Moffat County School Board welcomes new members

— By the end of its latest meeting, the faces of the Moffat County School District Board of Education looked quite different.

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Sue Voloshin

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Tony Peroulis

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Joel Browning

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Darrell Camilletti

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KC Hume

It was a passing of the torch at Thursday night’s school board meeting, as newly elected board members Sue Voloshin, Tony Peroulis, Darrell Camilletti and KC Hume were sworn in for four-year terms with the district. The four of them and re-elected board member Joel Browning officially began their terms midway through the meeting.

Among the duties necessary that night was the decision to elect new officers within the seven-member board. Starting with a nomination from Voloshin, the new board voted unanimously to approve JB Chapman as board president, Browning as vice president and Tony St. John as secretary.

Voloshin said she felt it made the most sense to have the most experienced members running the meetings.

“I feel like I need to get my feet wet, so that was a natural progression, and they’re the right people for the job,” she said.

With the new board now instated, Chapman said he is “looking forward to all the opportunities” of bettering Moffat County’s educational system.

“I think we’ll be pretty busy,” he said.

Board members also began discussing topics like which of the members will make up various committees, who will serve as liaisons to schools within the district and similar details.

Among the upcoming tasks the board will have is seeking out a replacement for outgoing Superintendent Joe Petrone, who took the opportunity to thank former board members Christine Balderston, Karen Stillion, Lawrence Sober and Sandie Johns for their collective years of service.

Between the farewells and greetings, the audience attendance was higher than average for the meeting, with teachers, school administrators, students, family and community members turning out to meet the new board and say "goodbye" to the old.

Craig City Councilor Ray Beck, in attendance as a community member, noted that the greater crowd turnout was indicative of the “record number” of individuals who ran in the election for the open positions.

“It shows there’s an interest in the community to be engaged and making sure our kids have the best quality education,” Beck said, thanking incoming and outgoing board members.

Browning said he was somewhat surprised with the amount of people there.

“I think it’s the biggest meeting all year,” he said.

With the transitional meeting now done, the board will have its first full meeting in its current incarnation in December, and Peroulis is already looking forward to it.

“We’ve got to roll our sleeves up and get to work, and I think everybody’s ready for it,” he said.

In other action

At its monthly meeting Thursday night, the Moffat County School District Board of Education:

• Heard a report from Moffat County High School Principal Thom Schnellinger about the types of enrollment available at MCHS, such as the Alternative School, and how the school has been impacted by the new block schedule and Understanding by Design framework

• Unveiled the newly purchased activities bus, which will be used by schools districtwide. Board members discussed the possibility of detailing the vehicle with Moffat County colors and special lettering. Additionally, new board member Tony Peroulis suggested opening the design to students.

“It’s their bus, not ours,” he said.

• Heard a report from MCHS student council about upcoming projects, including the Dec. 12 talent show, humanitarian activities, the formation of a Council of Excellence and the recent decision to change the school's motto from "Every Student Will Graduate" to "Dare to Dream."

Student Council adviser Evan Gaffney also took the time to discuss a recent grant of $7,000 for the MCHS science department. The grant was given by Friends of Moffat County Education.

• Heard a report on the Gifted and Talented program within Craig Middle School. Overseen by teachers Audrey Flease, Norm Yoast and Ken Olinger, the program includes students participating in activities such as writing and directing their own play, attending Model United Nations, exploring alternative forms of energy and updating the school’s website.

• Approved, 7-0, a policy regarding student conduct.

• Postponed discussion of the district’s annual financial audit report due to the unavailability of a representative from Rangely’s Colorado CPA Services. The board will discuss the report at its December meeting.

• Approved, 7-0, a motion to retain the services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates in the search to find a replacement for outgoing Superintendent Joe Petrone. The base fee for HYA — which assisted in hiring Petrone in 2009 — is about $11,900, with additional fees dependent on the extent of the services MCSD requests from them.

“I think the board has made a great decision hiring them,” outgoing board President Sandie Johns said.

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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