Altamont Board Hires Boys, Girls Basketball Coaches

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Published on June 12 2012 7:08 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Altamont Board of Education Monday hired varsity coaches for their boys and girls basketball programs.

John Niebrugge was hired as varsity boys basketball coach.  Niebrugge succeeds Doug Hill who is the new principal of Altamont Grade School.

Niebrugge was a standout athlete at Teutopolis High School.  His brother, Mark, played baseball and basketball at Teutopolis this past school year. 

Most recently, Niebrugge taught at Shelbyville but he also taught and coached at Mt. Pulaski and Roxana.  Niebrugge was also hired to teach high school Math at Altamont.

The Altamont Board also hired Katie Lurkins as varsity girls basketball coach.  Lurkins recently was hired at Altamont to fill a teaching vacancy.  She had been teaching at Newton where she was serving as girls varsity basketball coach.  She will succeed Nikki Bloemer, who resigned her coaching position earlier this year.   Bloemer who gave birth earlier this year will remain as cross country coach at Altamont.

In other personnel moves Monday, the Altamont Board accepted the resignation of teacher Rebecca Gobczynski, effective immediately; hired Kelsey Leitschuh as special education Pre-Kindergarten teacher; accepted the resignation of Ashley Landrus as junior high volleyball assistant coach and named her junior high Scholastic Bowl sponsor; accepted the resignation of Robin Elam as high school volleyball assistant coach; accepted the resignation of Neil Winter as head golf coach and freshman boys basketball coach; and accepted the non-irrevocable letter of retirement from Carolyn Anderson.

Also Monday, Altamont Board members approved membership in the Illinois Association of Rural and Small Schools; renewed property/casualty/liability insurance; approved the purchase of a new walk-in cooler for the grade school; approved a tar and chat bid for the high school rear parking lot; and approved Board policy updates for first reading with adoption expected at the July meeting.

Altamont Superintendent Jeff Fritchtnitch reported on US News' Education Report that ranked the Altamont district 75th in the state and bronze rated nationally.  Fritchtnitch said Altamont was the only district in the area rated that high.

It should be easier for Altamont parents to read the school handbooks.  Work was done to clean up some language, typos, syntax and unnecessary items.  The effort shortened the elementary book by four pages and combining the high school and grade books left a handbook that Fritchtnitch said contains all relevant information in 21 fewer pages.

Improvements continue to the district buildings.  The grade school office is being gutted and a wall is being built in the fifth grade room.  At the high school, all cabinets have been removed from the Family and Consumer Sciences room, asbestos tile removed, and the new kitchen area walls are being re-plumbed and re-wired.  The south end hallway and bathrooms at the high school have been repainted and the band room is being repainted.

Fritchtnitch also reported that the District's technology grant was increased by almost $49,000.  The District has purchased three new smartboards, six laptop carts the 5th/6th grade classrooms, three smart tables for Kindergarten, 11 extra student laptops, and 150 backpacks for the 5th thru 8th grade computers.  This past week, Fritchtnitch was notified that the District will soon be receiving anther $6,100 toward the grant.

Fritchtnitch reported that the new State budget wasn't as bad as he feared, but said it didn't help education.  He expects a decrease in State Aid including elimination of two payments in the coming year, noted that corporate personal property replacement tax funds will be used to pay the salaries of regional school superintendents but that means that districts will not receive those funds, and reported that transportation was funded at the same level as last year but does not consider increased costs.