West Liberty-Salem school board holds special meeting


The West Liberty-Salem school board held a special meeting Thursday night to tackle several important items. The first order of business was to hold a tax budget hearing that is required by state statute. The hearing allows the district treasurer to submit paperwork that outlines the district’s five-year forecast as well as expense and revenue expectations to the auditor so revenue needs can be addressed. The reports are due in the coming days.

After the hearing, the board held its annual organizational meeting. Board president Pat Adams and member Ryan Cole, both re-elected this past November, were both sworn in. Adams was re-elected president and Tim Lamb was re-elected vice-president.

The board also set liaison appointments:

  • Transportation – Tim Lamb and Ryan Cole
  • Building, Grounds, and Equipment – Patrick Adams and Doug Williams
  • Curriculum – Patrick Adams and Amy Pratt
  • Personnel and Faculty – Tim Lamb and Ryan Cole
  • Finance/Audit – Tim Lamb and Doug Williams
  • Athletic Council – Ryan Cole and Amy Pratt
  • Agriculture – Tim Lamb and Amy Pratt
  • Work & Family Life – Ryan Cole
  • Legislative/Student Achievement/OSBA rep – Patrick Adams
  • Technology – Ryan Cole and Amy Pratt
  • Title 1 – Doug Williams
  • Board Policy Review – Patrick Adams and Ryan Cole

The board also set regular meeting times for the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM in the media resource center.

The organizational meeting was concluded by the board approving the tax budget for FY 2025 that will go into effect July 1, 2024.

The elementary math teachers are in the process of reviewing new curriculum to possibly make changes for next school year. Also, the ELA teachers are continuing to work on their LETRS course. There was also a supply pack that was shown to staff that will be available for parents to purchase for their student’s supplies next year. These optional packs would be an inexpensive way for parents to provide supplies for their children.

The Middle School Students of the month for December were announced:

  • 6th Grade – Rylee Falloon and Wyatt Patton
  • 7th Grade – Izzy Spencer and Landon Zanfirov
  • 8th Grade – Abby Dunlop and Liam Webster

The middle school was also awarded a $500 grant from the Mary Rutan Foundation for a mural that was completed over the semester break. W Productions in Urbana helped complete the project.

The Seniors of the Month for December were Mallory Bostick and Gabe McGill.

There will be a FAFSA Night for those considering financial aid on January 17th from 5:30 – 7:00 PM in the media center. Seniors and Juniors and their families who want to learn more about aid options are invited to attend.

Also, a College Fair and CCP Might will be held on January 24th at 5:30 PM. Students participating in the College Credit Plus program for the 24-25 school year are required to attend.

District Superintendent Kraig Hissong informed the board that a vendor has been hired to assist the district with installing new interactive displays. All classrooms in the middle and high schools will be equipped with these displays that will enable distance learning. Each classroom will cost approximately $20,000 to equip. Hissong talks about the process: 

Additionally, the district received a $30,000 safety grant that will allow for the purchase of new radios for administrators that are equipped with a screen. In the event of an emergency, the camera system can sync a picture of the incident and broadcast that to the radios to provide important information.

Superintendent Hissong also updated the board on the construction of the fieldhouse. It is hoped that financing for the project will be finalized by February and an agreement can be finalized with the designer-builder in April. If all goes well, construction would begin in May or June with the fieldhouse being substantially completed by the end of 2024. Hissong discusses the next steps: 

Several donations were also approved:

  • Jerry/C Ann Helm $50.00 for Choir Memorial Donation
  • Larry/Gloria Wendel $25.00 for Choir Memorial Donation
  • Jodi Brummette $30.00 for Choir Memorial Donation
  • Gary/Julie Reichert $50.00 for Choir Memorial Donation
  • Brent/Debra Neate $100.00 for Choir Memorial Donation
  • William/Deborah Kelly $100.00 for Choir Memorial Donation
  • Nancy McGuire $500.00 for Band
  • Anonymous $100.00 for Boys Basketball

The board will next meet on February 21, 2024, at 6:00 PM.