of the threat of inclement weather, the meeting was conducted over videoteleconference.
Keith Mispagel, superintendent of schools, shared an example of the goodie bags each of the board members would receive that included items with the USD 207 logo, like beanies, playing cards and magnets.
“We want to say thank you to the board for all your support during these very challenging times,” Mispagel said. “We couldn’t continue to do what we do in a safe and strong educational academic manner without the support of the board.”
Cindy Wepking, Eisenhower Elementary School principal, shared the virtual thank you note the staff made up for each of the board members.
Board members said they were honored to serve the district in this capacity.
“This is a labor of love and it’s very invigorating,” said Myron Griswold, board president. “All the great things that go on in this school district, I feel very fortunate to be a part of it, and one member of a great team.
“I appreciate all the recognition,” he said. “This past year … has been quite a journey and we’re continuing to have to adapt, so I appreciate everyone’s great attitude, self-awareness, team-awareness and the ability to adapt and still bring a great, quality education to our students.”
Lt. Col. Christopher Evans, board vice president, said the district makes board members feel appreciated every month.
“I’m grateful for the annual celebration of (board appreciation), which I consider a monthly celebration of it,” he said. “Thanks one, thanks all.”
Col. Scott Green, board member, said he’s proud and honored to be on the school board.
The calendar for the 2021-2022 schoolyear is currently in development, and Mispagel said a full draft will be presented for board approval at the February board meeting.
Mispagel said the calendar will be in anticipation of a more normal schoolyear with a tentative start date of Aug. 17 and a tentative end date of May 27, 2022.
During the meeting, Mispagel said that the COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to district faculty and staff and board members who wish to receive it. The vaccine is not required.
The school district has worked closely with the Leavenworth County Health Department to work on scheduling individuals during phase two of the state vaccine plan, which will begin in February. A staff interest survey was conducted to determine how many vaccines would be given.
Rich Holden, USD 207 chief financial officer, updated board members on the construction progress of the new Patton Junior High School at the old MacArthur Elementary School location.
Holden explained that progress is going well and remaining on track thanks to the work and professionalism of Hollis + Miller Architects and Titan Built LLC.
Construction will remain on track as long as the remaining 29 built-in inclement weather days do not get used before March. In March, weather will no longer be an issue because the remainder of the work will be indoors, Holden said.
All board meetings are open to the public. For an overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://www.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.
The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the district office.