Elementary principal Nicole Long stepping down, will resume teaching

Superintendent Phillip Picquet will be looking for a new elementary principal.

Nicole Long has indicated she wants to resume teaching so will be stepping down from the position. 

School board members approved a new teaching contract with her at the regular meeting Jan. 14.

Picquet said he will begin advertising the position right away with an application period of two to three weeks. He said he hopes to have the position filled by early March. 

He said they will involve community members, parents and staff in the hiring process, much like they did when the school hired high school Principal Ben Jones this year. 

Picquet said Long will go back to teaching art halftime and continue to work with testing assessments and curriculum. 

When she took over as principal, Picquet said some of her duties were assigned to other staff members. 

Long joined Perkins County Schools in 2011 as the elementary art teacher. When she was hired as elementary principal in the 2015-16 school year, she retained her role with assessment. 

Michelle Snyder took over the art position along with English Langauge Learners. 

Snyder will now go full time in ELL.

Picquet said it’s unique to see someone involved in administration going back into the teaching realm.

However, Long said she feels she has much to contribute and felt like the best place to do that was working with students in the classroom. 

Board member Amy Kroeker felt things were going well with curriculum development with Deanne Bishop and felt having Long involved with curriculum would result in some overlap.

Board member Angela Gloy said she had concerns as well. Both voted against approving Long’s teaching contract but it passed on a 4-2 vote with Jason Bishop, Larry Pritchett, Angela Patrick and Chris Fryzek.

Picquet said this week he does not believe bringing Long back into the teaching staff will create any over-staffing. 

tax repayment

Picquet told the board the school has been notified that it must repay Wheatland Industries $44,252.13 after the valuation of their ethanol plant was reduced for 2017. 

He said the board needed to take formal action to indicate to the county that the repayment of that money all at once would create a hardship for the school in terms of its budget. 

The hardship request, which was approved by the board, will allow the district to repay it over a five-year period. 

The ethanol plant has appealed their assessed valuation for 2018 and 2019. As a result, Picquet said it’s possible more tax money will have to be repaid if the plant’s appeal is successful.

2020-21 school schedule

Board members and those present at the meeting offered their input on the proposed school calendar for next year. 

With Christmas falling on a Friday, consideration was given whether or not to hold school on Monday, Dec. 21 and Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Picquet said that two-day stretch could be a good time to hold the booster’s holiday basketball tournament. He said it would be possible to still have school and the tournament.

Several noted that with Dec. 21 and 22 being early in the week, people will likely work up until the holiday. Dismissing school those days could create a problem with daycare for those workers.

Other consideration was given on what day to start school. Tentatively, students would come back to school on Friday, Aug. 14. 

If the start of school was delayed one day, it would carry the school year into the third week of May. 

Picquet said they like to have that Friday start so high school kids get adjusted to their schedule. Then, if changes need to be made, counselors and administrators can make those changes over that weekend, versus getting bombarded with changes throughout the first week.

Picquet said he’d bring some options back to the board to consider at their February meeting. 

 

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