The Ladysmith School Board voted 6-0, last Wednesday, to approve a $12,500 purchase of new football team uniforms.
The purchase will be through Chippewa Valley Sporting Goods of Eau Claire.
Sports programs are on a 5 year revolving replacement schedule, according to School District Administrator Paul Uhren.
“This is a bigger [purchase] than normal,” Uhren said. “Football is an expensive sport.”
The money is built into the athletic budget for this purchase.
“We actually got six years out of the uniforms we have, but they are starting to rip and fall apart,” Coach Kirk Yudes. “We are going to get a little more life out those uniforms with the middle school students wearing them because they need uniforms as well.”
Students will fundraise an additional $2,500 to order 60 uniforms total, according to Yudes.
The total athletic budget for the school district is $257,000 for the 2017-18 school year and $232,000 for the 2016-17 school year. This includes transportation, coaches salaries, referees and all additional elements of the school’s athletic program.
Over the last few years, the board has bought uniforms for basketball, softball and swimming.
“It is a huge shock number, but you have to realize overall usually you have more athletes out for football than basketball,” Yudes said. “We could go cheaper but they aren’t going to last and we would be back to square one in a year or two and looking at buying new ones.”
Yudes described the uniforms as heavy duty and seem like they are going to last. He said the uniforms are guaranteed for three years before they are cycled out, meaning the school district will be able to get small orders of replacement uniforms.
Uhren told the board transportation spending for next school year is still unknown because of a state biennium budget that still has not been passed. He added he will include some transportation in the local school budget for academic organizations.
School board member Chrysa Ostenso spoke in support of spending on academic organizations. She noted the school has about 250 participants in athletics, some counted more than once because they play multiple sports.
The total cost breaks down to about $1,000 per athlete per school year.
“A lot of people complain about spending money on sports, but that really isn’t that much for all they are getting,” Ostenso said. “I would hope we can find the resources to put the same type of financial commitment in for the other organizations.”
Uhren told the board the high school was not awarded a 21st Century Grant for the second straight year. He said there is less money available and more schools applying, increasing the level of competition.
Equipment is also cycled out like helmets and shoulder pads, which are certified for a set number of years.
Also at the meeting, the board voted 5-0 to re-approve up to $600,000 in short term borrowing from Security Financial Bank for cash flow purposes. The board passed a similar resolution last fall, but several issues arose over the paperwork, voiding that action. Uhren told the board the paperwork actually had been completed correctly, but this new action is still needed. School districts often short term borrow to pay bills between state aid receipts from the state
Also at the meeting, the board interviewed three candidates who applied to fill a vacancy. The applicants were Steve Jansen, Stephanie Monskey and Melissa Rudack. Board members voted and Rudack was approved with 4 votes for the position. Jansen received 2 votes and Monskey received none. Rudack will serve one year until the next spring election in April 2020. At that time an election will be held for three 3-year terms and the remaining two years of the term of the seat now held by Rudack.
Applicants were asked a series of three questions, one of which was why each wanted to serve on the school board.
Monskey told the board she is interested in how the board works and has children in the school district.
“Education is very important to me. I couldn’t be more pleased with the education they have gotten this far,” Monskey said. “It would be interesting to make decisions and help make decisions for the future.”
Rudack told the board she has children attending school in Ladysmith and the future of the district is important.
“Education is where my passion is,” Rudack said. “I am very passionate in ensuring the younger members of the community get the best education they possibly can.”
Jansen told the board he has been in education almost his entire career, holding positions of teacher, dean of students, assistant principal and athletic director.
“We want to go with what is best for the students, best for the community and best for the staff,” Jansen said. “I think I can add a lot of insight because I have seen it, I have done it and I have been there.”
In other business, the board:
n Reorganized its officers following the spring election with Todd Novakofski, president; Brett Gerber, vice president; Jeff Wallin, treasurer; Chrysa Ostenso, clerk and Gerard Schueller, deputy clerk.
n Approved Security Financial and Local Investment Pool as official depositories.
n Approved Ladysmith News as the official newspaper.
n Approved WLDY/WJBL as the office radio station.
n Approved Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy as the school attorney.
n Made committee appointments of Linda Detra, CESA representative; Todd Novakofski, Fogerty Scholarship; Jeff Wallin , staff salary; Gerard Schueller and Linda Detra, employee handbook; Linda Detra and Melissa Rudack, LEEF; Chrysa Ostenso, Todd Novakofski and Jeff Wallin as city council representatives.
n Appointed Gerard Schueller to hand out diplomas with possible help from Jeff Wallin.
n Approved fundraisers for LES Let Me Run Fundraiser, LHS Football and LHS Band and Choir.
n Approved the employment of Sue Vandoorn as senior class adviser, Steve Alberson as assistant football coach and Emily Dau as elementary music teacher.
n Approved the resignation of Elementary Principal Andrew Grimm, who has accepted a school district administrator job in Winter after six years in Ladysmith.
n Approved the transfer of Anne Hoesly from 4K to second grade.