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Girls State Teams Recognized

The Mt. Pulaski CUSD 23 Board of Education called their regular meeting to order on March 21, 2022 at 5:00 PM in the grade school learning center.  All members were present.

After Roll Call, the Board recognized members of the public which included the state qualifying 8th grade girls basketball team and the 7th grade girls volleyball team. Also recognized were the 7th grade IESA Runner-Up girls basketball team and the 8th grade IESA 3rd Place girls volleyball team.  It has been a fantastic year for this group of young ladies and the Board awarded each team with a gift card to Pizza Man. Congratulations to Coach Anderson, Coach Nichols and all of their assistants.

Consent Agenda, which included the approval for the payment of bills, the sales tax report, meeting minutes from February 23, 2022 and February 23, 2022 Executive Session minutes, as well as from the special board meeting on March 3, 2022.  Superintendent Lamkey informed the Board that sales tax revenues reported for November was over $31,915 for Logan County.  There were no additional questions on the consent agenda, which passed 7-0.

Under Reports, Mr. Lamkey informed the Board that the FY24 Sangamon County Extension was received and the tax rate has dropped from 5.19 to 4.987.  He expects the Logan County Extension to reflect the same decrease.  In addition, Superintendent Lamkey noted that the landscaping on Spring Street at the high school was on hold until Ameren completed work on the gas lines.

The discipline report reflected one in-school suspension at the high school, three in-school suspensions at the grade school and one out of school suspension at the grade school.  None of the suspensions exceeded 1 day.

In Unfinished Business, the Board first discussed a Memorandum of Understanding that would alter the Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule from the schedule in the collective bargaining agreement for the second year in a row.  The Board voted 5-2 to conduct Parent-Teacher Conferences during the late afternoon and evening of October 19th and 20th with no school on Friday, October 21st.

The Board then approved the 2022-23 School Calendar 7-0.  While the calendar will be formally released later this month, it should be noted that student attendance begins on August 17, 2022.

Superintendent Lamkey then interjected that the Board considered moving the guests from the YMCA up on the agenda so they could make an early exit.  President Cowan agreed and the YMCA representatives pitched a project that would allow the organization to use the grade school facility during the summer to house a “Summer Camp” program that would provide daycare for area students.  There would be no extra cost to the district, only use of space for summer programs.  The Board gave the YMCA representatives the go ahead to investigate and determine if there was enough interest in Mt. Pulaski to support such a program.  Mr. Lamkey will report back to the Board in April.  

The Board Policy Committee then conducted the second reading of the PRESS policy update.  Mr. Brown and Mr. Wilham reviewed new policy dealing with staff leave, curriculum and pandemic preparedness.  The board approved the second reading with a 7-0 vote.  The next action by the Board adopted the policy update with another 7-0 vote.

The Board then entered a conversation that started the last Board meeting concerning the placement of vape detectors in the high school restrooms.  SRO Officer, Deputy Pharis, and high school principal, Heather Fricke, expressed great concern for the growing number of vaping incidents at the high school.  There were even reports of students avoiding restrooms due to the students' use of vape pens.  Both Fricke and Pharis spoke on the dangers of addiction with vaping.  After considerable discussion, the Board gave administration the go ahead to install vape detectors in high school and junior high restrooms.

The first item under New Business was the consideration of a memorandum of understanding that would eliminate language in the collective bargaining agreement restricting the district from awarding new teachers any experience over 10 years.  In addition, the MoU would begin the process of restoring teachers, who were previously affected by the language, to their actual step.  The MoU passed 7-0.

The last two items, the Board approved 7-0.  Each allowed for the purchase of new Smartboard/Prometheans in the high school and grade school through ESSER funding.

In the Personnel Report there were sixteen items, including one resignation, 7 hires and the granting of tenure to 9 teachers.  The Board approved the report 7-0:

  • Andrea Galvin resigned as District Librarian 

  • The following hires were also approved:

    • Jonathon Tribler as MPHS Business Teacher

    • Heidi Zenor as MPHS Science Teacher

    • Kaytlyn Newburn as MPGS Teacher

    • Tara McLaughlin as MPGS Secretary

    • Hannah Skaggs as MPGS Paraprofessional

    • Ryan Deibert as MPHS Assistant Track Coach

    • Gale Clark as MPHS Volunteer Assistant Track Coach

  • The following teachers were granted tenure: Jessica Awe, Ashley Burgard, Kristin Przykopanski, Anthony Lisenko, Kayleigh Parker, Calob Pluhm, Leah Varvel and Jamie Whitwood.

Under Items of Information, Mrs. Mott spoke about suicude prevention program that Mr. Lamkey and she learned about it during a recent Illinois Association of School Board’s March Dinner Meeting.  The program is to make high school students more understanding and empowered to deal with themselves and peers when recognizing signs of suicide and preventing the tragedy.  Superintendent Lamkey has already begun preliminary conversations with administrators to consider the possibility of the program's implementation.

Principal Fricke announced four students were named Illinois State Scholars, Rioley May, Grant Skelton, Daniel Phillips and Elana Bruns.  In addition, Riley May is our Senior of the Month.

The Board adjourned at 6:29 PM.