YORK — There was good news for 2012 bond refinancing at the York Public Schools Board of Education Meeting Monday, Jan. 13.
York Public Schools Superintendent Mitch Bartholomew announced at the regularly-scheduled board meeting Monday a pending interest rate lock-in, which would save the District over $1 million. “We will cut a whole year of payment,” Bartholomew said.
As projected, the deal was sealed mid-afternoon Tuesday, facilitated by the District’s Piper Jaffray representative, in concert with the YPS Board of Education. Monies saved by refinancing the 2012 bonds tally $1,021,258 – shifting the District’s final bond payment to December 2030.
“It’s another example of how our Board of Education and this district understand the importance of saving taxpayers money,” Bartholomew said following Tuesday’s official finalization.
Refinancing 2012 bonds has been on YPS Board of Education’s radar for several months.
Monday’s lengthy agenda also included recognizing the retirements of York High School English teacher Chris Holder and YHS Spanish teacher Dennis Haack, along with the resignation of York Elementary School Grades 4 and 5 Resource Teacher Penny Jacobsen. Bartholomew said Jacobsen was departing “pursuing opportunities elsewhere.” Bartholomew and YPS Board members voiced their appreciation of Holder, Haack and Jacobsen’s exceptional service to YPS.
Several 2020-2021 contract decisions were approved: YPS District Administrator Beth Ericson, YES Principal Kris Friesen, YES Assistant Principal Brad Luce, York Middle School Principal Kenny Loosvelt, YHS Principal Jason Heitz, and YHS Assistant Principal/Activities Director Tyler Herman. The board also approved long-term substitute preschool teacher Bethany Deprez’s contract, making her a regular faculty member.
York Public Schools’ 2020-2021 negotiation proposal was considered. Changes hammered out during negotiations include a base salary pay raise of $750, alterations to unused sick leave compensation, and agreement language changes – including specifics that would make benefits for spouses employed at separate school districts more seamless. Negotiations Committee member Barb Skaden said the talks went well, and entailed a great deal of work, collaboration and attention to detail. “We had a lot of meetings,” Skaden said. “There was a lot of give-and-take.”
In other business items, Matt Holthe was unanimously chosen as the YPS Board of Education President, taking the helm from predecessor Amie Kopcho. Bartholomew lauded Kopcho’s leadership during the district’s recent transitions. “We had a big year,” Kopcho responded. “It was a good year.”
Jim Hoffmann was unanimously selected as YPS Board of Education Vice President. Following the official leadership shift, Monday’s meeting dealt with the appointment of board committees, officers and attorney.
Ericson gave a preview of the annual MLK Day 2020 in-service, hosted by YPS. In its eleventh year, the popular event is projected to draw well over 500 educators from across the state, plus vendors and dignitaries. “We will have a full house on Monday; I know we love bringing our neighboring schools in,” Ericson said, adding that a well-organized committee makes MLK Day possible. “It really is a team approach,” she said. Ericson provided the Board an informational list of the scheduled workshops, which cover a broad range of topics like citizenship education and technology in the classroom.
The next York Public Schools Board of Education meeting is slated for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the YPS District Office.
Board of Education Leadership:
• Building and Grounds: Jean Vincent, Alison Graham, Jim Hoffmann
• Transportation: Jim Hoffmann, Alison Graham, Matt Holthe
• Public Relations/Legislation: Barb Skaden, Amie Kopcho, Matt Holthe
• American Civics/Curriculum: Barb Skaden, Amie Kopcho, Jean Vincent
• Negotiations: Barb Skaden, Jean Vincent, Matt Holthe
• Wages for Non-Teachers: Amie Kopcho, Alison Graham, Jim Hoffmann