Overstreet confirms desire to return for one more year

Ennis Public Schools Superintendent John Overstreet told the school’s board of trustees that he is interested in returning for the 2014-15 school year at the board’s Jan. 15 meeting.

“If you feel it is in the best interest of the district, I would be happy to stay on for one more year,” he told the board.

Board chairman John Scully said the news we music to his ears and although the trustees have expressed interest in having him return, one condition of Overstreet’s contract is that the district has to advertise the position for other eligible candidates. Scully said the condition is in place because Overstreet came out of retirement to work for the district a couple of years ago. Overstreet explained further that under law—MCA 19-20-732—a district could hire someone who has retired if there are no other qualified applicants. The law states that the retired person can collect retirement and salary for up to three years and that the district must advertise for the position each year.

Ginger Martello, school clerk, said the position would be posted online for a month and the board members agreed they would all review the applicants and form a committee to handle contract negotiations. Scully added he would like to keep the 10-year experience requirement in the job posting, saying that he feels it is still very necessary for the school administrator.

In other school board business, the board learned more about plans to improve and change the front entryway to the high school, replace a number of windows throughout the facility and address issues with the space between the elementary and high school buildings.

Overstreet told the trustees that the district was informed through an energy audit that the facility needs to replace windows with more energy efficient ones. He also said that while they are doing that, the windows will also get an added safety feature with protective glass that is harder to smash.

“We will get some ideas and cost estimates next week,” Overstreet said. “We will get it done this summer.”

Scully said his main concern was the current entry dynamics of the school, including the high school entryway. Trustee Maria Lake said she felt security was something the architect needed to include in his plan.

“It is irresponsible of us if we do not pay attention to what is going on with this issue and these kinds of risks,” Scully said. “We are required to take a look. We know we have to do something.”

The board also approved hiring additional substitute staff and fall activity coaches at the meeting.

New substitute staff includes Janet Palmer, custodian and school kitchen; Melody Clark, teacher; Cassie Woosley, teacher; and Brittany Stanton, teacher.

Cori Koenig, Jay Fredrickson and Betty Klein were hired back as coaches at the recommendation of the school’s activities director, Paul Bills.

“I would like to see them all have the opportunity to continue,” Bills said.

He added he felt each had achieved success with their respective programs this fall, which included a state championship for Fredrickson, a full cross country team for Koenig and what Bills called Klein’s best year of coaching as head of the volleyball program.

The next Ennis School Board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 12 at 5 p.m.

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