EPS board OKs interim superintendent contract with Howard


EVART — Retired Chippewa Hills School District Superintendent and Weidman Elementary School Principal Shirley Howard officially will become an Evart Wildcat next year.

During the Evart Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday, the board approved a contract agreement between the district and Howard effective Jan. 4.

"I am very excited," Howard said to the board following the unanimous approval. "Thank you for the opportunity to work with you."

Board President Alan Bengry said because Howard is officially retired, she only can collect one-third of the salary she made when leaving Chippewa Hills if she still wants to collect retirement funds. Therefore, the contract, effective from Jan. 4 through June 30, 2016, is for $40,000 and $1,000 per month for travel expenses during that period.

Howard is pleased to have a front seat during the first installment of the bond renewal millage, which was passed by voters on Nov. 3.

"I'm very excited about the bond passing, because I feel like I'll be on the ground floor to help them organize and get ready for construction this summer," Howard said. "Having the school buildings so close to one another is very exiting because I'll be able to get into a lot more classrooms. That's really my love; the kids."

Howard can apply to be the district’s permanent superintendent while the search for a candidate takes place leading up to June 30. She said she is unsure if she will seek the permanent position.

In other business, Evart Middle School Spanish teacher Jessica Kolenda addressed the board regarding the idea of taking students who have taken at least two years of Spanish to Costa Rica in the summer of 2017.

After hours of research, Kolenda said she prefers to travel through Education First, an international education company. She discussed safety, travel details, the $2,300 cost per student, chaperones and more about the possibility, which she believes would be an educational experience to enrich the lives of all who attend.

There was no motion, but board members unanimously agreed to allow Kolenda to host a parent meeting about the trip to estimate interested individuals and enrollment numbers.