Wednesday, March 16, 2011

School Board Keeps Truckin'!

Garden Valley School board trustees held their regular meeting
on Monday, March 14, in the intimacy of the school flex room,
which seems to inspire a sense of cohesiveness among the patrons.
At least, we all have to huddle somewhat closer to each other,
which lessens spitting distances --just in case--but also warms
the heart if one is inclined to respond to energetic exchange.


After the failure of the Garden Valley School District
supplemental levy, the district is watching what is happening
with Senate Bill 1113. The third portion of Superintendent
Luna’s plan, which includes “putting the classrooms into the
21st century”, is still under debate. The language is now more
like 5-6% cuts, but according to Superintendent Tomlin, there is
a stand-off between the Senate Budget folks and the Senate
Education Committee: “Neither one wants to blink first.”
Meanwhile, the school board is doing business as usual. The
deadline for Zone II trustee applications is April 6, 2011. A patron
requested that the board hold a special meeting to select the
trustee, so the new trustee may vote at the April 11 regular board
meeting. The new trustee will also stand for re-election in May.

Trustee candidates for election this May 17, for Zones II, III and

IV, must file a declaration of candidacy and a petition of candidacy,
no later than 5:00 p.m., March 18.

Dr. Tomlin mentioned that the legislature looked at passing a law

that would require special training for board members. Patrons
got to experience a ten-minute activity, to get an idea of the
self-improvement program in which this board is participating.
First thing on the menu was ‘preparation for meetings’. Dr. Tomlin
said the current board, along with the past members of the board,
arrive (d) prepared and well-read-up on their documents.
Self-monitoring performances and development, representing
the interest of all children, promoting student learning, following
rules and engaging your community were all discussed.

Dr. Tomlin, Clerk of the Board, Paula Fox and Board Chair,

Terry Elmore, participated in the Day on the Hill last month,
which they found to be well worth the time and money. Check out
the write-up that follows this report.


Athletic Director, Bob Powell, announced that the Lady Wolverines

basketball team went to State and got to play the consolation
game (see GV Daily News Story 2/22). The school sent five wrestlers
to State: Mark Hugon, Blaze Gray, Brad Christensen, Charlie
Johnson and Killian Sampo (see GVDN story 3/2). High school
track started this week. Middle school track starts after spring break.
Golf and matches will be on Fridays, at Terrace Lakes. There will be
no baseball, due to lack of interest.

Math Whizzes: Ronice Gilbertson has the children working with

the Apangea online computer math program, which provides
individual math tutoring. Mr. Vian says the students really have
fun with it. Patrons at the meeting were shown a film on the free
Khan online collection of over 2200 micro lectures, via video
tutorials on math, history, finance, physics, sciences and more.
It is a world-class virtual school and even you can use it.

Idaho’s Writer-in-Residence, Bill Johnson, will visit the classes

of Jan Ward and Jen Van Dyk, on Thursday, March 17. Thank you
to Georgianna Goetsch, for arranging this.

Third quarter is over this Thursday, March 17.


Dr. Tomlin recognized The Crouch Merc and the board extended
a thank-you to co-owners, Greg Simione and Gerold Dennett, for
matching the boxtops funds. The money will provide teaching
supplies until the end of the year.

The board voted to establish two $5,000 Craig-Penrod Scholarships

and to accept the nominations for the selection committee:
Principal Bob Vian; Zone III board trustee, Laurie Snyder;
teacher, Bryce Court; and community members, Cara Mosedale
and Rob Hazen.

Two new bus stops were approved for Harlows Bus Service:

The new library and Arena Road, on the south side of the elk ranch.

The 2011-2012 school calendar drafts are posted on the school

website, for perusal, at

KXGV Radio for Garden Valley!

Rex LeFevre and Rich Smith requested the use of the old shop

classroom space to construct and operate a low-power radio
broadcast studio. It would be an all-volunteer project and
involve a small class for the students. Garden Valley Transmitter
District will help transmit through the valley. Until they receive
an FCC license, the station will broadcast on the internet.

There is no anticipated cost to the school. Funds can be donated

to the non-profit company, GV Communications, Inc. Organizers
estimate they will need $5,000 for a minimal 30-watt transmitter
and $5,000 for miscellaneous expenses. It would be a temporary
location for the station, with perhaps the rest of this school year
and the summer, with an escape clause for the school.

Board Chair, Terry Elmore, said, “I think they’ve been waiting a

long time.” Rex LeFevre has spent several years trying to get this
going and has appeared before the board many times in the past.
The board voted to move forward in developing a memorandum
of understanding, subject to final approval of the board.

