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 CAB School Board Makes Little Progress in Search for New Super

November 28, 2007 - More than five months after David McGuire resigned as superintendent of the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation, the CAB School Board has made little progress in finding a permanent replacement.

At the school board's November 20 meeting, The Banner requested an update on the board's search for a new superintendent. Board President Mike Fruth said he had just received a letter from Lee Harman of Ball State University, a member of the four-person consulting team the board has agreed to have help it search for a new superintendent.

According to Fruth, Harman's letter said application documents for the superintendent's position have been prepared. He said Harman proposed meeting with board members in a private executive session on Thursday, April 10, to go over the search and hiring processes.

Harman and the University Team, which also includes representatives from Indiana, Indiana State and Purdue universities, were instrumental in helping CAB locate McGuire, who took over as CAB's superintendent in July 2006. At least two CAB School Board members told The Banner after McGuire was hired that they had not been advised during the search process that Harman had been McGuire's former supervisor and immediate predecessor as superintendent of Warsaw Community Schools, the job he held before coming to CAB.

Fruth said at last week's meeting that he thought it would be a good idea to hold an open forum in January or February to get input from the public on the search process. Board member Kevin Knott said he thought the forum should be held separate from the board's regular meetings, a point on which Fruth said he agreed, and that the board's policies restricting the amount of public comment should be waived for that event.

Board member Debi Ware asked Fruth if board members would once again be going to CAB's schools to get input employee input regarding the search, and Fruth said that would be for the board to decide. Knott said he thought that would be a good idea.

Since McGuire left CAB in early July, Ray Pavy has served as the corporation's interim superintendent. CAB pays $525 day to Educational Service Company, an Indianapolis firm that placed Pavy, a retired former long-time official with the New Castle Community School Corporation, with CAB. As of Tuesday afternoon, the CAB superintendent vacancy had still not been posted on the Indiana Department of Education's website, or with job listings on CAB's own website.

In other business, the board approved as part of single vote on their "consent agenda" several unidentified personnel matters. Although board members had received paperwork prior to last week's meeting detailing the personnel decisions they were being asked to OK, that information was not disclosed during last week's meeting for the benefit of those in attendance.

According to a copy of board materials CAB provided to The Banner, the personnel matters approved by the board last week included two resignations. David Blower has resigned as the boys tennis coach at Knightstown High School, and Kristin Crawford is stepping down as girls track coach at Knightstown Intermediate School.

The board's vote on personnel matters also approved six coaching assignments and the appointment of four athletic volunteers. Coaches approved by the board's vote were Donnie Martin (KHS baseball, head), Joe Patton (KHS baseball, asst.), Angela Jackson (KHS softball, head), Starr Keller (KHS softball, asst.) Vickie Rhodes (KHS girls track, asst.) and CAB Athletic Director Dave Bradford (KHS boys golf). The approved volunteers were Jim Kayajan (baseball), Todd Cleek (baseball), Carey Ellis (baseball) and Bob Hahn (wrestling).

In another personnel matter, KIS teacher Tom Crawford, president of the local classroom teacher's association, again told the board CAB's elementary schools still need a social worker for students. He provided documentation from elementary teachers identifying the number of students they feel are in need of social services.

The board accepted a bid from Voris Construction for snow removal this winter. Business Manager David Bundy said Voris' bid was $175 for each clearing after two inches of snow fall, with double charged if more than one pass over the parking lot is required for deep snow. The other bid, from Smoot's Lawncare, was $395 per plow.

Bundy also advised board members that three bids were received for CAB's liability, property and casualty insurance. The bids - from Indiana Insurance, Hanover Insurance, and Zurick - were all submitted by the Pfenninger Agency in New Castle, CAB's current agent for Indiana Insurance. Former superintendent McGuire had dropped CAB's long-time local agent, Leakey Insurance, for Pfenninger as one of his last "official acts," directing Indiana Insurance to make the change on June 13, the same day he submitted his own letter of resignation to CAB.

According to a summary Bundy prepared for board members, Indiana Insurance had the lowest annual premium at $127,128. Hanover's yearly premium was $131,708, while Zurich's was $157,552. Even when special terrorism coverage was added, Indiana still had the lowest cost. Board members are expected to make a decision on this issue at their December 18 meeting.

Bundy also advised the board last week that CAB had received notification from the county that the state has given the school corporation permission to destroy certain older records that state law no longer requires to be kept, due to their age. According to records The Banner obtained from the Henry County Clerk, CAB sought permission to destroy an estimated 168 cubic feet of records. (Imagine a container four feet deep that measures six feet by seven feet on the sides filled with records. - Ed.)

Records provided by the Henry County Commission on Public Records identified the records CAB wants to destroy as including old bank statements payroll check registers, payroll deduction reports, purchase orders, receipts, cancelled checks, fund/revenue reports, time cards, claim vouchers and claim dockets, among other things. In response to a question from Knott, Bundy said records regarding construction of KHS will be kept.

The board approved minutes from its October 16 meeting, including a correction noted by Knott, and OK’d payment of $1,385,412.43 in claims. At Knott’s urging, the board agreed The Banner should not have to pay more than $50 for copies of records The Banner had requested prior to the school board’s approval of a copy fee in October.


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