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School board tabs April 4 for ground-breaking

Search for Gallagher’s successor as Madras High School principal continues
General Editor
   March 26, 2003 — Ground-breaking for a $15.8 million project to expand Madras High School and convert Buff Annex back into an elementary school has been slated for 10 a.m., Friday, April 4, it was announced at Monday night's 509-J Board of Directors' meeting.
   Meanwhile, the search for a new MHS principal continues, following the resignation of Principal Sean Gallagher, who has accepted a position in Hermiston. Supt. Phil Riley said the closing date for applications is April 10, the school board will interview the final two or three candidates May 12, and decide who to hire.
   Board members Tom Norton and Jim Manion will not be seeking re-election on May 20, and several people have filed to run for those positions. Running for Position 4 are, Wayne Marshall, Lyle Rehwinkel, Shawn Gaddy-Winsor, and Fred Starkel. Those seeking Position 5 include Mike McHaney, Julie Quaid, Tammy Ellenburg, and Mary Jo Deuel.
   During citizen comments, Warm Springs Education Committee member JoAnn Smith expressed "heart-felt thanks for Jim Manion's time on the board from the community of Warm Springs and the education committee."
   Vocational education teacher Guff Thorpe told board members about the Work and Learn Expo the high school will hold from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., April 10, for the entire student body, funded by an Educational Service District grant.
   Last year's Summer Job Expo was very successful, Thorpe said, noting Kah-Nee-Ta Resort alone hired 30 students from applications turned in at the event.
   This year the event is being expanded to include speakers, seminars on trade schools, and some 30 local employers seeking students to hire.
   Thorpe said representatives from 10 technical schools will be attending, and speaker topics would include workplace ethics, personal ethics, and OSHA and employer's responsibilities.
   Students will create "pocket resumes" at the event, which they will be able to use when applying for jobs.
   Assistant Supt. Keith Johnson said the district has applied for a science grant that would provide $11 million over a five-year period. The science program would allow high school students to work closely with scientists at Oregon Health Science University, and provide training in new science programs for teachers of all grades.
   Urbana Ross, chair of the Warm Springs Education Committee, invited board members to a conference of the Oregon Indian Education Association, April 16 through 18, at Kah-Nee-Ta. Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo will open the conference and tour children's facilities in Warm Springs.
   The topic of a policy on student fund-raising was discussed again. Suggestions for changes to the proposed policy included requiring parents to sign a release that would hold the school district harmless if parents allow kids to go door to door. The clause that 50 percent of funds raised had to stay in the community was objected to by some. The companies from which parent clubs get products generally have a 40-60 profit split, it was noted.
   "The problem with rules and regulations is it's difficult now to ask people to give up fund-raisers when we're asking the public to give as much as they can during the budget crunch," said Board Chair Bob Ringering.
   Manion suggested a policy be implemented, then reviewed after one year to see if it was working well.
   The board decided to bring the matter to a vote at the next meeting after suggested changes to the policy were made.
   In other business, the board voted to raise the Driver's Education fee for students who already have a license, but are taking the class. The state will no longer reimburse the district for those students, so the extra cost of $150 will be passed on to them.
   The board approved a $830 donation from the Madras Elementary Parent Club to be used to purchase extra supplies for the school.
   Under personnel, the resignations of long-time teacher Everett Griffith and counselor Phyllis Griffith, and alternative ed teacher Sue Thomas were approved. They will finish out the year under temporary contracts. Long-time classified employee Sharon Hillis will also be retiring, but it was approved to hire her back on contract to work 1,039 hours next year.