PC School Board considering school resource officer
by Brooke Pankonin
Sheriff Jim Brueggeman of the Perkins County Sheriff’s Office made a presentation to the Perkins County School Board during their meeting on Monday, March 20 proposing an inter-local agreement for a school resource officer (SRO.)
Brueggeman and proposed SRO Angel Anderson met at an earlier date with Superintendent Phillip Picquet and Junior and High School Principal Dean Friedel to discuss the position’s potential. Brueggeman said he and Picquet had been discussing it for some time, as it seems they are up there more and more dealing with “some, not all students.”
Brueggeman presented the board with handouts explaining the mission, general duties, desired outcomes and contract terms, as well what is expected by both the sheriff’s office and the school.
Brueggeman said the mission of the program would be to foster positive relationships, provide educational services and prevent crime.
The general duties of the SRO would include classroom presentations addressing alcohol/drug abuse, date rape, domestic violence, etc., building relationships, providing conflict resolution when needed, being a presence to prevent potential issues, patrolling school grounds, responding to law enforcement problems, investigating crimes and promoting a safe environment.
“The biggest thing is being here and being a visible sight. Having the students know we’re around is maybe going to ward off that kid who thinks he’s going to bring some marijuana to school and sell it to a friend or bring some oxycodone to school or whatever the case may be,” said Brueggeman.
If this is something the school board decides to move forward with, PCSO will provide Anderson with training specific for SROs and work cooperatively with the school to implement the program.
Anderson would remain an employee of PCSO and the school would not be responsible for her salary or wages. Brueggeman said she has a “really good personality and a good rapport with the students already.”
She would work directly with the school administration, spending 25 percent of her time at the school, generally four days per week for 2.5 hours, subject to emergencies.
The proposed contract rate, which would be just over $10,000 annually and cover K-12, was found by multiplying the per capita rate and the population of the high school. The initial contract would be for two years.
Picquet said he is in favor of the proposal. He had initially approached Brueggeman to see what his thoughts were.
“Presence is prevention. We’ll never know how many things we stop from happening because we’re already out in the hallway,” said Picquet regarding teachers’ presence in the hallways between classes.
In his experience with an SRO at his previous school, he saw relationships being built, and students who sometimes felt more comfortable talking to someone with a badge and a gun vs. a principal or counselor when there were things going on inside or outside of school that were not healthy or of concern to the student.
Brueggeman added that they would rather be proactive than reactive, getting ahead of things versus responding to a call.
Board approves contracts, resignation
The board approved a new high school science teaching contract for Kathryn Geitz for $35,256. Originally from Iowa, she is currently teaching in Scottsbluff.
Picquet said Geitz’s passion is science and that came out in her interview.
“I think she’s going to be a great addition to the staff and the kids will really respond to her,” he said.
The board approved Picquet’s superintendent contract with a 2.35 percent salary increase for 2017-2018, raising his annual salary to $128,961.
Judy Kurkowski submitted a letter of resignation for her K-12 vocal music position that she has held for the last 10 years. She said she has many fond memories and to let her know if she could be of any assistance to the new teacher. The board approved the resignation with appreciation for her years of service.
Technology director Renee Seiler said the teacher laptops are now six years old and in bad shape. They salvage everything they can but they now have lost 10. She’s looking at going with units similar to the students’ laptops, but with larger hard drives.
Seiler also discussed the students’ laptop cases, and possibly taking a different direction once the warranty is up next year. She said although the cases do a good job of protecting the computers, the cases themselves are in bad shape.
Ten iPads were purchased with the intent to have six at the elementary and four at the junior/senior high, however all 10 went to the elementary due to the need.
Other Items Discussed
• The doors are now installed between the two gyms.
• TeamMates Coordinator Larry Pritchett gave an update on the TeamMates program. There are currently 19 mentors, and most meet with sixth and seventh grade students over the lunch hour. Pritchett said they are still trying to iron out schedules and have a plan in place for when students are absent.
• The board approved the classified employee job descriptions and standards.
• The board reviewed the balances of the general, lunch, special building, depreciation and activity funds, their projected ending balances by the end of the fiscal year on 8/31, and how they compare to last year’s ending balances.
• They began reviewing and approving the updated policies purchased through KSB School Law, and will continue to do so throughout the year.
April’s meeting of the PCS board will be Monday, April 17. There will be no school that day due to Easter break.