Hargis joins South school board


Southmont schools welcomed new board of trustees member Cody Hargis.

On Monday, corporation attorney Dan Taylor administered the oath of office to Hargis before the regular board meeting. Hargis replaces Kyle Blaydes, the Scott Township representative, whose resignation was effective Jan. 22.

Interim superintendent Dr. Carrie Milner remarked on several items during her report. She noted the student count had grown by four to reach 1,567 students. Discussions are underway to add a second student resource officer and to replace copiers and Chromebooks.

Milner also thanked retiring elementary teacher Joni Long for her 38 years of service as an educator.

The board approved three field trips. The Business Professionals of America club students will attend a leadership conference in Indianapolis in March. The Southmont FFA had two trips approved, including the Lake Land College trip in March and the Marshall-Putnam Fairground trip in April.

The NEOLA Policy 9130 was approved at the meeting. Policy 9130 sets the guidelines to evaluate public concerns, comments and complaints about the corporation or its employees while being impartial and showing fairness.

In personnel matters, Long’s retirement was approved. Betsy Teague, Director of Technology, was moved from an hourly to a salaried employee.

Resignations were approved for Megan Sperry, technology; and instructional aides, Heather Wilkinson and Vanessa Jones.

The board approved hiring Donita Patton, long-term sub in English; Marci Huckstep, maternity sub for social studies; Tom Bowersock, homebound teacher; Cierra Wright, instructional aide; Chelsea Buis, instructional aide; Rachel Scott, academic team co-coach; and Shelby Olofson, academic team co-coach.

The board has three executive meetings in February to consider prospective employees, discuss the implementation of safety and security matters and work with an outside consultant to examine their roles as public officials.

The next public meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 11.