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SHCSC praises workers’ efforts

SHCSC praises workers’ efforts SHCSC praises workers’ efforts
By Kristen Cervenak, Editor, [email protected]

The first school board meeting of the year for the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees welcomed its new member and gave appreciation to teachers and custodial staff who came in to clean classrooms during Christmas break.

The meeting, which took place Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Center, covered the reorganization of the board with three elected positions.

The nominations included Mary Mathes for president (7-0), Larry Hauswald for vice president (7-0) and Deneen Stewart for secretary (7-0), and appointed South Harrison Community School Corp. director of business operations Carolyn Wallace as treasurer and Pamela Seipel as deputy treasurer.

Furthermore, the board welcomed its newly elected member Steven (Steve) Simler.

“I’d just like to thank everyone for welcoming me,” Simler said. “I look forward to working with everybody. I’ll be full of questions, so I appreciate all of the help.”

“You just ask anytime,” responded Karen Lopp, who was re-elected to another term on the board, filling one of two seats for District 4 (Harrison Township).

Simler won the District 1 seat (Washington Township) previously held by Diana Sailor, who did not seek another term.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Eastridge also congratulated board members who were re-elected.

“That’s a part of the process,” he said. “The people have spoken, and the people around this table are the ones they want representing them.”

Besides Lopp, Mathes (Distrist 4) and Barbara Smith (District 5, Webster Township) were elected to serve four more years.

To begin the meeting, the trustees had their financial session as required by law. However, current information and end-of-the-year review for 2022 will be discussed at the February or March meeting.

A presentation was then given by transportation coordinator Brad DeVore with service contract completion time quickly approaching.

Using data such as age of equipment, driver age and general interest in pursuing service contracts after multiple drivers’ decades of service, 2027 is projected to bring in a significantly lower number of service contracts.

DeVore also shared that, with current shortages affecting the transportation industry nationwide, the average turnaround time to order a bus is 16 months.

“Our big last bus purchase was in November of 2021, and we have yet to receive those buses,” he said. “Across the state and the country, all of the schools are just holding onto their fleets.”

DeVore will meet with partners from a new software routing company this week to discuss if a couple of current routes, primarily historically small evening routes, can be condensed.

“The main factor anytime you talk about condensing or combining routes, whether it is here or South, is time,” he said. “You aren’t going to capacity out a 78-passenger bus, but you are going to go over the length of time for a route. Basically, we’re looking at how long we can take a route out and still be within reason.”

Once the routes are established, it will be presented to the board and put out in February for prospective bidders.

The board thanked him for his presentation, wishing him the best in his fulfillment of service contracts.

The school trustees also shared gratitude for employees who came in to clean up classrooms after a pipe bursts during winter break.

“I think our maintenance staff and custodial staff did a remarkable job over Christmas break, with the freezes that we had, getting two of our buildings back up and going,” Wallace said.

Eastridge added, “You had some folks that were scheduled to be off, on vacation, and probably worked more hours than a regular week they normally work.”

According to the board, the first pipe burst occurred at 4 o’clock on Christmas Day.

“Also, there were several teachers who had to clean up their classrooms,” Smith said. “When you get into the teaching profession, it gets in your blood. If your classroom needs to be fixed up before your kiddos get in there, you don’t even think about whether or not you’re going to get paid. You just go in and clean your classroom and get your classroom the way you want it to be.

“Kudos to those people who have the heart and soul of a teacher,” she continued. “To get in there and want their classroom ready, so day one, when their kids come back to school, it looks like their classroom.”

Further kudos were given to those who got Corydon Intermediate School up and running.

Smith praised the New Middletown Elementary students as well for their Christmas program despite losing their music teacher, while Lopp praised the Corydon Central band for its concert performance.
“I just appreciate every single person in the corporation,” Lopp said.

The board discussed the upcoming student/parent pathway night at Corydon Central High School. That will take place tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 7 and will be open to the public. Attendees can learn about South Harrison’s new career pathway — exercise science — that will begin during the 2023-24 school year.