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By KEN MILAM
POTEAU – The Poteau School Board awarded a bid for construction of a new vo-ag building at Monday night’s monthly meeting.
The contract went to Cedar Ridge of Woodward, whose bid of $1.2 million was deemed the best of three received. Other bids were from Williams and TCS construction companies.
The board also approved a resolution to join the Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group, the district’s current insurance provider, for insurance covering buildings and contents, vehicles and liability.
Brian Shore said the cost of insurance went up a hefty 20 percent this year because of some major damage events, new buildings and changes in the industry. The package is estimated at $253,000.
Proposals for workers compensation insurance were passed until a later meeting because no clear proposal had been received by meeting time, Superintendent Don Sjoberg said.
Some changes to board policies and site handbooks were approved, including expanding incentives to hire and retain qualified teachers. Sjoberg said the teacher shortage is a statewide issue. He said Poteau is turning down open transfer requests for pre-K students because the district doesn’t have enough teachers.
Board member Matt McBee was appointed chairman of a committee to start the process of naming school facilities. He replaced Steve Holton. Other members include Brenda Sheets, Ranada Adams, Bonnie Prigmore, Marshall Brence and Jim Marsh.
Agreements were approved with Kiamichi Technology Center for transportation, Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center for telemedicine services and the Poteau Police Department for school resource officers.
In his superintendent’s report, Sjoberg said a special meeting was set for noon June 30 for fiscal year close-out activities.
He also said the district’s Johnson O’Malley Indian education program was being nationally recognized and director Bobbi Gilham would be traveling to Atlantic City for the national conference.
Ten people were hired – Payton Werner, Raelyn Myers, Kayla Gregory, McKenna Covey, Ashlea Carnell, Katherine Morris, Sherry Stacy, Karla Cook and Lillian Carter.
Four retirements were accepted – Cindy Willis, Andy Perdue, Kyle Hardaway, Sharon Hickman. Resignations were submitted by Angela Jordan, Ryan Barrett and Janie Stovall.