By Margaret Hopper

Cobre school board met at the district office in Bayard Monday, July 29, 2013. The open meeting began at 7:30 after the closed session ended. Board president Toy Sepulveda said the executive session discussed student identifiable information, limited personnel issues in the interim superintendent’s last evaluation report, and the board’s appointments of members to the finance and the audit committees.

As the open meeting began, Sepulveda asked for a motion to approve the final evaluation of former Interim Superintendent George Peru, and realized that time was needed for Peru to look over the report before it was finally adopted. The board went through the process of withdrawing the motion which had been proposed and seconded, then Frank Cordova moved that the action be tabled until the first August meeting, to give Peru time to consider the report before further action. That motion passed.

The board appointed its members to two committees, the audit committee and the finance subcommittee. Sepulveda placed Frank Gomez and Frank Cordova on the audit committee and Frances Kelly and Robert Montoya on finance committee. Once this was done, Cheryl Holland, union representative for the Cobre Education Association, informed Sepulveda that a union member must be on committees like this, along with other staff or community people. Sepulveda said if this was so, then such union members should volunteer to be included in the work.

In the Review of Bills, the new superintendent Robert Mendoza recommended that board members approve the total amount of $2,469,840.24 for payments in the past month, which they did. The superintendent also introduced the new high school principal, Frank Quarrell, who claims 22 years of administrative experience in addition to another ten years of experience as a science instructor. He said most of his time centered around La Plata, the junior high in Silver City. Quarrell’s contract at present is for one year.

George Peru gave a report updating his past work involving improvements and changes at San Lorenzo. After the Forest Service used the elementary school as a base of operations during the month of the Silver Creek fire, he said the carpeting showed the stains and wear such usage usually presented and the Forest Service had told him to get new carpeting to replace that which had been used.

To get the carpeting as soon as possible and to have it installed when school opens in August, Peru said he asked three local vendors for quotes rather than go through the usual bidding process, which takes more time. It appears that the replacement carpeting will cost $52,707, which the Forest Service said it would cover. Peru said the local vendors included Armstrong Flooring, Finishing Touch and Imperial Flooring, all of Silver City. The quotes were sent to the Forest Service and it decided on Imperial Flooring, the lowest quote.

Peru said the work on Bayard Elementary is on schedule but while doing the repairs, they found joists that needed to be replaced and they are working on that now. He hoped to find joists that the engineer could sign off on, if they are adequate. If that doesn’t happen, the new joists could be built on site. An engineer might oversee that part. If that couldn’t be done, they might need to use an environmental engineer, and that would take much longer. The work, which is now on schedule, might suddenly be delayed quite a bit, he added.  

Other problems Peru explained to the board were the drainage problems. With the recent rains, the one at Bayard Elementary showed the water flow pattern and how it affected the city of Bayard, as it went on to the east. There were others, as well, which are under study, and, hopefully, correction.

Superintendent Mendoza reported the grades for the various schools as given by the State. San Lorenzo went from a D grade to a C. Bayard went from a D to a high D, Central Elementary in Santa Clara went from F to D. Snell went from a C to a higher C, and Hurley was said to go from D to C. Another comment questioned that, saying Hurley went from a B to a D grade. The high school went from a D to an A.

Sepulveda asked for items, which would appear on the early August meeting agenda. Peru’s evaluation was mentioned, and possibly a curriculum department report. The transfer of school accounts from Bank of America to AmBank should be finished soon.

The meeting adjourned just before 8:00 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for August 8, at the district office.

Live from Silver City

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