Archive for Thursday, June 18, 2009

USD 491 recognizes service of outgoing board members

USD 491 Board of Education President Kenny Massey hugs outgoing board member Brenda Clark during Thursdays board meeting as Belinda Rehmer looks on. Clark, Bob Rice and Jim Martin were recognized for their time on the board.

USD 491 Board of Education President Kenny Massey hugs outgoing board member Brenda Clark during Thursdays board meeting as Belinda Rehmer looks on. Clark, Bob Rice and Jim Martin were recognized for their time on the board.

June 18, 2009

Bob Rice and Brenda Clark ended more than a decade each on the Eudora USD 491 Board of Education reflecting on the accomplishments they we were a part of as board members.

During Thursday’s meeting, the board recognized Clark, Rice and their fellow outgoing board member Jim Martin, who wasn’t present, for their years of service to the district.

Rice and Clark looked back on their experiences as they made their way into the library at Eudora Middle School.

“We’ve made a lot of positive decisions for the students and the staff, and I don’t regret a moment of it,” said Clark, who served the district for a total of 12 years.

Rice agreed, noting the various challenges and accomplishments he experienced during the 20 years he spent on the board serving the district.

“I just look over the 20 years at what the board has accomplished —I feel good about it,” Rice said. “There are more highlights than lowlights.”

Superintendent Don Grosdidier said the two saw the district through a time of unprecedented growth that led to the passing of three bond issues and progress at all levels of the district.

“There probably are not too many board members across the state of Kansas, at least in districts our size, that can say that,” he said. “But it’s not just from a facilities standpoint. If you look at the success the school district has had during their time, it says a lot and it has a lot to do with the continuity of the board.

Rice and Clark said incoming board members Mike Kelso, Eric Votaw and Keith Nowland should keep an open mind during their tenures on the board.

“You can’t have any preconceived ideas about what you want to accomplish because you are just one person,” Clark said.

Clark lamented the economic landscape with which the three incoming board members would inhabit when they begin their terms at the July 9 meeting.

And while the stability and experience members such as Rice and Clark might have provided the district are important, Grosdidier said the unprecedented financial times on the horizon make it such that the new board members could be just as equipped to handle the tough decisions as the outgoing members.

“Having some new perspectives that come in will not be a bad thing,” he said. “But because of the times we face, nobody has the experience. We’re being asked to do more with less in a way that we never have before.”

The board also heard from Eudora Elementary School principal Jan Irby about various logistical plans she and EES assistant principal Shelley Dougherty will have finished before Aug. 17, when the doors open to the new elementary school on 10th Street.

The board complemented them on the plans that deal with everything from how the school will handle bullying to feeding the 600 students at the new facility.

“We’re kind of in uncharted waters,” Grosdidier said. “It will be the largest school in our history, from an enrollment standpoint.

“It’s getting down to crunch time, but it’s exciting because this is something we’ve been planning for a very long time. And you can see the physical progress so that makes it exciting, too.”

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