At the last meeting of 2011, Kernville Union School District trustees were treated to a musical recital before getting down to the business of selecting a replacement for Tom Moore who recently retired after serving as a board member for 13 years.
The Dec. 13 meeting opened with musical performances by students from Wallace Middle School teacher Sherry Lanza's elective music class. Lanza, who donated 25 keyboards to the district at the beginning of the school year, explained her motivation for starting the class. "Keyboarding and learning to read and memorize music helps childrens' brains develop so that they perform better academically." Trustee Ross Elliott praised Lanza for her efforts at bringing back a music program to Wallace stating, "Our teachers are persevering through tough times. Sherry bought these keyboards on her own and donated them to the school. My hat is off to her."
Steve Brucker, president of the Kernville Union School Teachers Association (KUSTA), thanked the board for ratifying the collective bargaining agreement (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2014) between KUSTA and KUSD. He also conveyed teachers’ concerns regarding the number of students in middle school classes stating, “Our numbers in some cases are double digit over what we are trying to achieve, what our goal is to achieve.“ He appealed to the board to try and find the funds for at least a part time teacher, if not a full time one. He conveyed his belief that the community would be very pleased to have the number of students per class lowered to at least under thirty.
It was then on to the selection process for the five individuals who applied for the opening on the board responsible for overseeing KUSD Preschool, Rio Vista Day School, Kernville Elementary, Wallace Elementary and Wallace Middle School.
Candidates for the seat included; KVHS teacher and football coach Ben Goffinet, local pastor Grant Bennett, former KUSD employee Avis Chadwick, Sun freelancer George Stahl and Wesley Thomas, a former school district superintendent.
Each individual provided an overview of their past experience which was followed by board members asking a variety of questions including what the applicants' motivation was for applying for the position and what they would bring to the board if chosen. Candidates remained present while the trustees voted. When all was said and done, Grant Bennett was selected to serve as the district's interim board member. The seat will be up for election next year.
After the meeting Bennett commented on being selected. "I am excited to be serving our community," he said, "and I am hoping to help the board communicate what they are working on." Bennett added that he wants to help increase parental involvement in the district.
Over the past several months, the board had discussed changing the time of the regular monthly trustees meeting from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in order to make it more convenient for parents of KUSD students to attend. The board approved the time change and the next KUSD meeting will be held on Jan. 10, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Administrator, KRVR.org email@example.com
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