Board Report: January


Murray, NEB.- The first school board meeting of 2023 was held on Tuesday, January 10. Members, Allison Welch, Tracy Priefert, Candace Kelley, Greg Page, Jeremy Stone and student member Jayden S were present. Seth Arens was absent.

They began with a presentation from Greg Page, who coaches CyberPatriot, about the program. He mentioned Conestoga’s enormous success while taking part in CyberPatriot. Then, Carson H gave a brief overview of what competitions are like. Page went on to rattle off some statistics about employment opportunities in cybersecurity, noting how it is a much needed and often unfilled role in an ever expanding field.

Then, director of curriculum and instruction, Lisa Bergmeyer gave a presentation breaking down standardized testing results. She stated that the information pertaining to the test taken by third through eighth graders, the NSCAS, was released to the public in November. From this data, the district as a whole and the middle school (6-8) were given a “good” ranking by AQuESTT. The elementary and high schools were ranked “great.” Bergmeyer went on to say that Conestoga’s NSCAS data was comparable to the state average and that ACT scores were above the state average.

The building project committee reported that Boyd Jones did a walkthrough and is currently collecting bids which will be heard at a special board meeting, likely to take place towards the end of the month.

The consent agenda, which consisted of approval of the agenda for this meeting, the minutes for the last meeting, the claims for general fund, the payroll, the lunch fund and the special building fund, was approved unanimously.

They then moved onto the discussion items. Among these were committee assignments for the upcoming year; the board retreat in February, where they will discuss strategic planning; and an instruction to the members to come up with a few community members they believe would be good members of the foundation as the number of school board members on the foundation board will soon be limited.

Among the administration reports, a need for employees was a common theme. Among the open positions are a Paraprofessional, a night custodian for the high school building, daycare staff at the elementary and a highschool science teacher to replace Chad Schmeckpepper for the next school year. The administrative assistant position has been filled though. Superintendent Mike Apple noted in his report that there has been damage to the football field lights following inclement weather. He also said that although it has been difficult to identify the source of the leaks that have been occurring in the building, it is possible that the problem may have been resolved. It was also stated that the Jr/Sr high school building is out of lockers.

At this time, the meeting was turned over to Apple to conduct the presidential segment of the officer elections. Allison Welch was reelected to her position and the meeting was returned to her. Candace Kelley was voted in as vice president. The treasurer position went to Tracy Priefert and Jeremy Stone was voted as secretary. They approved the previously discussed committee assignments. They then approved the continuance of the Federal Program representative, Michael Apple; Legal counsel, KSB; auditor, Dana Cole; newspaper of record, Cassgram, Plattsmouth Journal and Omaha World Herald; and Bank depository, Cornerstone Bank and First State Bank. The board code of conduct and conflict of interest documents were approved. Finally, they voted to recognize the Conestoga Education Association (CEA) as the exclusive bargaining body for teacher negotiations for the 24-25 school year.

The meeting adjourned at 6:09 pm.