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By Margaret Hopper

The Cobre school board met July 8, beginning with the closed session at 6:02 p.m. Toy Sepulveda reported that the board discussed hiring, the new superintendent’s evaluation guidelines for a January report, and limited personnel. No decisions had been made. The public session began at 7:11 p.m., with all board members present.

Under unfinished business, Patsy Sanchez agreed to meet with Supt. Mendoza later this week to continue the plan to rename the Cobre Fine Arts Center for Chuck Gerheart, the band instructor who has brought home 14 state competition first place honors for the Indians in about that many years.

Sepulveda said Policy #565 allowed superintendents to recommend names of people for buildings, or to assign a committee to do that, and that board members would have the final decision. Sepulveda said more research was needed and the Legislature this year had nearly passed a bill that would prevent any living person to be so considered. The process will be on the next agenda, as well.

In the superintendent’s report, Robert Mendoza outlined the Forest Service’s use of the San Lorenzo facility, due to the recent fire at Silver Creek, which ended July 7. In the walk-through inspection at the end of 28 days of occupation, agreements for use included payments from the Service in the amount of $625 per day, with the total of $17,500 for the month, and a $2500 payment for the cleaning and re-waxing of the tiled gym, as well as replacement of the carpeting in the school for stains. The new carpeting will be decided upon soon. Mendoza was told the Service would send the finances shortly and it was likely that the work would be finished before school opened in August.

While there, the fire fighters asked what could be done additionally, and Linda Jones, San Lorenzo’s custodian, suggested a raised bed for the children’s greenhouse project. The result was a work of art, which some Hopi fire fighters painted on three sides of the raised bed, with Hopi designs, desert willow designs and flames with fire fighters outlined against them. By report, these scenes are being covered in local papers.

Mendoza informed the board that the K-3Plus program was underway and that students were taking advantage of the summer work as follows: from Hurley, 34 of 39 enrolled were attending; at Central, 58 of 70; at Bayard, 37 of 43. At San Lorenzo, 5 students had attended today, the first day it was open. Mendoza said staff was phoning parents to keep the attendance figures high, as some families were on vacations and out for other reasons.
In addition to the K-3Plus instruction, some students in grades 4 through 6 were also attending at some schools.

Bayard Elementary construction was on schedule, Mendoza said. Mendoza’s contract
with the district began on July 1.

Under administrative topics, the board acknowledged that the canvas results of the recent board election had been published and accepted. The legal notice of the 2013-2014 board meetings list was accepted, and by the open meetings resolution, the board planned to continue meeting on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. Conflicts would be resolved as needed.

San Lorenzo requested approval for its Harvest Festival fundraiser to be held on October 5 and for the use of school facilities to do this. Mendoza asked the board to approve transportation contracts for the 2013-2014 school year with $530,063 marked for Porter Transportation of Bayard, and $95,915 for Montoya Transportation of Mimbres and Silver.  All the above were approved without discussion.

The topic of an independent auditor for the district brought in three bids, two of them local and a third from Albuquerque. The lowest bid, $17,340 with a scoring of 60 out of 100 points was bypassed for the $18,375 bid of Stone, McGee & Company of Silver City, which scored 99 percent on the proposal evaluation form, at the request of Frank Ryan. The Albuquerque firm scored at 69 percent and bid at $27,820. Fran Kelly asked who created the scoring index; Frank Ryan said he and Terry Holguin, district financial controller, had put it together. The board approved the Stone, McGee bid.

Board members set the next meeting for July 29 rather than the July 22 regular date. Sepulveda said that meeting would begin at 5:00 p.m. for a budget workshop. Other business for that session would include an evaluation of Interim Superintendent George Peru whose term was now ended. The renaming of the Fine Arts Center would also be on that agenda.

The meeting adjourned at 7:40.

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