Dr. Ouellette to resign shared superintendent position
Dr. Nick Ouellette, shared superintendent for Odebolt-Arthur and Battle Creek-Ida Grove School Districts, has announced plans to resign his position. He will submit his official resignation at the April 13 joint board meeting.
Ouellette accepted an offer March 30 from the Hudson, Wis., Board of Education to become their next superintendent. Hudson is located just east of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Ouellette’s resignation will be effective June 30. He began work for the local districts in July 2012.
“Although this is a great opportunity for me and my family, I will considerably miss the people I have worked with here at O-A and BC-IG,” he wrote to staff.
“Over the past three years, the staff and communities have moved these two districts forward in a variety of areas. We have made tremendous strides, both academically and with our facilities, with still room to grow. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the districts while I have been here and also those who have supported me and my family personally. There is no doubt that O-A and BC-IG Schools are an outstanding place to work. I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of these two great districts the last three years.”
Ouellette, upon Hudson School Board’s approval of his contract on April 14, is expected to begin his position as superintendent of schools there on July 1. Ouellette will be moving to Hudson with his wife, Julie, and their three boys, Jackson, age 8, Jacob, age 4, and Jasper, age 1½.
BC-IG and O-A School Boards held a special joint meeting Monday in Odebolt to discuss the opening. O-A holds Ouellette’s contract.
BC-IG, O-A School Boards to hire superintendent search firm
. by DEB LOGER
The Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove School Boards met in joint session Monday in Odebolt to discuss the superintendent search process. Ouellette, shared superintendent for Odebolt-Arthur and Battle Creek-Ida Grove School Districts, accepted an offer March 30 from the Hudson, Wis., Board of Education to become their next superintendent. His resignation will be presented at the boards’ joint meeting April 13.
School board secretary Kathy Leonard reviewed the list of firms that conduct superintendent searches and asked the boards for a consensus to hire a firm so a contract can be approved April 13. After discussion, the general consensus was to hire Jeff Herzberg, chief administrator for Prairie Lakes AEA, at a base price of $6,000. Herzberg conducted O-A and BC-IG’s last superintendent search in 2012.
Other firms discussed included: McPherson and Jacobson ($6,500); Ray and Associate ($7,500 based on information from the Marion School District) and G. Tryon and Associates ($11,685 based on information from Panorama).
The boards also discussed which district should hold the superintendent’s contract. BC-IG held Russ Freeman’s, while O-A held Dani Trimble’s and Ouellette’s. Leonard was asked which district would be less expensive. She noted O-A’s family insurance is slightly less expensive than BC-IG’s, but single rates are about the same.
After some discussion, the consensus was BC-IG would hold the next superintendent’s contract.
O-A approved the district’s budget for 2015-16 Monday. Expenditures for 2015-16 are estimated at $5,644,239, up $104,231 from last year’s $5,536,008. Revenues would be $5,621,399, up from last year’s revenues of $5,534,319. The estimated 2016 levy rate for each $1,000 assessed valuation is $12.50335, down from last year’s levy rate of $12.59816. No one was present to speak for or against the budget.
Darcy Sibenaller asked about elementary teachers being cut. She was told the purpose of the budget hearing is to set the tax levy rate. She was also told that elementary teaching assignments would be reconfigured as one teacher has resigned to accept another position and that position won’t be filled. Plans are to have two sections of fifth grade next year.
The board approved paying $9,986 to Ladwig Construction for completion of its share of the loading dock project.
Following discussion, the board approved the summer projects list on a three-two vote. Board members Traci Bengford, Naomi Lozier and Paul Neumann voted aye. Pat Hoefling and Joey Hoefling voted nay.
The estimated cost for the projects is $349,566 with funding coming from sales tax revenue and PPEL funds. Ouellette said revenue from the sales tax and PPEL is approximately $560,000.
Specific items discussed were asbestos removal (boiler and pipes), replacing the multipurpose room (MPR) floor, a new roof over the music room/shop wing, sanding and refinishing the Bart Ogden Gymnasium floor and removing the MPR skylights.
Dr. Ouellette recommended removal of the asbestos, estimated at $53,000. The boiler and pipes are wrapped in asbestos and are no longer used with the geothermal system. Ouellette said the tunnels run along the outside wall of the building and also house the domestic water lines for the school. This winter there weren't any problems with pipes freezing, but to prevent that in the future it was recommended that forced air be run in the tunnels. There is a lot of dust in the tunnels and some of it could contain asbestos.
Ouellette said if the board didn't want to remove the asbestos at this time, the other option would be to wrap the water lines in heat tape.
