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Citizens speak to board


   Applicants for a combined assistant principal/athletic director position will be interviewed March 12, it was announced at Monday night's 509-J Board of Directors meeting.
   The several applications which have been received will go through a screening and interview committee.
   Board members were reminded of the parent informational meetings being held at the three elementary schools involved in a possible reconfiguration.
   Parent meetings are set for 7 p.m., March 13, at Westside Elementary; 7 p.m., March 14, at Madras Elementary; and 7 p.m., March 20, at Buff Elementary.
   An informational meeting for the public is scheduled for 7 p.m., March 22, at Jefferson County Middle School.
   During citizen comments, P.E. teacher Michael McGinnis said that Madras Elementary is the only school of the three built as a grade school, with lower drinking fountains, etc.
   "Why should Buff Elementary be the kindergarten through second grade building when Madras Elementary is better built for smaller kids?" McGinnis questioned.
   High school teacher Chris Scranton read a letter to the board expressing his frustrations with drawn-out teacher contract negotiations. "I hope, along with many others, that the next mediation session leads to a contract that both parties can live with," he said.
   Teacher Cary Varela expressed her concerns about elementary school reconfiguration plans. She said moving from three to just two elementaries would make schools too crowded and teaching difficult.
   On the Willow Creek Community High School plan, she was concerned that two full-time teachers would be lost from MHS. "Those teachers serve 160 students or more," she noted.
   Parent Erin Reil complained to board members about the girls volleyball team's skimpy uniforms.
   "The Spandex and Lycra shorts are inappropriate attire," she said, adding, "We need to set a higher moral standard."
   Business teacher Bonnie Grote gave a report on MHS's career and technical education program, done in conjunction with COCC, which allows high school students to earn college credit.
   It was mentioned MHS has a high number of students enrolled in the tech prep classes, compared to other area high schools. For the 2005-06 year, MHS had 161 students enrolled, who earned 484 college credits. Those students only paid $20 per course, which resulted in a $25,864 savings over regular COCC tuition charges.