Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education 3.14.2022

The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education (BOE) met at 6 p.m. Monday, March 14, at the district office in Sabetha. Board members present were Anissa Bloom, Kathy Lippert, Jim Scoby, Leslie Scoby, Kent Saylor, Phillip Buessing and Stan Keim.

The board adopted the agenda as amended.

Lippert shares legislative updates with the board.

The board received written reports from building administrators David Glynn, Rusty Willis, Matt Garber, Rick Schnacker and Alana Seddon, as well as Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Gatz.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Evans reported on year-to-date expenses and other topics as follows:

Expense Comparison: The expense comparison from July 1, 2021, through March 1, 2022, compared with the same time frame last year, showed the district has spent $299,729 more in the general, supplemental general, 4-year-old at-risk, K-12 at-risk, food services, professional development and vocational funds. During the same time frame, the district has spent $538,400 more from the capital outlay fund, and $96,308 less from the special education fund. 

Educator Program Completer: Evans presented a document representing the numbers of college students graduating educator preparation programs across the state with degrees in subject matters relating to education. He shared his concerns about the numbers in 2022-23 being reduced compared to 2021-22. He also shared his concerns about this issue continuing in the future.

KSDE Tweet: Evans showed the board a Tweet from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) recognizing Sabetha Elementary School (SES) as a National Blue Ribbon School.

Scott Burger: Evans let the board members know that Scott Burger has been recognized as the Area 2 Athletic Director of the Year by the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Evans believes Burger deserves this honor because Burger is “the hardest working AD [Athletic Director] in the state of Kansas.” 

Mask Requirement for Transportation: Evans let the board know that USD 113 received notification this past month from the Kansas State Department of Education that the CDC is not encouraging masking on school transportation.

USA: Evans recognized the SES fourth and fifth grade students who delivered testimonies in front of the Federal and State Affairs Committee at the Topeka Capital via Webex for the Kansas state fruit on Thursday, March 10. He congratulated the students on their hard work and for being recognized by the Topeka Capital Journal and USA Today. Lippert brought up the idea of possibly getting those students to attend an upcoming board meeting to speak to the board members about their experience. 

Fuel Prices: Evans shared his concerns with the board members about the increase in fuel prices and asked the board to give this topic some thought for the 2022-23 school year.

Survey for Budget: Evans told the board that USD 113 will have to survey its constituents specifically for budget information in the next couple months to prepare the 2022-23 budget.

School Lunches/Summer Meals: According to Evans, it is anticipated that free lunches for all students will not be available to students again in fiscal year 2022-23. These lunches will be funded by the students’ families this year rather than the government, which funded the meals last year. Students will still be able to qualify for free or reduced lunches based upon household income. He also said the district is not planning to continue summer meals this coming summer to give the USD 113 food service workers a break.

The board approved the consent agenda as amended, including the following: minutes from the Feb. 14 meeting; March bills for the amount of $345,368.74; accept anonymous gifts of $300,000, and $100,000 toward the USD 113 Remodel/Construction Project; February payroll for the amount of $773,941.21; approve the hiring of summer help (five positions); add one assistant junior high track coach at Wetmore Academic Center (WAC); resignations of Mark Wagner as Axtell bus driver – effective at the end of 21/22, Cindy Kaster as KAYS sponsor – effective at the end of 21/22, Rachel Ronnebaum as K-12 music teacher at Axtell Public School – effective at the end of 21/22, Randy Plattner as District Transportation Supervisor – effective June 30, 2022, Tyrell Davis as Wetmore Western Center driver – effective March 16, 2022, Bruce Gunter as Axtell teacher, Maggie Suther as Sabetha High School (SHS) social studies teacher – effective at the end of 21/22, Nathan Bauman as SHS business teacher and Joyce Stallbaumer as WAC Elementary teacher; contracts with Shania Schraad as SHS assistant softball coach, Melvin Baker as Drivers Education instructor, Nathan Bauman as fiscal year 2023-24 SHS principal, and four Sabetha summer weights positions to be filled by Garrett Michael, Curtis Hamilton, Kaleb Moeller and Alex McAfee; and personal day requests for Yalana Edelman at Sabetha Elementary School, Megan Glick at Sabetha Middle School – leave without pay times two – and Linda Orton-Hopp at Axtell.

PLE Presentation

Briana Evans and five SHS students — Kinzey Meyer, Emma Popkess, JR Streett, Rachel Wertenberger and Tristan Wittwer — were present to speak to the board about their involvement in the Professional Learning Experience (PLE) program. The students gave presentations about their PLE experiences with their mentors and how being in PLE has been a positive experience for them.

Construction/Remodel Project

Theodore Demonchaux with Civium Architects updated the board members on the USD 113 Construction/Remodel Project. He said they planned to begin mobilizing on the SES site and begin demo work soon. He also said Civium is arranging a meeting with a kitchen appliance supplier for SES.

Demonchaux also showed the board floor plan drawings of Axtell Public School (APS) and pointed to areas Civium is planning to work on. He presented two options for Axtell’s remodel project: 1) install sprinklers throughout the basement and replace the old exterior stairwell with a new, code-compliant stairwell; or 2) install sprinklers in both the basement and the classroom areas of the 1941 building, and don’t replace the old stair well.

At this time, Civium is still waiting for bids on this project. The board decided to wait until Civium receives the bids before deciding on which option to accept for Axtell.

Transportation Procedures

Superintendent Evans let the board know that fencing would be put up at SES to close off the bus drop off/pick up area due to construction – the fencing is already up at this time. Evans said the new busing procedures are to be put in place starting Monday, March 21. Students will be picked up by buses on the west end of the building while these procedures are in place.

Reduce Positions

Evans presented the option to reduce 1-1/2 positions at SHS and SMS for the 2022-23 school year. This is able to be done through attrition. The board approved the motion, with all in favor, to reduce 1-1/2 positions for the 2022-23 school year.

Marshall County Summer Arts

Axtell principal Seddon spoke to the board about the Marshall County Summer Arts program. She asked that the board consider using the Axtell building for this event without a fee. She also asked the board to consider paying transportation to send the Axtell students to Marysville. The board will receive additional information at the April BOE meeting.

Axtell Roof Proposal

Evans showed the board members a bid proposal from Midwest Coating to replace Axtell’s roofing on the secondary gym and the 1941 education building. The board members accepted the bid, with all in favor, for $77,995 to re-roof Axtell’s building over the auditorium and classroom space.

ESSER III Application

Evans presented the board with an application for ESSER III funds for fiscal year 2022-23. The board approved the motion, with all in favor, to accept the ESSER III application.

Also at the meeting:

The board approved the motion to use ESSER funds this year for summer school.

Board members went into a 20-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters for non-elected personnel as allowed under KOMA. Present for the executive session were the board members and Superintendent Evans. No action was taken following the executive session.

To view the Superintendent report of the meeting, visit

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 11, at Axtell Public School.

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