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Ulmer Elected School Board President

Underwood Named Clerk at the Palo Verde Board of Trustees Meeting

By Robert E. Jensen
The Desert Independent

December 9, 2010

BLYTHE, Calif – In a surprise move at the regular meeting of the Palo Verde Unified School District (PVUSD) School Board meeting on Wednesday night, John Ulmer – the newest Board member – was nominated and elected by a 4-1 vote to become the next President of the Board. Garth Underwood was elected as Clerk of the Board for the next year as well and Dr. Guith was named as the Board Representative to the County Committee on School District Organization.

Ulmer and Underwood

Dr. Norm Guith had been expected to be placed as President as he was next in an informal “rotation” of members, but his nomination lacked a second. 

President Ulmer noted that there was “no action taken” following the two-hour Closed Session dedicated to the yearly evaluation of Supt. Dr. Yul Whitney. The Board also approved a Calendar of Regular Meetings for 2011 with the announcement that these meetings will occur on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month so as not to conflict with the City Council meetings as they have in the past.

Mr. Malcolm Butler, Curriculum Director, gave two presentations on the Supplemental Education Services that have to be supplied with Title 1 moneys. He showed how students were chosen for these tutoring services provided by outside vendors and supplemented with nearly $1,200.00 per student who qualified for these services. The District will be spending over $200,000 to outside vendors for the remainder of the year.

The other presentation was on the Single Plans for Student Achievement which has yet to be approved by the School Board. Mr. Butler reiterated that development of these plans need to be with the advice and consent of the Site Councils, of which the Principal has but one vote.

Mr. Kim Bishoff, Business Director, went through the high notes of the First Interim Report of which there were no surprises due to the Budget Advisory Group meetings that he faithfully held this past fall. However, he did predict some “dramatic decisions” that will have to be made if the State budget continues its downward course.

Tatiana SampsonMr. Butler also filled in for the absent Ruth Brown, Administrator, in introducing the Elementary Student of the Month, Ms. Tatiana Sampson – a fifth grader at Ruth Brown. He stated that Ms. Sampson was the daughter of Mayra and Matthew Sampson. She represents the best of school spirit and thrives on challenges. Her teacher states that she always “digs deeper into lessons than is required and sets very high goals for herself.”

Traci GeorgeBob Bilek, Personnel Director, then introduced Ms. Traci George, a Senior Clerk at Appleby Elementary, as the Classified Employee of the Month. He stated:

Traci George was nominated by Dale Hackney, Elementary Teacher at Felix J. Appleby Elementary School.

Traci started with the PVUSD in January of 2004 as a Substitute Cafeteria Worker for Nutrition Services. She currently works as a Senior Clerk at Felix J. Appleby Elementary School.

Dale states, “Traci is willing to help in any way. She will assist students, teachers and parents by immediately stopping her work. She is very patient and understanding. She has a pleasing personality and dresses in a professional manner.”

Traci George is an excellent candidate for the Classified Employee of the Month.

Dr. Linette ThomasDr. Lynette Thomas of the Riverside County Office of Education also made a lengthy presentation on the progress of the District Assistance and Intervention Team (DAIT) which has been working with the District Office and individual schools on activities dedicated to raising test scores.

The controversial Facility Fees schedule was explained as having a three-tiered class of charges. Groups working at the schools may use the facilities free of charge – for example, the Middle School having a dance at the cafeteria. Non-profit groups may use the facilities for the direct cost of cleaning and electricity. And, for-profit groups are to be charged a greater “fair Cost” for making money using school property. Underwood said that this fee schedule be reworked as he felt more should be charged for fair costs and less for direct costs. As such, there will be more discussion at the next Board Meeting.

President Ulmer noted that he desired that the computers now utilized by Board members be sent to the classrooms where students could use them. Administrative Assistant, Jeanine Rizotto was adamant that the computers were saving the District about $3,500 in copying costs – not including her time – for producing paper agendas and underlying documentation. She also noted that the District has already spent $2,000 for utilizing the CSBA website to produce agendas and store archived minutes.

There will be no other meetings for the remainder of December. The next regularly scheduled meeting will occur on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the District Office.

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