There was a changing of the guard for the Atlantic School District’s Board of Education, Monday night.
From the left: Josh McLaren leads the new Atlantic School Board session; Superintendent Mike Amstein; Dr. Keith Swanson & Jenny Williams.
New Board members Alison Bruckner, Keith Swanson and Jenny Williams were sworn-in, Josh McLaren was elected Board President, and former Board President Kristy Pellett was elected Vice President. Olivia Newburg, Secretary to Superintendent Mike Amstein, was elected Treasurer, and Mary Beth Fast was re-elected to the Board Secretary’s Position.
Prior to the new board taking their seats, the retiring Board, consisting of Dennis Davis, Phil Hascall and Rod Hartwig, were recognized for their years of service and provided with a plaque.
Kristy Pellett made the presentations. First up to receive recognition and an award, was Hartwig, who’s served for the past four-years.
Rodney Hartwig receives recognition from departing Board President Kristy Pellett.
Phil Hascall just received a plaque for his years of Board service.
Next came Phil Hascall, who has been a member of the Atlantic School Board for 13-years.
And finally, Dennis Davis was recognized for his 29-years of service. Pellett said she called the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) to ask who the longest tenured board members were in the State. Unfortunately, they don’t keep a list of that nature. But they did say, that when the IASB switched over to digital records, there were one or two persons who started their service in 1970.
Kristy Pellet congratulates Dennis Davis.
Dennis Davis started on the Atlantic School Board in September, 1986. He was one of a few that started in the 1980’s, so Pellett said she “Can safely says he’s in the top ten of longest tenured Board members in the State, to which Davis replied “That shows you how old I am,” a comment which drew laughs from those in attendance.
Afterward, Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein thanked each of the three retiring Board Members for the work they have done. He said each one brought a specific area of expertise to the Board, along with a specific point of view, and “Without that, we couldn’t have accomplished the things that you’ve been able to do.” He said the board hasn’t always agreed with each other and the administration, but the students have always been first and foremost in their sights.
Rod Hartwig welcomed the new Board and challenged them to keep in touch with the District’s School Principals to learn about the programs and process involved with education. Hascall said he’ll miss the experience, because of the support the district and education has received from the community. Dennis Davis said for him, the Board has come full circle with the election of Dr. Keith Swanson, because Davis replaced Swanson on the Board 29-years ago. He had this piece of advice for the new board members: Listen…listen before you speak, because…your first year you don’t know anything…listen, and talk to people. Good luck.”
The new Board then proceeded with business, and decided to set chnage the date and time of Board meetings and work sessions from Monday’s at 7:30-p.m. to the second and fourth Wednesday’s of the month at 5:30-p.m., effective Sept. 30th, due to some scheduling issues. In other business, the new Atlantic School Board approved the 2015 FFA Convention Trip to Louisville, KY, and a 28-E agreement with the Griswold School District for a Fiscal Year 2016 Industrial Technology class.