Thursday, April 16, 2015

Courier News

Courtesy of the 4-15-15 edition of Ida County Courier (

O-A/BC-IG prom celebrates ‘Midnight in Paris’
The Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove junior-senior prom is this Saturday, April 18, at Skate Palace in Ida Grove. The theme is “Midnight in Paris.”

Décor features the Paris skyline and a clock striking midnight, using the colors navy blue and gold. The Paris skyline will be the backdrop that includes a Parisian park setting with lampposts and trees outlining the hall. Table décor features suitcases, flowers and candles as centerpieces.

Open house to view the prom décor at Skate Palace is from 4 to 5 p. m.

The grand march is from 5:10 to 6:10 p.m. at the Ida Grove Community Hall. Juniors, seniors and their dates are encouraged to visit the local nursing homes prior to arriving at their preassigned times. The public is invited to view the grand march in the community building, entering the hall from the east doors in the alley.

The reception at Skate Palace is from 6:30 to 7 p. m. and features appetizers. All students must be at Skate Palace by 6:30 p. m.

Prom servers are Tyler Sohm, Courtney Peters, Summit Nielsen, Dylan Wunschel, Marzia Shivers-Fineran, Amanda Gunderson, Rhett Ketelsen, Carrie Miller, Jeren McKibbin, Alexia Thomas and Skylar Reis.

Class pictures are at 7 p. m.

The meal begins at 7:15 p. m. The menu includes the Ida County Cattlemen’s Association grilling steaks; Aunt B’s in Arthur catering red skillet potatoes, haricots verts (green beans) with almonds, gratin de macaronis and baguettes with butter spread; and Best of B’s in Ida Grove catering dessert, crepe la crème drizzled with chocolate and a fruit sauce.

The program includes the welcome and response from junior and senior class representatives and the senior déjà vu slide presentation. The dance runs from 8:30 to 11:30 p. m. with music provided by Musicmystro.

Donna Rasmussen and Kate Beyke are the prom sponsors.

After-prom begins at the O-A/BC-IG High School following the dance, from 12:30 to 5 a. m.

Activities in the gym and cafetorium include: carnival-style games, a cash cube, inflatables, poker and blackjack tables and the Amazing Race Big Race game where participants travel to stations and get a stamp of that country for their passport for prizes. The illusionist will perform at the end of the evening and prizes will be awarded. Every junior/senior will go home with a t-shirt and a cash gift.

Tacos in a bag, pizza, nachos, super nachos, Subway subs, ice cream, assorted candies and assorted beverages will be served.

BC-IG, O-A begin superintendent search; review elementary project     by BETH WOLTERMAN
The Battle Creek-Ida Grove and Odebolt-Arthur School Boards handled a number of big issues on Monday.

The BC-IG board met earlier for a work session with the FRK Architects to review plans for the proposed elementary addition and renovation. No action was taken during that session.

A bid letting on the project is planned for July 7, construction is to begin July 13, the 16,153 square foot addition is to be completed June 20, 2016, and the entire project is to be completed by Aug. 1, 2016. The total project cost is $4,497,270.

The addition will include a gymnasium with 400 seating capacity and four classrooms. Renovations will include window replacements, classroom cabinet and bookshelf replacements, demolition of existing cabinets and new sinks, as well as geothermal retro it of the existing building. Change alternates may include two more classrooms and a gymnasium hardened shelter (makes the facility tornado resistant).

The BC-IG board also held a public hearing on the budget and approved it for the 2015-16 school year. No one spoke for or against the budget.

The proposed budget is $11,588,375 and the proposed tax rate is $12.50596 for each $1,000 taxable valuation. Board member Stephanie Konradi was absent during the budget vote.

The BC-IG board approved resignations from Kaylene Henningsen, Byron Hartwig and Kim Van Wert from their current teaching positions. All three will be offered different contracts. Megan Parker’s resignation from her volleyball position was approved.

The O-A board approved the resignation of Dr. Nick Ouellette as superintendent. He has accepted a similar position at Hudson, Wis., effective July 1.

Following is Ouellette’s resignation letter to the board:
Board members,
     As you are already aware, I have accepted a position to be the superintendent of the Hudson School District in Wisconsin. Therefore, I will be resigning my position as Shared Superintendent of both the Odebolt-Arthur & Battle Creek-Ida Grove School Districts effective June 30, 2015. The acceptance of this position is based on the opportunity it provides for me both professionally and for my family personally. I have enjoyed working with each of you over the past three years and we have accomplished many things.

· Passage of each District’s Revenue Purpose Statements · Passage of each District’s PPEL at $1.34
· Implementation of one of the most aggressive technology integration projects in the State with 1:1 in grades 4-12 and additional technology in grades k-3
· Completion of facility projects of over $4 million in BC-IG and $1.5 million in O-A · Demolition of ECC
· Sale of Battle Creek Property and transfer of land to City of Battle Creek · Implementation of Professional Learning Communities at all levels · Implementation of Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) at elementary buildings
· Increased academic achievement in majority of areas measured by the Iowa Assessments
· Expanded STEM offerings at all grade levels · Major budget reductions
· Numerous small initiatives and projects

None of these things could have been accomplished without the support of the boards, staff and communities. Although we have accomplished many things, there are still many more items to go. I have appreciated your support over the past three years and I believe the next individual who has the opportunity to lead these two great districts will be able to do so with the same understanding and support you have given me.

From both my family and myself, I say ‘thank you’ for allowing us to be part of the O-A/BC-IG family. We wish each of you and the districts nothing but the best in the future. If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The BC-IG board approved an employment contract with Jeff Herzberg of Prairie Lakes AEA for the superintendent search. His contract is for $6,000, with $5,000 to be paid upon successful acceptance of a superintendent candidate. The remaining $1,000 will be paid in December 2015 as a result of follow-up work he will do.