Joey Hoefling asked why redoing the MPR floor was on this year’s summer project list. Ouellette responded that there is a moisture issue that could add cost to the project. Resurfacing the east parking
lot was also discussed. Ouellette said the problem also involved the city’s street and patching would give the school and city a few years to work together for this major resurfacing project.
The music room/shop wing roof is on the summer project list. As the project exceeds $50,000, an architect has to prepare the bid specs and bids.
Beth Christensen’s resignation (second grade teacher and coaching positions) was approved, effective at the end of the current school year. Joey Hoefling thanked her for her years of service to the district.
O-A Elementary spring concert is Tuesday
Odebolt-Arthur Elementary will present its spring concert Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p. m., in Bart Ogden Gymnasium.
This year’s concert features two short musicals presented by kindergarten through second grades and third through fifth grade classes. K-2 will present “E-I-E-I-Oops,” and the third through fifth graders will present “The Granny Awards.” Alex Longnecker directs the musicals.
The fifth grade band, under the direction of Neil Anders, will perform “March Across the Seas” by Pearson and Nowlin, “Banana Boat Song” by Nowlin and “Indigo Rock” by Pearson and Nowlin.
Heart transplant: This photograph of Chad and Wendy Larson’s goodbye, captured right before their baby Katelyn’s heart transplant surgery at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., has been selected for inclusion in the 2015 Children’s Hospitals Photo Exhibit. The exhibit, which will be displayed on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C., in June, showcases top photos chosen from a national competition organized by the Children’s Hospital Association. (Photo submitted)
Odebolt family’s pre-transplant photo selected for children’s hospitals’ exhibit
A photograph of an emotional goodbye captured right before a baby’s heart transplant surgery at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., has been selected for inclusion in the 2015 Children’s Hospitals’ Photo Exhibit.
The photograph captures an embrace between Chad and Wendy Larson of Odebolt and their infant daughter, Katelyn, during their last moments together before her life-saving heart transplant procedure. Barb Roessner, Children’s Hospital’s heart transplant program coordinator, took the photo.
The exhibit, which will be displayed on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C., this June, showcases top photos chosen from a national competition organized by the Children’s Hospital Association. Children’s winning image was selected from more than 250 photos submitted by nearly 60 children’s hospitals from across the country.
Images of brave patients, supportive families and compassionate health care providers celebrate children’s hospitals’ commitment to the health of all children.
Wendy Larson reflects on what she was feeling at the time of the photo: “It was terrifying, knowing her heart would be removed and a new one placed inside her tiny body. We just prayed her new heart would beat; hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, putting her in God’s hands and trusting Him for the outcome. The morning of her surgery, she was smiling, cooing and babbling. It was the irst time we had seen that side of her since we had been in the hospital. It was as if she knew what was going to happen and was letting us know she was going to be okay.”
Until Katelyn was three months old, she seemed perfectly healthy. But, in August 2013, that all changed when Katelyn choked and threw up and her lips turned blue. Her parents rushed her to Horn Memorial Hospital in Ida Grove, where all blood work turned out “normal,” but the x-ray showed an enlarged heart.
After conferring with the cardiologists at Children’s Hospital in Omaha, it was determined that Katelyn needed to be admitted to Children’s. An ambulance was sent and she was transferred to Children’s, where an emergency room doctor did an ultrasound of Katelyn’s heart and saw something he did not like. Katelyn was rushed to ICU where, at one point, her heart stopped and the doctors performed CPR.
After numerous tests, it was determined Katelyn had dilated cardiomyopathy and would need a heart transplant.
Katelyn was listed on the heart transplant waiting list on Aug. 13, 2013. On Sept. 12, a heart became available for four-month-old Katelyn. She was the third infant to receive a heart transplant at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. About four weeks later, Katelyn returned home to Odebolt.
Today, Katelyn is an active two-year-old, thriving with her new heart. Wendy says, “No one would even know the struggles she has faced and overcome.”
“There is such a spectrum of emotions and experiences that happen each and every day at a children’s hospital,” explains Roessner. “Everything is heightened when you’re caring for the sickest and smallest among us. We are grateful to the Larson family for their trust in our team and for allowing us to walk alongside them on Katelyn’s heart journey.”
The Children’s Hospitals’ Photo Exhibit will be on display to the general public June 15 and 16 in the foyer of the Rayburn House Building and the week of June 22 in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Building in Washington, D. C. In addition, the exhibit will travel around the country for two years, displaying at children’s hospitals and partnering organizations in support of a wide variety of outreach efforts and events.
Visit https://www.childrenshospitals.org/Newsroom/Photo-Gallery/2015-Photo-Exhibit to view the exhibit.