Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1100503

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 19, 2014

Committee forms

Vision Iowa grant sought for auditorium
By Xiomara Levsen | Jan 09, 2014
At the Washington school board meeting Wednesday, four foreign exchange students gave a presentation about their countries. There are four foreign exchange students attending Washington High School this year. Sultan Khan, of Pakistan, is dressed in his native dress. Sitting behind him is Altyn Shaikhova, of Kazakhstan, who is also wearing a piece of traditional clothing from her country. Not pictured are Salome Kapandze, of Georgia, and Hannah Purner, of Austria.

The Washington school board approved a resolution for an auditorium advisory committee at their board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
“Having this committee operate under the board will make the Vision Iowa process work more effectively and allow them to apply for that grant,” said Washington Community School District’s business manager, Jeff Dieleman. They would make recommendations to the board about the design of the auditorium.
“The auditorium committee has taken several steps for this Vision Iowa grant,” said WCSD superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen. “You’ve probably noticed in the paper they’ve received a commitment from the city council, they’ve received a commitment from the supervisors; this is also another one of the steps. I think this is the final step they need to submit the Vision Iowa Grant.”
Jorgensen asked how much the Vision Iowa Grant would be for and Dieleman said $1.3 million.
Washington Economic Development Director Ed Raber said the Vision Iowa board tends not to approve grants for projects at school districts. However, Vision Iowa has approved grants for community-based initiatives. By having the advisory committee appointed through the school board with community members who aren’t necessarily tied to the school district, it would help show the auditorium is something the community is working on, Raber said.
Board member Ericka Raber asked if there was room in the resolution to describe the makeup of the committee and the auditorium. Dieleman said the board had to be very careful because the board has to maintain control of the facility to protect its tax base.
“It would be nice to get some people on here who are either parents of kids that age or maybe more students that could help,” Ericka said.
The list of members of the advisory committee came from Washington Betterment Committee, which has been working to raise the funds for the auditorium, but other people could be appointed to the advisory committee, Dieleman said.
Board member Stephanie Ellingson asked if the board could approve the resolution separate from approving the advisory committee members.
“If you want to do the committee members at a later date, that’s fine,” Dieleman said. “But you don’t want to have a committee established and not have it staffed.”
Board member Troy Suchan said he thought it would be a good idea to appoint the list of committee members because they have done the fundraising work. In less than six months the board would review the committee members again and new members could be appointed.
A motion for approving the resolution and advisory committee members was approved. There were no dissenting votes.
There are 12 members of the auditorium advisory committee: WCSD technology director Jeff Brock, community members Ken Hanson, Karen Moenck, John Moenck, Gene Driscoll, Dianne Gray, Dr. Michael Kramme, Gary McCurdy, Jan Gallagher, Jean Potratz, Robert Youngquist, Millie Youngquist, and Rachel Nicola.
Other items covered at the school board meeting were:
approving a recommendation from the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) for students to be allowed to drive to the Kirkwood Regional Center next fall. Parents would have to sign a permission sheet allowing their child to drive and a shuttle will still be provided to those students who don’t transport themselves;
and heard from the teacher leadership committee about the process of setting up teacher leadership committees in each building. A grant is being submitted by the district to the Iowa Department of Education, Jorgensen said. This grant would go toward teacher stipends and would bring additional positions to the district.
The next school board meeting will be held at Lincoln Elementary School on Feb. 12, at 7 p.m.

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