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Filing dates for Marshall Board of Education set, district discusses new building proposals

Monday, November 19, 2012

During updates from staff members Monday evening at the Marshall Board of Education meeting, two players from the Marshall High School football team presented a signed ball to the board. Both Marc Plummer and Berry Benedick noted this year's success -- the team having gone 6-5 for the season and 3-3 in the conference. They attributed that to Coach Jon Stockman. This was Stockman's first year as head coach, and the students stated the team was more like a family.
(Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)
Members of the Marshall Board of Education once again traced the subject of new school buildings during their regular meeting Monday, Nov. 19, but didn't outline a specific plan.

Board President Kathy Green requested further input from the board. That input ranged from transforming the current high school into a middle school to whether the district should construct one building for Kindergarten through fifth grade, or split elementary into two separate structures.

"I don't want to pass up any chance to talk about it," Green said.

Board member Mike Mills questioned whether putting first through fifth grade in the current high school was practical. He considered if a new high school was to be built, the MHS building could easily transition into a middle school for sixth through eighth grade.

"We wouldn't have to spend any money on the building," he said. "It's already got the gym ... the locker rooms, things a middle school needs."

With that plan, Bueker Middle School could possibly house third through fifth grades. This could allow the district to remove the annex and a trailer, with some room for expansion.

"It wouldn't be my perfect (choice)," he said, but offered it as another idea.

Board member Larry Godsey also added some ideas, favoring the proposal to build an elementary campus.

"I just don't like spending forty-some million dollars to retrofit (Marshall High School)," Godsey said.

The board thinks an elementary building for up to fifth grade could be built within the district's bonding capacity. Anita Wright's reservations stem from putting all district students on one site.

"I think we need to buy some land and do the elementary thing like we thought," she said. "I think what we had lined up last time was ... good."

An additional concern is Bueker Middle School's accessibility for students with special needs.

The ballot issue was voted down five times in the past decade. Ultimately, board members requested Superintendent Ryan Huff research the costs for a new elementary building in order for them to look at tangible figures. He'll also look into the possibility of additional property as an alternative to one of his proposals for an all-district campus.

The board did take action on some items Monday, including setting the filing dates for those interested in sitting on the board. Those dates are Tuesday, Dec. 11, through Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. Kathy Green will be up for re-election as well as member Mike Mills. Both seats are three-year terms.

In other news, a request from Orearville School District for a football cooperative wasn't approved. After discussion and hearing from Principal Lance Tobin, one seventh-grade student won't participate in Bueker Middle School football.

Administrators' biggest concern is the precedent the decision might make, as out-of-district students could possibly take the place of Marshall students on athletic teams.

Tobin requested the board make a consistent decision for the year, not a decision solely based on one student.

Board members approved early graduation for 20 students, as well as the library program review. According to a report from district librarians, the program serves 2,362 students and 353 staff members.

After their regular meeting board members went into closed session.

In closed session, the board accepted the resignations of Judy Denton, assistant cross country coach; Ted Denton, head cross country coach; Denise Ripley, Southeast School special services paraprofessional; Brandy Schulte, Bueker Middle School secretary; and Richard White, Prairie View bus monitor.

The board approved the employment of Ashalyn Ellis, Southeast paraprofessional; Saira Guzman, Southeast paraprofessional; Mary Jo Cramer, volunteer assistant swim coach; Sandy McGrath, BMS Secretary, and Michael Ponds, Prairie View bus monitor.

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m. The next regular board meeting will be Monday, Dec. 17.

Contact Sarah Reed at

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The same old ideas are going to give you the same results. The school board needs to quit proposing the same plan that the community has said no to over and over and over. I really like the plan that Mike Mills discussed in the article. I could see the community getting excited about building a new high school and doing it on the land we already own.

-- Posted by JM24 on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 8:28 PM

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