Prospect looking at Elk Trail building

The evening was somewhat less controversial and confrontational at the Prospect School board meeting March 12.  There were just two items that seemed even remotely controversial, that of a female student wanting to play baseball and a slip of protocol when the Board president failed to dismiss himself for a conflict of interest. 

The board voted 2-2 during the meeting on the matter of allowing the young lady to play on the baseball team.  According to retired athletic director Mike Gordon said ladies have been allowed in the past, thereby setting a precedent.  Superintendent Don Alexander was against the move, citing equality of opportunity as meaning that the school has a softball team.  Two members of the board agreed with that position, while two opposed it. The fifth member of the board was absent, causing Alexander to call an emergency meeting for the following night, March 13, to decide the issue.  That vote carried, allowing the young lady to play on the baseball team.  This issue would normally have been addressed at the next regular meeting, but timelines for practice and assembling rosters would have made that unworkable.

The Board voted on renewing contracts for teachers, and that is where the other controversial issue arose.  One board member voted on renewing his wife in a teaching position.  A parent called attention to the fact, and it was then voted on by remaining board members with the same result. 

The school announced they were hiring a temporary FFA advisor for the balance of the school year.  Following that period, the position would be filled through regular procedures. 

Community members asked that the schools participate in honoring veterans and help with a fund-raiser designed to give needy vets transportation monies or money for other needs by participating in the Memorial Day Bed race.  The Gordons and Wickmans asked for help in getting participation for the event.  They have created the Mill Creek Memorial Association which Fred Wickman says is to “aid, honor and assist vets.”  Wickman said that there are many vets living in the area, many of whom have no choice to even receive medical care because of the high cost of transportation.

Don McWhorter appealed to the Board to either change the boundary to include the Elk-Trail school (now a part of District 9) or find another way to use a building that is going to be shut down at the end of this school year.  McWhorter and Alexander are going to research the issue to see what can be done.

Sandi Thompson handed the board written complaints and questions about the confusion existing between the board, the charter school board and parents.  Thompson listed a number of questions that she says parents want answers to but feels they are getting the door slammed in their faces.

The Prospect school board meets regularly on the second Monday evening of the month.  The Charter School board meets on the fourth Monday of each month.
By Ralph McKechnie
For the Independent

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