EPS board approves purchase of two buses

EVART — Nearly $200,000 from Evart Public School’s voter-approved bond proposal in May will be spent on two 71-passenger buses.

Members of the board of education on Monday, Sept. 12, approved a measure to order the two buses at a total cost of $196,194.

“(The purchase is) going to be money from the bond,” said EPS Superintendent Shirley Howard. “They will be brand new buses.”

District officials are currently waiting for delivery of buses ordered last school year, including one with a wheelchair lift. They are expected to be delivered by Oct. 1.

Board members also approved extending yearly working agreements with payroll coordinator Mary Ann Corey, business secretary Zoe Babb, food service director David Lynema, technology director Kevin Beilfuss and transportation director Al Knowles through June 30, 2017.

“They are not contract employees,” Howard explained. “Normally, we extend the agreement year by year.”

The board retroactively approved the hiring of special education coordinator and athletic director Jay Wallace, math teacher Ted Marthakis, industrial arts teacher Jim Wisner and bus driver Tim Ernard.

During Howard’s report, the superintendent noted the proposed 2016-17 budget remains on target.

“I budgeted for eight fewer students this year,” she told board members. “Since the beginning of school, our student count has remained pretty steady. We have three more students than what the budget is based on. As long as it remains steady and doesn’t go below that, we will be on target.”

During Monday’s meeting, the board also:

  • held first readings of five reworded policies regarding conflicts of interest to include board of education members, according to board president Alan Bengry;
  • approved the School Advance Administrator Evaluation System as the evaluating tool for district principals for the 2016-17 school year;
  • approved increasing substitute teacher pay to $85 per day;
  • approved the resignation of Cindy Zielinski;
  • appointed board member Kelly Millen as a delegate to the Michigan Association of School Boards Delegate Assembly;
  • approved $500 for mileage allowance for high school principal Jessica Kolenda, middle school principal Jason O’Dell, elementary principal Sarah Bailey, Wallace and Babb to attend out-of-district meetings; and
  • agreed to offer a yearly family pass for home athletic events for $140. That pass would be valid for immediate family members.

Howard also reminded those in attendance that this year’s homecoming game is set for Friday, Oct. 7, against Pine River.

The next EPS Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, at the board room, located at 321 N. Hemlock St., in Evart.