UCSD board swears in new members

Trustee elects take the oath of office at the Dec. 6 Uinta County School District #1 board meeting. (HERALD PHOTO/Hayden Godfrey)

The Uinta County School District (UCSD) #1  board held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, the first since the election of new members last month. The trustee-elects— Christa Barker-Weaver, Jenny Welling, David Bennett, Caleb Guild and Janice Davis—took the oath an office at the beginning of the meeting under the direction of UCSD #1 attorney, Geoff Phillips. 

The prospective board members swore to “support, obey and defend” the United States and Wyoming constitutions. “Now we’re kind of in a unique situation,” said then-vice chair David Peterson. Despite being elected, Jesse Lind chose not to fill his seat. Brian Woodward was appointed to fill the position. He took the oath and joined the board in Lind’s stead.

The board then held an open vote to fill board offices. For each office, trustees made nominations and voted in an officer verbally. Bennett nominated Peterson as chairman, and Peterson won unanimously. Succeeding Peterson as vice chair was Welling. Guild was elected as treasurer and Dan Wheeler kept his position as clerk.

The board recognized the Evanston High School (EHS) boys’ and girls’ golf teams, both of which placed second at state. Davis lauded the athletes, saying, “I went to state golf this year, and I was impressed…” She concluded, “I think you are amazing at that sport, and I have a new appreciation.”

The board also recognized John Dubois, a former UCSD #1 trustee. “John was a very hardworking board member,” said Superintendent Ryan Thomas. “He’ll be missed, and we appreciate his service.” Peterson added, “He was an awesome board member… his commitment to this board was amazing. If you don’t know who John was, he was a committed member and did a fantastic job.”

  The trustees received an audit report, which stated district finances are in order. The report of an independent auditor said that “the financial statements referred to above present fairly in all material respects…” In essence, the statements the district has offered are correct. The federal awards were rated the same. The board’s unassigned balance totals approximately $5.6 million. An excess/deficiency report of revenue over expenditures indicates that the general fund has received $1.7 million more than it has spent.

The district has complied with state statute insofar as it has spent within its budget, but did have a deficiency in internal controls, but none with federal funds. The deficiency is not considered a material weakness. Specifically, the deficiency is in the size of district staff. The audit found that the staff “is not large enough to permit a complete segregation of duties.” 

The EHS math department offered a progress report, summarizing the success of its professional learning communities, or PLCs. Department head Belinda Hancock presented the department’s methods, stating that much of their work relies on proficiency scales. Math teacher, Kelly Wolboker praised the benefits of these scales. “It’s been great having proficiency scales,” she said. “It identifies and shows students what priority levels are, what they need to know for each unit.” The department is able to keep up with student progress by keeping statistics in all classes.

The board received a new draft for their concussion protocol.

The Aspen Elementary fourth grade PLC team expressed their appreciation for collaboration, weekly meetings and late-start Mondays. Like the high school math team, the Aspen teachers watch student performance from classroom to classroom and adapt to use the best strategy.

The board voted to approve the budget audit and a liability insurance renewal. Additionally, they approved the second reading of the IDA temporary virtual education policy from last month and the first reading of the concussion protocol.  They also voted to approve action on the ongoing state education lawsuit.

Trustees voted to approve an opening plan and student discipline, the latter having been discussed in executive session. The board voted to table the discussion of Red Devil Ranch until next month. 

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