Vernonia School Board Report

At the July 10, 2014 School Board Meeting:


Board Elects Chair and Vice Chair-The Board elected Bill Langmaid as Chair and Jim Krahn as Vice Chair for the 2014-15 school year.


Board Approves New Hires- The Board approved two new temporary hires for the 2014-15 school year.

Laura Blacker has been hired to teach 4th grade, replacing Robyn Richmond who is on maternity leave for the year.  Blacker has been working and volunteering in the district for several years and just finished her student teaching assignment in Vernonia last year.  A resident of the Vernonia community and active in the local PTA, Blacker served as the coach of the high school golf team this past year.  Blacker received her Master’s Degree in Education from PSU.

Margi Fry will be the fifth member of the K-2 combined teaching team.  Fry has taught grades 1-8 over the last five years, has a Bachelor’s Degree of Science from Warner Pacific College and is a graduate of Gresham High School.


Board Approves Student Fee Schedule-The Board approved the Student Fee Schedule for 2014-15 which includes  a $0.10 increase to full breakfast and lunches for elementary, middle and high school students.  The Student Body Fee for high school students increased from $20 to $25.  An Instrument Rental fee of $50 for elementary band students was added to the schedule, although Superintendent Miller stated that the fee was already being implemented, it just was not on the schedule.


Project Updates- Superintendent Miller updated the Board on five current projects.  Construction at Spencer Park is moving forward and is scheduled to be complete and ready for use next summer.  Board member Ernie Smith expressed concern and asked about the City’s plan for maintaining the new field.  The City will hold a Conditional Use Permit Hearing on July 17 concerning the construction of the new shop building.   Following that process, the District can move forward with construction although it is questionable whether the shop will be completed in time for the start of the school year.  The football practice field on the new campus is under construction.  The District will move forward with construction of a new softball field on campus this summer and will hopefully be ready next spring.  The District is hoping to complete the project with assistance from local contractors.  The PTA has purchased the first of three phases of new playground equipment and will install that first phase with volunteers before the start of the school year.


Board Liaisons Encouraged for District Committees- Superintendent  Miller encouraged Board members to become a liaison to the numerous District Committees which include: Curriculum, Technology, Safety, Health & Wellness, Talented and Gifted, Achievement Compact, Career & Technical Education, Sustainability, and Positive Behavior & Intervention Support.


Board Assignments- The Board chose assignments for several Committees: Negotiations – Bill Langmaid, Ernie Smith, and Greg Kintz; Policy Review – Brett Costley and Cari Levenseller; Facilities (Long Range Planning) – Jim Krahn, Tim Bamburg, and Ernie Smith; Vernonia Education Foundation – Bill Langmaid and Cari Levenseller.


Substitute Pay Increase- The Board was informed that the State has set a rate of $171.52 per day for licensed teachers for the 2014-15 school year.  The Board voted to increase the District’s substitute teacher pay from $171 to $172 per day.


Board Approves Meeting Schedule-The Board approved the 2014-15 School Board meeting schedule.  Meetings will be held on the second Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM with the exception of November when it will be held on Wednesday, November 12 due to a scheduling conflict with the OSBA annual convention.  Workshops were scheduled for October 30, January 29, and April 30.  A Board  retreat was scheduled for August 21.


Aaron Miller has assumed the  superintendent responsibilities for the Vernonia School District.

Aaron Miller has assumed the
superintendent responsibilities for the Vernonia School District.

Board Assigns Designees- The Board voted to designate Aaron Miller as Chief Administrative and Budget Officer, as Custodian of Funds, and as Representative of Federal/State Fund and Grant Applications.  The Board also designated US Bank and Government Pool as Depository of Funds; Grove, Mueller & Swank, P.C. as District Auditors;  Brown & Brown Northwest as Insurance Agents of Record, Garrett, Hermann, Robertson, Jennings, Comstock & Trethewy as Attorney of Record and Vernonia’s Voice as Newspaper of Record.  These were the same as last year, with the exceptions that Aaron Miller has now assumed Superintendent duties and the Insurance Agent of Record has changed their name from Beecher Carlson.  The Board also voted to set a Borrowing Limit of $150,000.