Harter retirement announced at board meeting

Harter retirement announced at board meeting

By Allison Ladage

At the Sept. 26 meeting of the North Mac school board, Superintendent Jay Goble announced the retirement of 15-year bus driver Larry Harter.

“We’re going to miss Larry,” said Goble. “He’s a great bus driver. Great bus drivers are hard to come by. I’m happy to hear that he’s going to come back and do some stuff for us. I wish him well with his retirement.”

“It was good a school district. I enjoyed it all. Can’t wait to start sleeping in!” said Harter. The members honored his service with a present and cake.

During the 2019 budget hearing, Goble handed out drafts of monthly ending balances from October 2016-present for the board members. He expressed a little bit of concern for the billing fund, which was slightly lower than what he would have liked it to be. He plans to work on it as cash flow starts to pick up. He also noted the education fund includes capital funds that they can use to do some projects for the future. He also points out the bonds that were sold and a huge infusion of funds for health, life, safety in August. The totals were almost double and have been promoted for upcoming developments

Goble said the Education Funding Advisory Board’s financial education has not met the substantial level that it should reach. According to non-partisan experts of the fund, it should be around $8,360, and the educational level was $6,100 for every student. This was dated back to 2011-12. Goble broke down the estimates of spending costs in 2011. He states that they spent $8 million for 1,643 students, and North Mac has been very economical, spending $4,900 per student; bringing the foundation’s level to $10 million. Goble points out that the difference between EFAB’s recommendation and how much money the district have not received is more than $31 million over five years. Given the facts that Goble stated, they are being fully funded to the current foundation level, but not according to the experts’ recommended level.

The agenda carried on with FFA presentations, Sam Leak finalizing investments from Prairie State Bank and Trust, and bid packages for North Mac High building renovations and additions. Personnel topics included the employment of Brooke Early as parent educator/pre-kindergarten coordinator. Jessica Grady was selected as middle school student council co-sponsor, and Brandi Mullink has given her resignation as the middle school PE/health teacher. Amy Morgan was hired as a volunteer middle school cheer coach and Phillip Hall as a custodian.

Other discussion items included IASB Kaskaskia Division activities, closing on Virden property, and renewal rates from the insurance committee meeting. The spring meeting for IASB has been planned for March 27 in Carlinville, and the fall meeting will be held  Oct. 23 in Nokomis.

The board also discussed relocating the baseball field to south campus and accelerating a new one. They need to find a place for the players to play for at least one year. There may be an option to demo the community building the same time as the 1920 building. It’s possible a field could be placed there during the 2019 season. No decision has been made at this time.

North Mac bus driver Larry Harter’s retirement was celebrated with cake at the Sept. 26 school board meeting.