Community Forum
Marlo Glauser commended trustees Alan Ward and Laurie Snyder

for their thoughtful comments on the radio. She had felt it was a
good idea when she was on the board. She suggested they have an
operating agreement that the station will not do anything that
would be in conflict with Idaho law; also, to agree to not broadcast
religious content during school hours.

Bob Powell emphatically denied the rumor that he makes $10,000

as athletic director. Per his contract, he makes $3,785, which comes
out of the athletic budget. He offered to waive this pay, along with
mileage, for as long as it takes for the school to get back on its feet.
He said, “I want to see athletics continue. I love this job; I think I
do an exceptional job.” Patrons applauded his generous intentions.

Math teacher John Haworth asked the board to put his probation

on hold. “I am at a critical time of the year.” Patron Shelly Overlie
commented that letters have come in, in support of Haworth and
she would like the board to consider having them put up to be read.

Becky Asher said she is concerned about lack of classroom space

for Title I students. “Special Ed students need one-on-one
attention. If you are combining classrooms next year, would
you consider dedicated space?”
For information about the District or meetings of the Board,
contact Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mike Tomlin,
at 208-462-3756 x 1012, or; or the Clerk of the
Board, Paula Fox, at 208-462-3756 x 1013, or
Board contact information may be found at or


Idaho school trustees, superintendents, board clerks, business managers, and others descended in concert on the Capitol to try to influence public education law. It is an annual event planned by the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA).

Garden Valley School District was represented by board chair, Terry Dee Elmore, Clerk and Business Manager, Paula Fox, and superintendent Tomlin. An estimated 200+ participated in the planned events,
and the presence and impact was noted regularly by legislators.

Activities kicked off Wednesday, with the Senate Education

Committee meeting. Public testimony was heard, regarding
education reform laws brought forth by state superintendent
Tom Luna. Later that evening, the participates sat in a briefing
on the impact the new laws likely would have on local districts.

Thursday morning started early, with the House Education

Committee meeting, followed by a luncheon with legislators.
Superintendent Tomlin was able to corral Lt. Governor Brad Little
for the District 71 Table, and the GV delegation had valuable
one-on-one conversations with the Lt. Governor.

“We talked rural and remote districts, local control and many

aspects of the new laws,” Tomlin reports. “We also laughed and
joked a bit, and visited about his upcoming appearance in Garden
Valley for Lincoln Days.

“But there were very serious conversations up and down the hall

too,” Tomlin reflected. “We voiced concern for Tom Luna and his
family, and all legislators who are faced with these difficult

Tomlin also shared that “we all worked hard on the funding issues.

Keeping Kindergarten funding is very important to us, along with
Luna’s plan to restore the teacher salary grid and increase teacher
pay. I think we made some headway, if the majority can just hang
tight and move the reform laws forward.”

Paula Fox said, "
I really enjoyed watching the parliamentary procedures with the legislation. It was so interesting to watch how everyone was so respectful of each other while they asked questions and discussed the motions in front of them.

"It was additionally interesting to hear of all the budgetary cuts in detail and how it ultimately impacts our school
district. They truly have difficult decisions ahead of them. As we
know, it will eventually be just as hard for our board of trustees,
when working on our next year’s budget. Each year, I enjoy the
process and enjoy the influences our district has, by participating. "

Terry Dee Elmore remarked that this year, it was a particularly

interesting Day on the Hill. "Both the Senate Education Committee
Meeting and the House Education Committee Meeting were geared
towards Mr. Luna's Student's Come First Plan. We were able to
watch the process of changes on a bill, section by section: To be
exact, Senate Bill 1069.

"I was excited to see the Lt. Governor, Brad Little, walk into our

Meet with Your Legislators Luncheon," continued Elmore. "There
was an empty spot next to me for the luncheon and Mr. Little sat
right by me. Now tell me how lucky I was to be able to 'listen' and
'learn' from a business person and of course, a politician, who soon
may be Governor. He has business sense and knows that 50% of
the state's funding goes towards education. He shared some great
ideas for the future of the education budget."

Taking time out of her work schedule to commit towards the

education of our school in Garden Valley and to all the children
in the state of Idaho is priceless, according to Elmore. "Thank you
to the taxpayers for allowing me this opportunity to allow rural
schools to have a voice with our legislatures."

Top photo: Representative Pete Nielsen and GV superintendent Mike Tomlin

discuss education reform bills being considered.

Middle: In the Senate Auditorium in Idaho’s State Capitol, GV Board Chair
Terry Dee Elmore, and Board Clerk and Business Manager Paula Fox, visit
with Superintendent Vickie Chandler of Bruneau-Grandview school district
and two of her board members.

Lt. Governor Brad Little, and GV Board Chair Terry Elmore discuss education reform laws, over lunch.

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