Herzberg was used by the districts in the last search, that hired Ouellette. The boards met with Herzberg at the end of the meeting to lay the groundwork for hiring a new superintendent. BC-IG will hold the contract this time. O-A held Ouellette’s contract. (Ouellette left the meeting during this discussion.)

Herzberg told the board the hiring process should take four to six weeks, with about three or four inal interviews taking place in mid-May. The opening is listed on the website and Herzberg and board secretary Kathy Leonard noted they have received three applications already.

Herzberg asked board members to comment on strengths of the districts and why a candidate would want to work here. He also asked for board needs and goals. Board members said they want a new superintendent to help the districts reorganize and lead the districts through a bond issue for high school improvements. About ive focus groups including community members, administrators, staff, students and school board members will be formed with eight to 12 persons a group. These groups will help with interviews; however, the boards will make the inal hiring decision.

The boards will establish a salary/benefit package this week and Herzberg will also draft a timeline for the process this week.

In other business

In other business Monday, Ouellette noted during his report that contract talks will begin Monday, April 20, at 4 p. m., in the central of ice when the BC-IG Education Association will present its initial proposal. He provided updates on projects around the districts. Electrical panels on the new lights at the school ball ields were backordered for about six more weeks, so track meet schedules were adjusted to start earlier.

Ouellette said the last day of school will be Friday, May 22, provided there are no more weather issues.

The BC-IG board approved a contract for Ciara Dotzler as assistant high school softball coach.

A third through seventh grade TAG field trip was approved to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha on May 7. A trip to the North Polk Softball Tournament was approved for the softball team on June 5 and 6.

A BC-IG open enrollment out to Ridge View was approved for Jaeden, Brooklyn, McKenna and Benton Albers.

The boards heard a curriculum presentation from the physical education department from Jonathan Nelson, Jeff Miesner and Lucas Wilding.

The boards approved second reading on the board policy series 200.

The boards tabled the five-page revised whole-grade sharing agreement. The agreement is effective July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, unless terminated sooner by mutual agreement of the parties. The agreement automatically renews for one year each July 1 unless terminated by either party at least one year prior to termination. The BC-IG board wants a shorter cutoff date of Nov. 1 to allow termination the following school year.

The boards approved a list of 77 seniors who will graduate May 17 pending completion of all credits.

The boards approved the 2015-16 school calendar, as amended during the meeting. School will begin Monday, Aug. 24. Winter break is Dec. 23-Jan. 1. Spring break is March 25-29, 2016. Graduation is May 22, 2016.

The BC-IG board approved fiscal year 2015-16 internet/ telephone agreements, including an Ethernet agreement with Iowa Communications Network and local phone service agreement with Frontier Communications.

The O-A board approved the digital transmission services agreement with Iowa Communications Network for 2015-16.

The O-A board approved bid specifications for an asbestos abatement project.

The boards approved removing uncollectible hot lunch debts that have been deemed uncollectible. BC-IG’s amount is $63.95 and O-A’s is $1,058.95.

The boards approved a three-year agreement of service with Timberline Billing Service LLC for Medicaid filing services, effective July 1.

The boards approved a contract with Iowa Association of Educational Purchasing for 2015-16, which is a cooperative purchasing program for school food services.

O-A received a $200 donation from the Ethel Sundell family earmarked for books for the elementary library, as well as $2,500 from Monsanto on behalf of Sac County farmer Ann Youngquist.

The next regular joint board meeting will be Monday, May 11, 6:30 p. m., in Odebolt.

O-A/BC-IG Boys, Girls Staters chosen
Erin Fineran of Arthur and Sierra Brotherson of Odebolt have been chosen as delegates by Odebolt American Legion Auxiliary Roose Post #313 to attend the Iowa American Legion Girls State at Iowa State University in Ames June 14-19.

The delegates are among 300 girls attending Iowa Girls State who will study city, county and state government processes. Iowa Girls State citizens organize and originate city, county and state governments and administer the governments according to the laws of the State of Iowa.

The girls also participate in legislative sessions, campaigning, party rallies, debating and voting, all in accordance to parliamentary procedure. Besides the political activities, the girls will attend seminars given by motivational and government speakers. The culmination of the week on June 19 is the inauguration of the newly elected state of icials. Candidates were chosen to attend Iowa Girls State on the basis of interest, leadership and scholastic qualities.

Odebolt American Legion Roose Post #313 selected Nathan Masters of Kiron and Connor Musel of Odebolt as its delegates for American Legion Hawkeye Boys State.

Iowa American Legion Hawkeye Boys State is a week-long, “hands-on” experience in the operation of the democratic form of government, the organization of political parties and the relationship of one to the other in shaping Iowa government. Through the Boys State objective of “learning by doing,” young men will learn more about city, county and state government in one week than they would in a semester of high school.

Boys State is an exercise in leading as well as following others. Elections are an opportunity to show the ability to perform under pressure and to show character in the face of victories and/or defeats. Boys State will test skill in solving problems and working effectively within a team.

Boys State is an opportunity to gain pride and respect for our form of government and the price paid by people to preserve democracy. The week contains ceremonies and assemblies as well as marching and pageantry.

Gunderson on game show
Karleigh Gunderson of Odebolt was on the game show, “The Price Is Right,” April 13 during the game show’s irst episode of Couple’s Week.

On the first date episode, every member of the studio audience is single and looking for love. Matchmakers from paired the audience into couples, who met for the first time at bidder’s row and played the entire show as a couple.

Gunderson, a 2011 graduate of O-A/BC-IG High School, is the daughter of Chuck and Kathleen Gunderson of Odebolt.

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