Teutopolis School Board Reorganizes; Discusses Athletic Funding

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Published on May 1 2013 12:10 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Teutopolis Board of Education reorganized for its next term Tuesday night.

Marty Siemer was again chosen board president, Gene Niemerg will serve as vice-president and Carl Repking will be the board secretary.

The Board welcomed Dan Burke as a member and thanked Randy Bloemer who departed after serving 12 years.  Burke was elected to his first term and Siemer and Repking were re-elected in the April 9 balloting.

Board members discussed the success of recent fundraising efforts overseen by the Teutopolis Sportsbackers in an effort to retain sports cut earlier this year by the Board for fiscal reasons.  The Board recently enacted an activity fee and discussed whether some of the funds raised are to defray those fees or whether the fees should stay in place.

Superintendent Bill Fritcher and Siemer said they've heard comments from some that the funds raised should eliminate the need for the activity fee.  The Board decided that Fritcher should talk with Sportsbackers representatives about the issue and get their input before deciding how to proceed.

There is sentiment for restoring golf and fall baseball and that has been some of the motivation for those supporting the fundraising efforts.  Fritcher, though, said, "Fall baseball is in trouble; there are fewer programs and as a result fewer games."  Repking noted he knows of schools that have also canceled fall baseball.

The Board also discussed whether to seek a state maintenance grant to help pay for some improvements.  Fritcher suggested two projects; renovation of the track at the junior high school, and safety improvements at the high school building.

Fritcher particularly endorsed moving ahead with safety steps at the high school, suggesting the building be locked down during the school day.  Additional fencing and some replacement doors would likely be needed to gain the desired security.  Fritcher said some students who park in certain locations could be inconvenienced, but said safety needs to be the first consideration.

As for the track, Fritcher said the firm that installed the track thinks the district can get by with sealing cracks and resurfacing the track.  He plans to check on whether the district could apply for more than one of the $50,000 grants at a time.  The district has to match the grant funding.