by Margaret Hopper
Cobre school board met Monday, February 24, with two board members absent: Frank Gomez and Robert Montoya. Fran Kelly, Frank Cordova and Toy Sepulveda were the quorum. At the 6:00 p.m. closed session, Sepulveda said they had discussed limited personnel, reviewing retiring staff and resignations, as well as student identifiable information, the financial audit and advisory council information.
The carryover items from the last meeting on February 10 included the two requests for facilities' use. Superintendent Robert Mendoza said he had taken time to consult legal council before making his recommendations. The board approved Evening Light Tabernacle’s request for the use of space for a convention it would hold from July 18 through 20, expecting a large number of attendees. On the second request, Meadow Creek Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the board voted that Mendoza speak with the group to explain school policy on conditions they required.
Mendoza recommended and the board passed a calendar amendment to place the testing schedule in it. The board also approved the list of checks and a review of the bills. The amount of checks was $942,105.90. Some properties being considered for disposition included two school buses dating from 1996 and 1994. Mendoza said state law required that any bus over 20 years old must be removed from service, and these two were very close to that point. There was also a 1970 dump truck that was overdue for retirement.
Also in the superintendent’s report was a list of six groups that wanted to do fundraising. One was the Cobre golf team, which wanted to raise money for apparel. Later in the meeting, Mendoza said Brad Helmgren, golf coach, wanted to give the board a tour of the course before the next board meeting. Mendoza said it could be scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at the 10 March board meeting, and if weather was difficult, that tour could be rescheduled.
In Emanual Reynold’s report, as student representative for the board, he said he, Superintendent Mendoza and board member Fran Kelly, with some others, had traveled to Hatch where they observed the high school and middle school cafeterias recently. It appeared that Hatch had some good ideas that Cobre would consider implementing in the 2014-2015 school year. Reynolds said the food choices looked better, especially for the breakfast menu.
Members of the Cobre National Honor Society had plans to read a Dr. Seuss book to younger students on March 3, Monday, in honor of the author’s anniversary date, according to Reynolds.
Several items were brought up in the second Public Input. Building principals told of a recent visit of the author/editor/storyteller Carmen Argaddey who had visited Cobre, and the student interest she had held. There was hope that she might do a return visit in the near future. Assistant superintendent Jose Carrillo suggested that they use arts funding to possibly pay for her travel expenses or dedicate a plaque for her.
Frank Cordova told of some of the break-out sessions at the New Mexico School Board Institute in Albuquerque recently. There was discussion of a trainer who had commented on the Roswell shooting of months past, and his offer to help prepare against a similar event. That person had stated that the worst problem was lack of media control: after the shooting, media personnel were out of control, competing for the most emotional stories to present, and they ignored the needs of those in shock or grieving. Another topic was about transgender issues and that they were already being seen in Albuquerque schools. “It’s here!” said Cordova.
He said he had also learned that the Alternative Graduation Requirements were nearly phased out in March, but conditions prevented that, and that they would be ended this August. It was also brought up that Cobre wrestlers, who came in second at state, were to be congratulated for their competition.
Sepulveda said that starting in the second March board meeting, they would be reviewing policy in the second meeting of the each month, and that they would use the help of Vickie Smith, ex-superintendent, former board member, a person of many talents.
Cobre’s seventh grade team competed in the MESA (math-engineering-science) competition at Albuquerque and came in fifth out of 200 other teams, an audience member reported. Cordova said Region VIII would be allowed to choose another scholarship from the school board association again this year. Since Lordsburg had claimed it last year, it would not be eligible to receive it again this year.
After Public Input, a few items were discussed for the March 10 agenda and the meeting
was adjourned a little after 7:50. The next school visited by the board should be San Lorenzo Elementary.