Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

Popular Randolph Elementary events are recognized

RANDOLPH — Members of the Randolph Board of Education praised Principal Mary Miller for activities at the elementary during the Nov. 11 regular monthly board meeting.

Miller reported “the school was rockin’” during the recent math night, which was well attended by students, parents and grandparents. She added, there was a large turnout of high school students who helped run activities and provided leadership for students who were not accompanied by an adult. A slideshow of the evening is available at the school’s website,

A reading night will be held Nov. 19, at 6 p.m., with separate activities for parents and children, including informational sessions for parents and a campfire theme for the students, featuring George Bradley for musical entertainment.

“Thanks for all the work you’re doing,” said Board Member Jim Scott.  “The kids are pretty fired up about the reading program.”

Superintendent Jeff Hoesing said he would like to echo Scott’s comments and added the math night was amazing.

Furthermore, Hoesing said, Miller has set up teacher training ahead of time for the 20 new iPads the elementary will be putting in students’ hands after Christmas. The teachers are getting comfortable with them, and the school is “really pumped” to have this new technology.

In other elementary events, Red Ribbon Week was highlighted by a speaker, Bryan Bach, who addressed the students on what it takes to be a hero, said Miller.

“He did a very nice job. It was awesome to see a Randolph graduate talk to the kids,” said Miller.

Kathy Wilke’s science class was also recognized Monday night. She has incorporated many guest speakers into her classroom, said Principal Miller, including an eye doctor, Jackie Steffen on incubating eggs, and Randy and Maggie Korth and Patrick Cowsert on farming and soil care. Miller said she is impressed by the local people that Wilke has found to visit the classroom.

On the junior–senior high school side, Principal Dennis Bazata reported on several recent events including the Veterans’ Day program Monday, a teacher in-service Nov. 8, and the first quarter honors breakfast for high school honor roll students.

Mike Carnes, editor of the “Wayne Herald,” did an outstanding job as a speaker for a 7–12 assembly about sexual abuse, said Principal Bazata.

First semester teacher evaluations are presently underway, said Bazata.

As for school activities, there will be a basketball jamboree game at Madison Nov. 26, at 5:30 p.m., varsity only, with proceeds going toward the Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame.

Bazata announced that Derek Gall, Jacob Rath and Adrianne Kruger were selected for All State Music, and he offered his congratulations to the fall activities and teams, saying they were “all very successful.”

The winter sports participants for wrestling and boys and girls basketball)are yet to be determined, said Bazata.

Four freshman and four sophomores will be attending the Sportsmanship and Leadership Summit with Principal Bazata in the near future.

The school received $1,485 from the Pepsi “Dew It for Your School” program. The funds will be used to offset new uniform costs.

Superintendent Hoesing reported, with the recent in-service, he was able to observe the groups in action for the first time. These are the groups and subcommittees that have been formed to focus on various aspects of the school from policy to curriculum to crisis management. Hoesing said he was able to see the merit in these groups and was impressed that the teachers each brought something they wanted to discuss to the individual meetings.

Hoesing mentioned he feels very positively about the Crisis Team after the new training the members recently received.

“I feel like they are on the same page, and they have to, if there is a crisis, they have to be,”  said Hoesing.

This is a strong group that is well prepared, he said.

The installation of the security cameras is essentially finished, reported Hoesing, for both buildings. As time goes on, the schools may add more cameras as needed, but the system is currently up and running.

Jim Scott raised a question about $12,000 recently spent on technology. Hoesing explained the school will be reimbursed through Title V money through a yearly federal grant for technology purchases. Hoesing reported that 20 iPads will be used at the elementary by staff and students, one iPad by the elementary principal, and another will be employed at the high school on an experimental basis to see how it measures up to two other devices recently acquired: a Chromebook (using Google Docs, which is free office software, or “freeware”) and a Microsoft Surface with detachable keyboard. These devices can function in the high school as laptops without hard drives, utilizing “cloud” storage instead.

Progress will be made in the upcoming months to transform the elementary kitchen into a band room, which is its current function. Equipment previously needed for kitchen operations will be posted online for sale, and alternatives will be explored to modify the area to “look less like a kitchen and more like a band room,” said Hoesing.

The board received acceptance from Jeff Bermel for the head of maintenance position. Salary and benefits will be finalized, and a formal approval will follow at December’s board meeting.

The board plans to tackle the school board policies and agreed to employ Perry Law Firm to help with the process.

Hoesing presented the board with a letter to be mailed to families who are currently optioned out of the school district or who have been in recent past. The letter contains a survey to discover what some of the reasons for sending children to other school districts might be.

The board accepted the 2012-13 financial audit as well as a 60-month copier service agreement with a company named Marco, Sioux City.

The board also accepted the modified 2014–15 salary schedule.