Interim Superintendent Judith Malasto got to work, and Alayna Lightfoot Pol
took the oath of office at the Duneland School Board meeting last night.
Pol was sworn in by
Duneland legal counsel Charles Parkinson. The Board is stronger with her,
according to member John Marshall. “We’re very excited to have Alayna join
Malasto is excited
to get to work in her new position. “It’s imperative for me that you
understand how invested I am in this community,” Malasto said. “Duneland is
my home both professionally and personally.”
One of Malasto’s
first acts as Interim Superintendent was to recommend an update to policy
5416, pertaining to graduation requirements. The policy was under review
anyway due to new state and federal graduation requirements, but Malasto
said there has been a change to the requirements for participating in
commencement activities. Now, students who are within two credits of
graduating can earn the right to walk with their graduating class if they
enroll in summer school.
Malasto, who before
being named Interim Superintendent was serving as the Director of Secondary
Learning and Performance within Duneland’s administration, said the
administration tried the idea out informally last year and has now put it in
writing. “We found that by putting that in place, we actually capture more
students for graduation,” she said.
The Board approved
the update to policy 5416 and approved the CHS course description guide. The
guide is reviewed and approved every year, but Malasto said it has a few
additions. There is a new Project Lead the Way class: Principals of
Engineering, a guitar class is replacing Theory of Piano, and a Level 1
American Sign Language class is now available. Sign Language will count as a
World Language credit.
Malasto, in her
end-of-meeting comments, noted Jan. 1 was the 50th anniversary of the
incorporation of Duneland Schools. She encouraged members of the community
to view some interesting materials Duneland Public Relations Director
Bridget Martinson has made available online, including documents from the
first Duneland School Board meeting in 1969.
Malasto also said
that Kindergarten roundup is fast approaching. Children must be turning five
by August to be enrolled in Kindergarten.
recognized CHS Health/Physical Education Teacher David Milligan, who earned
the Porter County Substance Abuse Council Community Recognition Award from
the Porter County Community Foundation.
Emily Wilt, media
specialist at CHS, was also recognized for winning a photo/video contest
sponsored by the Indiana Library Federation (ILF). ILF will use Wilt’s video
as a model for faculty in other libraries, and she was awarded $100 to use
for the CHS Media Center.
The Board made
three personnel moves, all appointments, last night. The Board appointed
three wrestling coaches at CHS. Alex Boatright was appointed varsity
assistant wrestling coach. Brian Bolin was appointed freshman wrestling
coach. Joe Nuzzo was appointed assistant freshman wrestling coach.
reorganized, electing Brandon Kroft President, Kristin Kroeger
Vice-president and retaining Ron Stone as Secretary. The Board also
appointed liaisons and delegates. Kroeger will sit on the Porter
Redevelopment Commission, Marshall will sit on the Chesterton RDC, and Stone
will remain on the Burns Harbor RDC. Harris, Welsh, and Lukmann will remain
Duneland Schools’ legal counsel and Dr. Molina will remain the Corporation
that Harris, Welsh, and Lukmann has represented the Duneland Schools for
years, and their rates “are stagnant and very favorable in the marketplace.”
reappointed Lynn Kwilasz as Corporation Treasurer and Mary Jo Brust as
Deputy Treasurer, each with bonds of $100,000Ńthe same amount they were
bonded in 2018.
compensation will also remain the sameŃa $2,000 per year stipend plus $112
per diem for regular meetings and $62 per special executive session.
The Board will
continue to meet on the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at the
Administration Center, with the exception of September, where the first
Monday falls on Labor Day. The September 2019 Board meeting will be Sept. 9.
The Board passed
two resolutions transferring funds. One was to transfer the remaining
balance of the Pension Debt Service fund to the Debt Service fund. Kwilasz
explained, “We have paid our pension bonds in their entirety. There was a
small balance of about $27,000 left, so we’re asking for authorization to
transfer that because that money was raised with the idea that it repays
debt. Since it was an excess, we would put it toward our current debt.”
resolution was to transfer approximately $6.7 million from the former
general fund to the operations fund to comply with new state mandated budget
requirements. Per new state legislation, some money that was previously kept
in the general fund is now earmarked for placement in the operations fund
depending on whether or not the funds directly impact students.
Board of Finance
The Board adjourned
the regular meeting and reconvened for a Board of Finance meeting. They
first elected the same officers as the Board, then heard a presentation on
Duneland’s investments from Kwilasz.
Kwilasz’s report, Duneland earned a total of $419,696.40 in interest on its
investments in 2018. She said Duneland’s investments are at three
institutions: Centier, US Bank’s Hoosier Fund, and Lake City Bank. Kwilasz
said Lake City Bank is mainly a holding repository for funds when they are
between Certificate Deposit (CD) accounts.
Kwilasz said the
Corporation may invest in CDs with a maximum of a 24-month term. “In 2018,
we had two that matured during the year, earning us about $90,000 in
interest, and reinvested those.” Kwilasz said. “We now have a 24 month and a
12 and 9-month, all of which are coming up in 2019.”