The Ottumwa Courier

September 26, 2013

New VB school board members address parent's concerns, treasurer's report

Courier correspondent

---- — KEOSAUQUA — Stan Whitten was voted Van Buren school board president during the reorganizational meeting Sept. 18. Kara McEntee was voted vice president. Both were elected by roll call vote.

Five board members, who won election Sept. 10, received the oath of office at the meeting: Bob Steingreaber, Andrew Lydolph, Rick Plowman, Sheila Parsons and Cindy Lowe. Three members going off the board were recognized: Terry Jester, Kirt Horn and Jean McIntosh.

Whitten and Plowman were both nominated for president by McEntee and Lydolph respectively, but Plowman said he wished to have his name withdrawn.

In other business:

• Teri Showman, a parent, spoke during the public forum, concerning an incident Sept. 6 where she was removed from the football game. According to Showman, the school principal, Chuck Banks, asked a state trooper to escort her from the stadium.

Showman said the incident was over an injured Van Buren player and a no call from officials. She said she was not the only one yelling.

“I was approached by Mr. Banks, who tapped me on my leg and told me to be quiet. I was responding, as other fans were. I was not using any profanity. There were 30 to 40 others in the stands saying the same thing. I told him I was doing nothing wrong, and he called the law. There were West Burlington fans on the other side using the F-bomb.”

Showman wondered why “I was singled out.” She said other parents came up to her and said she was not in the wrong. “I want to know what the policy is. Do they pick out someone in the crowd or have a certain criteria? What criteria do you have in kicking a parent out?”

She also had a complaint regarding a student who was charged with possession of alcohol. She said it was his third offense dating back a few years, but she was told because of a policy change, it was only counted as a second offense since the first one was between the eighth and ninth grades. “This year should be a third offense, and yet he gets to play. I’m curious about that. This doesn’t add up to me.”

The board asked her if she talked with the administration, and she said she discussed her concerns with Banks.

McEntee said board policy states the board will listen to all public comments but has no obligation to comment and will take no action. There was no other discussion from board members.

• The board will continue with the third Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for regular board meetings. However, Bob Steingreaber requested that “maybe two times a year, we rotate to different communities.” Board members agreed. He said the conservation board tries to meet in different communities.

• Janet Phelps, school treasurer, gave her annual report to the board, covering the 2012-13 fiscal year. In the general fund, the district began the fiscal year with $2,494,370.97. It ended with $2,848,195.55. The school house fund began the year with a $1,793,406.07 balance and ended with a balance of $2,084,124.65. In the financial report, Dennis Gourley stated that the Certified Annual Report has been timely filed to the state thanks largely to the efforts of former Board Secretary Robyn Nolting. Gourley presented the Certified Annual Financial Report. The report was filed with the state on Sept. 16. The board discussed the $500,000 debt the school has. Superintendent Ewell said the QZAB notes have been paid, but she thinks the $500,000 still outstanding is from the Douds project.