Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie

Aztec School Board Meeting 3/13/18


March 16, 2018

For a final time the Aztec Municipal School Board President Wayne Ritter called to order the AMSB monthly meeting at 6:02 on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Doc Hall AHS principal leads the pledge. Appproval of agenda and minutes follows.

Special recognition of the AHS 'Den' was postponed until the 4/12 meeting due to schedueling conflicts.

Item 3B brought up J.J Griegos of Griegos Professional Services, Albuquerque (GPS) who presented a financial audit report. Three main areas of school district spending were presented; the Auditor's Report, Internal Controls Report and Major Programs Report. According to Griegos the over-all audit, "Went very smooth...there was no finding of non-compliance when it comes to state financial statutes." Aztec School District is mandated to change financial auditor companies every 3 to 6 years. This is the first year GPS has been contracted. According to Griegos, Aztec School District paid approximately $30,000 for the service which takes about a five month period to complete, Griegos said, "It's a process of checks and balances...Overall the financial outlook of the district is in fine shape."

Next on the menu; Three AHS students presented a power point presentation outlining an idea to have their on-line gaming club (Aztec High E-Sports) become a recognized, santioned part of school sports curiculem. AHS Junior Alexis Acrey argued that by recognizing and sponsoring the AHE the school and students would benefit from the on-line gaming activities because a santioned E-Sports League would be eligible for more activity funding. Higher test scores are incentified by the same rules as baseball, football or any other extra curicular sport. Thirdly, Acrey claimed that students particpating in sanctioned on-line gaming sports could be eligible for scholarships. Board member Ryan Lake expressed concern that students would access "inapropriate games" but conceded, "Video games are not going away, we have to find a way to embrace this kind of technology." Currently, there are about 10 students who are active members of the club which has access to a computor lab on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4:00.

The board offered Ms. Acrey a job upon graduation and commended the young people for their initiative and moved to continue to monitor their progress.

Item 4 was the election of new Aztec School Board officers. Wayne Ritter stepped down as president and recieved praise for his 20 plus years of service to the community. Ritter said, "It was time for someone else to step up and do the job, but I'm not dying or anything, I'll still be around."

The board elected Roger Collins as president. "Thank you for your confidence, if I do anything not in keeping with the office well, just fire me" Collins said. Although he was at home sick and not present at the meeting Jimmy Dusenberry was elected vice-president. Amid the light-hearted banter of her colleagues Fran Dobey was elected as secratary.

Item 5 included three travel requests, Lydia Rippey kindergarten teachers Ms. Miller and Ms. McClure secured permission to take 100 Kindergarteners to the Albuquerque Zoo. Debbie Klien presented on behalf of the AHS Key Club a request to travel to Chandler, Arizona for the district Key Club Convention, "We have a great Key Club this year and have done a tremendous amount of service in the community" Klien said. The board unanimously approved the trip. Newly elected Mayor Victor Snover requested permission to take members of the JROTC to Navajo, Arizona to participate in a Cadet Leadership Challenge Camp, according to Snover around 10 schools will participate, "It's a very intense program, we basically run them into the ground for two days." Collins thanked Snover his continued effort and leadership. The board approved the request.

The Personnel Report was submitted by Deputy Superintendent Tania Prokop. The hard copy of the personnel report leads off with the 3/6/18 resignation of McCoy Elementary Principal Dr. Troy Webb. Earlier this week TALON asked for comment about Webb's sudden mid-term resignation Superintendent Kirk Carpenter would only say, "He made a personal decision to resign and that's all there is to say." At the meeting the conversation took on a more subdued tone as board members discussed McCoy Assistant Principal Mr. Jesse Harrison who evidently resigned before Webb but has subsequently retracted his resignation and has taken over as McCoy principal for the remainder of the school year.

Carpenter expertly led the focus away from the topic of unexplained resignations and expressed gratitude to his colleagues for their support during the past school year reiterating his opinion that, "arming teachers is not the answer, more guns is not the answer to school violence."

Director of Tranportation John Laws reported that while the over-all numbers of kids riding the buses has gone down, the numbers should not effect funding. Laws also described an incentive program introduced at Park Avenue Elementary that has proven successful with a reduction in "write-ups" for misbehavior on the buses. By offering extra recess time and treats like hot chocolate,"We went from like, 5 to 10 a week to 7 in two months," said Laws.

Evelyn Garcia reported on the monies recieved from insurance payments, state and federal funding and donations in connection with the AHS tragedy. The basic breakdown is as follows; the school district has recieved $238,648 and has spent $177,423 on added security, repairs, construction and furniture for the 'Den' a collaborative work space located at the site. Monies have also been spent on counseling and is earmarked for future scholarships.

All four Action Items were quickly approved. They included; 2016-2017 Financial Audit, Memorandum of Agreement for Native American Agreement, Vista Nueva and AHS Course Listings.

The board members agreed to meet on April 12, and the meeting was summarily adjourned.


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