A vice president at the local bank who is a Luther High School graduate was appointed to the Luther School Board Monday night. Brandon Rogers read his oath of office, following a closed door session where the board interviewed three candidates. Rogers, a 2007 graduate of LHS, is Vice President for Lending at Luther’s BancFirst said he is ready to serve.
The other candidates Clint Rayburn, who has asked questions about the bond proposal and interest costs, and Jon Sanchez, father of a second grader, said they wanted to get involved to help the district, and the school board members thanked them for their input. Each candidate was interviewed for about thirty minutes.
“I would like to thank all three of the candidates for their willingness to step up and fill this vacancy. It’s sometimes a thankless job but it’s an important job and I appreciate everyone’s willingness to do that,” said Board Member Tony Rumpl following the approximately 90 minute executive session.
Rogers and his wife have two children, their oldest a Kindergartner at LPS. He said he decided to submit his application because it is important to serve in your community and help students. He fulfills the unexpired term of CJ Cavin who moved out of the school district last month.
In other news, the board approved its Estimate of Needs for the new school year. The amount is lower than last year, at $5.8 million which estimates funding for the general fund, building fund, child nutrition and the sinking fund. The Estimate of Needs, prepared by Ralph Osborn, CPA, was at $6.1 million last school year.
Superintendent Barry Gunn said the district’s carryover amount to begin the new year includes a $200,000 “hit” for teacher pay raises with funding that was not provided by the state.
Asked by Board President Sherri Anderson about enrollment, Gunn said he didn’t have the numbers with him, but “we are not discouraged or fearful that we’ve grown too much and are unprepared.” He said, on the whole, the district has good class sizes, with a few pockets of classes that are more full.
At last week’s bond information meeting, he said the current high school was built for about 500 students in 2010, and currently high school enrollment is about half of that.
“We are having a fantastic start to the school year; after last year that was easy to improve on. This year is a little more typical with lots of excitement and getting into our groove going lots of different directions,” said Gunn. The board approved 31 fundraisers for student groups including baseball, cheerleaders and the FFA.
It’s homecoming week at the high school. And the election is Tuesday, September 10, for district voters to decide on a $25 million bond project that will raise property taxes for building improvements at all of the schools.