Pam Stevens honored at KUSD Board meeting
At tonight’s regular Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) board meeting, Pam Stevens, departing school board member, was honored with the reading of a resolution of appreciation from board president, Mary Snyder. Pam was elected to the board in April, 2003, and then served three, three-year terms on the board. She served two terms as president, three terms as vice president, one term as clerk, and two terms as treasurer. She served on the following committees during her tenure: Curriculum/Program; PR/Goals/Legislative; Audit/Budget/Finance; and Personnel/Policy.
She has been a strong supporter of quality educational programs and facilities for all children, with a particular interest in reading programs. In order to promote consistency, she provided leadership in reducing the number of reading programs in the district from eight to two. During her term in office, the district made significant progress in communications with parents as she provided leadership in the creation of a public relations/legislative committee, and she became its first chairperson. During that time, she championed for more input from the district on policies and statutes on the state level. The voice of students and their role in decision-making increased during her term in office as she provided leadership in the creation of a student ambassador seat during board meetings.
The resolution of appreciation went on to say that “her service was characterized by conviction, determination, attention to detail, in-depth knowledge of educational issues, and fortitude as she led the district in the beginning of its litigation regarding the CDO financial difficulties. During her term in office, the district made significant progress with the construction of Edward Bain School of Language and Art (EBSOLA), Brass Community School, Cesar Chavez Learning Station, Nash Elementary School, Prairie Lane addition and renovation, Bradford and Tremper athletic additions, and the Indian Trail High School and Academy addition and renovation.”
Even more remarkable, during her nine years in office, she missed only two committee meetings, and she did not miss any regular school board meetings. This expression of appreciation for service as a board member was adopted unanimously. Stevens then made some thank you remarks to the board, and Snyder thanked her for her personal mentoring and being a personal friend to her.
Other awards were presented tonight as well. They included:
- Battle of the Books – First Place Team – from EBSOLA;
- Northwestern University Midwest Academic TalentSearch Perfect Math Score. A student scored a perfect score on the math segment of the test.
- Future Teacher Educators Essay Contest – Second Place Winner – Jessica Perez – from Indian Trail High School & Academy;
- 2012 Rotary Vocational Student Awards;
- Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s 2011-12 High School “Better Newspaper Contest” – Indian Trail High School & Academy;
- Maestro Award – Heritage Festival of Music – Bradford High School;
- German Day Competition – Second Place Team – Tremper High School; and
- The American Association of University Women (AAUW)’s Educational Equity/Diversity Award for 2012 – Juan Torres.
There were no administrative and supervisory appointments.
Superintendent Michele Hancock mentioned the work starting on Whittier’s Wander Land (outdoor learning garden), a praising e-mail from a parent, Friday night’s Broadway Night, and the Phi Delta Kappa awards.
The entire consent agenda was approved unanimously. This included the board’s recommendations concerning appointments, leaves of absence, retirements, and resignations, the minutes of recent past meetings, a summary of receipts, wire transfers, and check registers, and Policy and Rule 4320 – Individual Employment Contracts.
The following old business agenda items were approved unanimously:
- The withdrawal of the Supplemental Head Start Federal Grant due to not being able to meet the cost-of-living adjustment for all employees;
- The approval to go forward with the application of the Mary Frost Ashley Charitable Trust grant;
- The Kenosha eSchool three-year charter contract renewal;
- Harborside Academy’s five-year charter contract renewal; and
- The approval of the three-year contract for audit services to Schenck Business Solutions. This contract also has an option to renew for two years.
Anderson Lattimore, assistant superintendent of educational attainability, reported that, at the March 27, 2012, board meeting, the KUSD board formally affirmed the availability of spaces for both general and special education
students seeking entrance into the KUSD under the Open Enrollment Statute for School Year 2012-13. The board affirmed the availability of 101 general education spaces and 10 special education spaces. Seventy-eight acceptances have been received for the general education spaces, and four for the special education spaces.
According to Lattimore’s report, there are 78 students requesting to enter the KUSD for the next school year. Further, there are 361 students who have applied to attend schools outside of the KUSD, 190 of which are current KUSD students. Last year, there were 199 requesting to enter, of which 53 were approved for admission. There were 244 who applied to leave the district.
Board member JoAnn Taube wanted to know if administration was concerned, and Lattimore replied that he was concerned about the number of students who were opting to leave the district for virtual charter schools outside of KUSD, but that the expansion of KUSD’s eSchool to elementary students should curb those numbers in future years.
Snyder then read the list of donations to the district.