Resignations accepted during special school board meeting


Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan talks, via Zoom, to Marcia Herring with the Nebraska Association of School Boards during Wednesday's special board meeting.

The resignations of four long-time district employees were accepted during a special meeting of the Wayne Community Schools Board of Education on March 24.

Third grade teacher Liz Garvin, Elementary Media Specialist Joan Hansen, Elementary Art/High Ability Learners instructor Sonya Tompkins and Business Manager Rochelle Nelson have all submitted letters of resignation. 

Board discussion in regard to the resignations included which of these positions will be filled for the next school year. The possibility of combining duties moving forward in an effort to save the district money was listed as an option.

Board President Dr. Jeryl Nelson said the district has been spending money out of the reserve fund and that fund is much lower than he is comfortable with at this time.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan explained some of the areas the district is working to save money, including not purchasing new textbooks in some areas. Instead, on-line versions of the needed materials are being used.

Dr. Lenihan said work has already been done to cut approximately $300,000 from the budget and depending on the experience/education of the new hires, that number could be even higher.

Following debate, board approval was given to allow Dr. Lenihan to advertise for an elementary teacher and Library/Media Specialist. 

In addition, Dr. Lenihan brought information to the board a job description and proposal to advertise for a school nurse on a 10 month contract.

Also during the meeting the board approved the hiring of Aaron Carlson as Elementary Physical Education teacher, head girls basketball coach and assistant football coach for the school. Carlson had previously served as an assistant coach in both football and basketball at Wayne while he was in college.

Prior to the personnel portion of the meeting, board members spent approximately one hour listing to a presentation via Zoom from Marcia Herring, Director of Board Leadership with the Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB).

Herring first talked about her background, including 12 years on the school board in Waverly and more than 20 years with the NASB.

"Developing a strategic plan to drive the long-term vision and mission of the district involves engaging all the stakeholders in the district," Herring said.

She listed all the groups included as stakeholders — board members,  administrators, teachers, classified staff, students, parents, community members and business leaders and said these would all be engaged in some type of survey to determine the needs and priorities they see for the district. This data would then be analyzed and eventually developed into a three-five year goal document for the district.

Board member Lynn Junck questioned the process for creating a strategic plan and wanted to have the opportunity to talk as a board to determine the board members' thoughts on long-term goals.

The Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, April 12 at 5 p.m. in the conference room at the junior-senior high school.

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