Mitchell Board of Education to consider resolution for bond at next meeting

Mar. 12—MITCHELL — The Mitchell Board of Education will consider forming and passing a resolution for a potential bond vote to help pay for the proposed new Mitchell High School building when it convenes for its next regular meeting next week.

The meeting is scheduled to take place Monday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 110 at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy.

The move would be the latest step toward replacing the current high school building, which was built in 1962 and has been targeted for replacement by the district for about a decade. School officials had plans in place to construct a new building, complete with upgraded athletic facilities, but cost estimates came in high, forcing the board of education to look at cuts in the design as well as consider a public bond vote that would supplement the funds that district has already put aside for the project.

The board held discussions on the topic at its regular meeting in February and indicated they would likely seek a bond vote, probably in June in conjunction with the joint election with the city of Mitchell. That discussion, and specific details such as the amount of the bond, is expected to continue Monday.

The board is expected to consider the following personnel moves:

* The new classified hire of Amber Zihkle, paraeducator at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School, $13.75 per hour, 7 hours daily, effective Feb. 22 and Demetrius Wells, paraeducator at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School (part-time), $17 per hour from 8:30 to 12:30, effective Feb. 24.

* The transfers of Sarah Timmer, 0.5 FTE third grade teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers to 1.0 FTE third grade teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers and Anne Moege, seventh and eighth grade ELA teacher at Mitchell Middle School to secondary ENL instructor at Mitchell Middle School and Mitchell High School. Both transfers are effective for the 2023-24 school year.

* The resignation/retirement of Deb Olson, account payable specialist, effective June 15.

* The resignations of Baker Haar, seventh grade head football coach, effective end of the 2022-23 school year pending suitable replacement; McKenzie Mertens, eighth grade volleyball coach, effective end of the 2022-23 school year pending suitable replacement; Emily Brunsing, 0.5 FTE third grade/0.5 FTE elementary ELA teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers, effective end of the 2022-23 school year; Amanda Hargreaves, resigning from a year of absence, effective end of the 2022-23 school year and Larry Gromer, maintenance worker, effective March 6.

Also at the meeting, the board is expected to:

* Accept the audit report from the 2021-22 fiscal year.

* Consider classified employee wage earnings during e-Learning days.

* Consider accepting e-rate bid for technology integration.

* Hear board member reports.

* Hear the superintendent report.

* Hear public commentary.

The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will be livestreamed by the Mitchell Republic on its website.

The Mitchell Board of Education is also expected to hold a special meeting Tuesday, March 14 in order to conduct interviews with potential candidates for the open superintendent position.

That meeting is expected to take place beginning at 9 a.m. at the Mitchell Technical College Amphitheater and is expected to take place primarily in executive session. The executive session is the only item on the agenda for the March 14 meeting, and indicates it will be used to discuss "qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public office or employee."

While the agenda for the meeting does not specify exactly what will be discussed in the executive session, Deb Olson, president of the Mitchell Board of Education, told the Mitchell Republic that the meeting was scheduled to conduct interviews with candidates for the superintendent position.

The Mitchell School District has been searching for a new superintendent after Joe Graves resigned from the position in January to take on a new role as the secretary of education for the state of South Dakota. He had been in the top administrator role for the district for over two decades.

Joe Childs, principal at Mitchell High School, was appointed as interim superintendent until a new full-time administrator could be put into the role.

Watch the Mitchell Republic for more on the ongoing search for a new superintendent.