Following a lengthy executive session, the Clovis Municipal Schools Board of Education approved the 2008-09 budget and the contract of Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm.
Seidenwurm, Clovis’ superintendent since 2005, was given a two-year contract with an annual salary of $138,700. That is a 2.8 percent increase from last year.
The contract was given on the condition board members received evaluation tools no later than mid-December 2008 and evaulate her with those standards no later than Jan. 27, 2009 — the fourth Tuesday of the month.
Seidenwurm thanked the board for its vote of confidence, and had previously in the meeting given a positive outlook for the upcoming budget.
The upcoming budget is $57,464,451, with about 90 percent going towards salaries. Teachers on average are receiving a 2.95 percent increase.
There were concerns from Seidenwurm previously that large cuts may be necessary to offset the loss of students from personnel drops at Cannon Air Force Base. Seidenwurm had estimated a loss of 400 students as the base transitioned to Air Force Special Operations Command, but the drop was closer to 160 students.
Further, she said, a drop in students across New Mexico bumped up the value of unit credits for Clovis Municipal Schools.
Board Secretary Mark Lansford said he was asked by many citizens what would be done with money saved from installing an artificial grass surface at Leon Williams Stadium. The move is expected to save the district around $87,000 annually, and Seidenwurm said that money would go into the school’s cash balance.
“If our budget had been as thin as I thought it was going to be,” Seidenwurm said, “I would have an absolutely different answer.”
As far as getting rid of the grass at Leon Williams Stadium, the sod was cut into sections and made available for purchase by Clovis residents. The sale brought in $7,400 to offset turf installation costs, and Clovis Schools Operations Director Gene Bieker said it was an easy sale.
“They were lined up well before we opened the gates,” Bieker said.
The Clovis Municipal Schools Board of Education met Tuesday at the school’s administration building:
• The board considered the district’s request for Title I migrant student funds. The district expects about 150 migrant students next year, and will receive $60,000 in funding to employ a person to work with family services on the students behalf.
• Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said the district is looking at hiring four security employees for its schools. Due to manpower reasons, the Clovis Police Department is cutting its resource officers from four to one. That officer, Seidenwurm said, would be located at the Clovis High School Freshman Campus. The four security officers would go to CHS (two) and each of the Clovis middle schools (one each). When the job descriptions were formulated, Seidenwurm said they would be presented to the board.
• The board approved an update of the school’s facilities master plan. Bieker, Seidenwurm and others are going to Tucumcari Thursday for a state capital outlay meeting, where they hope to get funding for projects at Lockwood Elementary, Marshall Middle School, James Bickley Elementary and Bella Vista Arts Academy. Any projects approved at that meeting, Seidenwurm said, would be paid 80 percent through the state and 20 percent through the school district.
• The board approved a three-year deal with Ray Woodard and Associates for the annual audit of the schools at $52,000 annually.
• A three-year subscription to PLATO virtual school programs was approved, with the amount of $226,441 paid through PL8 and Title I funds.
• A contract to re-roof Marshall was approved for $49,269. The increase, Bieker said, was for adding insulation throughout the school.
• The board was presented with a strategic plan. The plan, edited by 27 community members, sets a roadmap for what the schools want to accomplish, and Deputy Superintendent Ladona Clayton said the board had the power to make sure schools follow the plan.
“If we’re not moving these plans forward, you should ask us why not,” Clayton said.
• Lt. Col. John McLaurin of Cannon Air Force Base was recognized for his two years of service as base liason to the schools, and volunteer of the year awards were shared by RooneyMoon Broadcasting and KFCL. RooneyMoon’s contributions include announcing the CHS teen of the week, guest appearances at schools and festivities at sporting events. KFCL was recognized for broadcasting many school events, including plays, sporting events and May’s CHS graduation.