By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
Every Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals contest produces divergent views and so it was at Monday evening’s Virginia School Board session.
Student Council members will travel to Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Sept. 27. With the exception of fuel for the bus, there will be no cost to the school district for the trip. Since the game falls on a Sunday afternoon, students will not miss any class time.
The school board approved the trip by a 6-1 margin with board member Sheila Logsdon casting the lone “no” vote.
Board President Matthew Werner strongly encouraged parents to attend a “get to know the teachers” reception on Aug. 29. The event will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Dr. Ugs Drugstore Cafe on the Virginia Square. Light refreshments will be served.
It also was learned the board and school administration will be taking a variety of steps to secure public input on extracurricular activities, ranging from athletics to art and music. Stressing the importance of extracurricular activities in providing a well-rounded education, board member Dustin Fritsch promised, “We are going to take our time on this issue.”
Public input also will be encouraged at 7 p.m. on Sept. 16 when the board holds the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Public Hearing.
The budget anticipates expenditures of nearly $15.6 million. According to updated budget data distributed Monday evening, the district’s fund balance on June 30 was $1,711,409. It is projected the balance will be $766,943 on June 30, 2014.
While board action was not required, Superintendent Brent O’Daniell advised members of plans to move the homecoming dance from Dec. 7 to Oct. 26. He said this move was suggested by students who felt there were too many other dances in November and December. O’Daniell assured the board the school will still hold the homecoming parade in conjunction with the Christmas in Virginia festivities on Dec. 7. Board members indicated support for moving the dance to October.
The board hired Dennis Barnard of Decatur as the new agriculture teacher and Meagan Smith of Oswego as the new Spanish teacher.
Junior/senior high school social studies teacher Bill Murphy was named junior high school girls volleyball coach. Paul Reynolds of Virginia was named junior high school girls basketball coach.
Also, it was announced that veteran high school math teacher Fred McConnell plans to retire at the end of the 2014-15 school year.