Board meeting highlights
Board recognizes retiring employees
The 2014-15 retirements of seven district employees were commemorated at the Hamilton School Board meeting. Combined, the employees provided 164 years of service to the district. School Board members read and approved commendations for each employee that reflected comments from supervisors and colleagues, and each retiree was given a retirement gift.
Those at the recognition were Woodside Elementary School counselor Pamela Bilodeau, Marcy Elementary School grade 5 teacher Ginger Felde, Willow Springs Learning Center 4k teacher Rita Forrester, Marcy Elementary School head custodian Steve Katona and Hamilton High School guidance administrative assistant Mary Weber. Elementary band director Karen Moniza, Hamilton High School assistant cook Elaine Neuhaus were unable to attend.
Marjorie Wrezic presented with Community Service Award
The district’s Community Service Award was presented to Marjorie Wrezic for establishing a scholarship program for Hamilton graduates.
In addition, Marjorie’s daughter and son-in-law, Gwen and Michael LaFond, were recognized with a certificate of appreciation for their role in helping to get the scholarship program set up.
High school student representative recognized
Hamilton senior Alyse Haven was recognized for her service to the School Board as the student representative during the 2014-15 school year.
Hamilton teacher, students present personalized learning initiative
Hamilton science teacher Toni Lynn Wainio presented with two of her students highlighting a personalized learning pilot at the high school. Juniors Natalie Hagenow and Samuel Herriges described the process of creating and tracking SMART goals during their advisement period. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Students created a Google site to track their goals. They filled out a Student Learner Profile which helped them understand and communicate how they learned best.
Both students said that learning how to better set goals helped them understand their interests, strengths and weaknesses as a learner. The experience provided them with information to help them do well in their classes, plan the courses they needed and determine possible career choices.
The district’s strategic plan calls for the implementation of personalized learning. Teachers from all grade levels piloted personalized learning projects this year, and will share their experiences to come up with recommendations for the district.
Staffing plan for 2015-16 presented
The district will have the full-time equivalency (FTE) of 1.76 fewer certified staff members next year as enrollments shift from elementary and middle school to the high school. While the high school will see an increase of 2.18 FTEs, elementary schools will lose a total of 2.14 FTEs and the middle school will be down 1.8 FTEs. Combined, the district will have 1.76 fewer FTEs next year. The staffing plan was built with projecting a freeze in state funding, not the cuts proposed in the governor’s budget.
Sussex proposes amendment to TID
School Board members appointed Hamilton Buildings & Grounds Manager Jeff Grove to represent the district on the Joint Review Board that will consider an amendment to Tax Incremental District (TID) No. 6 in Sussex. The Joint Review Board will consider an amendment intended to eliminate blight on village properties located adjacent to the intersection of Silver Spring Drive and Main Street and south of Main Street between Silver Spring Drive and Maple Avenue. TID No. 6 was created in 2013 to redevelop the former Mammoth Springs Canning Company site. By amending the project plan and boundaries of TID No. 6, the village hopes to encourage development and redevelopment of properties in and adjacent to existing district.
TIDs generate tax revenue that can only be used to fund infrastructure investment and other eligible projects that facilitate private development. They affect the school district because when a TID is created, the current base value of all the taxable property within the defined boundaries is established. Taxing jurisdictions where the TID is proposed – including the school district, county and technical college – are notified of a hearing to consider the amendment because it affects tax collections. Over the life of the TID, taxing jurisdictions collect taxes from the property in the TID base value. Meanwhile, new construction and investment increase the value of the property. All of the taxes collected on the growth in value of the property will be turned over to the village as "tax increment" revenue which it uses to pay improvements made to the property.
Open Enrollment students placed on waiting list
The district received 199 applications from nonresident students to attend Hamilton schools under Open Enrollment. No spaces are available in the district, so applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the 2015-16 school year. The district will monitor expected enrollment throughout the summer to determine if students will be recommended for placement at schools based on space availability.
In personnel action, the School Board:
- accepted resignations from Marcy associate kitchen employee Lisa Perreault, effective June 10,
- Templeton part-time custodian Christopher Herman, effective May 15, and Hamilton associate kitchen employee Jessica Petricca, effective May 21; and
- appointed Amanda Fields as a Hamilton business education teacher effective Aug. 19.
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