The Vigo County School Board on Monday approved major staffing changes in an addendum to the staff report.
•John Newport will be the new Director of Facilities Support and Transportation; he replaces Rick Long, who is retiring. Newport served as the curriculum coordinator for assessment, math, and science.
Prior to his teaching career, Newport worked in industry with construction and machinery trades, including four years in local machine shops as a tool and die maker and industrial machinist. He was also a high school technology engineering teacher and assistant curriculum coordinator/director of adult education.
•Teresa Stuckey will serve as Director of Elementary Education, Title 1 and Communication and replaces Christi Fenton, who is retiring as Director of Elementary Education and Title 1. Most recently, Stuckey served as Principal of Sugar Grove Elementary for six year ; she served 32 years as an elementary and middle school educator.
Stuckey will also take on the duty of working with the news media.
•Katelynn Liebermann will be the new curriculum coordinator for assessment, math and science. She served as Assistant Curriculum Coordinator for Grants and Enrichment and Acting District Spokesperson.
The appointments are also part of the “district size adjustment,” Superintendent Rob Haworth said. As a result of the appointments, “we will no longer have an assistant program coordinator (Liebermann’s most recent position). This position will be fully absorbed, as well as the position of director of communications; this position will be fully absorbed.”
Haworth added, “We thank them for taking on these new roles.”
The board approved the staff report by a vote of 5 to 1, with Rosemarie Scott voting against. Susan Powers was not present at the meeting.
Board member Amy Lore said board members had different perspectives and “there were some really good conversations about the recommendations…I’m just encouraged to see the continued cost reduction measures as we continue to look after these high-level, important positions.”
She added that “good questions were asked”.
Board member Jackie Lower praised the three for their expertise and experience. “I hope they do a great job,” she said.
Liebermann said the transition begins on Tuesday.
The board met at Otter Creek Middle School, where Fanning Howey’s Mary Krupinski presented two change orders for the school’s construction project, which is expected to be substantially complete on July 31. One change order was $48,811 and the second was $31,172.
Construction costs for the Otter Creek project are approximately $8.6 million.
After the meeting, school principal Sarah Gore said the addition/renovation project was in its final stages. The project included a new auxiliary gym, updating the locker rooms and updating the hall restrooms. Construction of a music wing is underway, which includes a music room, an orchestra room and a choir room.
Additionally, “We are currently in the process of remodeling our cafeteria and adding two additional classrooms,” Gore said. The project started in the spring of 2021.
The project was necessary due to space issues and “we needed updated areas. Our orchestral classes were currently taking place in a former faculty lounge. Our population had grown and we needed additional space for our students,” she said.
The school expects enrollment of approximately 820 students this fall; it is the third largest school behind Terre Haute Nord and Sud Vigo high schools.
The main parts of the project are expected to be completed by July 31, Gore said, although “there will obviously be some small, point-list type finishing elements that take place after that.”
In another article, the board authorized the district to develop specifications and solicit bids for camera systems for Terre Haute North and South Vigo High Schools, West Vigo Middle/High School, and Rio Grande Elementary School.
“Replacing these camera systems will help keep students and staff safe at each facility,” according to documents provided to the board. General bond funds are available to pay for new systems.
District Safety and Security Coordinator Kurt Brinegar said that in today’s world, “it seems like we need to be more on top of our game, and technology continues to advance. When technology progresses, our security must progress with it.”
The district should consider new digitized camera systems, with cloud storage so the district can retrieve items when needed. The camera systems that need to be replaced are outdated, and “the storage system is currently outdated,” Brinegar said.
Currently, the district has a mix of three different systems it works with, and officials would like more consistency and one system, he said.
As for overall school safety, the district is working with the Terre Haute Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office regarding new training, Brinegar said.