By Lynn Janes

The Cobre Consolidated Schools held a board meeting at on May 8, 2023. President Serena Murillo called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance included Gabriella Begay, Gilbert Guadiana, and David Terrazas (online). Dr. Jeff Spaletta also attended. Elizabeth Dean did not attend.

Reading of the board norms took place with each board member reading a norm. The norms consist of five rules the board strives to adhere to during the meeting. They are listed as actively listen to all perspectives, respond to concerns and questions as a unified board, professionalism expected, assume positive intent, and be positive and responsive.

The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico flag took place.

Spaletta listed the teachers and staff that would be recognized at the upcoming banquet.

He listed them by the school:

Bayard Elementary, Betty Tovar and Sandra Galaz

Hurley Elementary, Breanna Martin and Antoinette Madrid

Central Elementary, Courtney Sanchez and Veronica Arredondo

San Lorenzo, Patricia Armendariz and Linda Jones

Snell Middle School, Kathy Marquez and Angelica Guerrero-Jimenez

Cobre High School, Billy Gutierrez and Joseph Gavaldon

Public input on agenda none currently.

Acton Items

The board approved the agenda with some changes. They moved the student report to after the approval of the agenda, removed report from union representative (not in attendance) and tabled ratification of agreement with board of education.

Micaela Roacho, student representative, gave the board a report. The seniors only have two weeks left to the end of the year. Prom took place recently and the theme had been Cloud 9. She listed all the athletic events and said track had done well and listed several of the students.

Spaletta had provided the new salary schedules to the board. He said some revisions had to be made due to the additional three days added to the teachers contract. It went from 165 days to 168 days because of the increase in instructional time the legislature had passed recently. Begay said they had gone over all these in finance. Guadiana had some questions about the staff raises. Begay and Spaletta addressed them. Murillo asked if they could do higher raises. Spaletta said finance and Frank Ryan, finance director, would have to look into that. A lot of discussion went on with everyone concerning the raises and what could be done. Begay said they had to follow the schedule and Guadiana didn't understand why. Begay said any changes and they would have to redo the contracts and she didn't want to be in the position like the previous year when they had to make changes seven times. She said they had worked six months to make the schedule competitive and equitable to other districts in the area. Spaletta said the district already pays more than most. Guadiana still had questions and reservations. Begay said any changes and "we must hold contracts up." Terrazas said finance and the staff had put in a lot of hours to do this and they needed to finalize this and not have the problems in the past years not having these contracts correct and having to be redone. An agreement could not be met. In the end they passed the certified part of the salary schedule, and they will go back on the non-certified.

Unfinished business

They will turn over the overpayment of Cuddy and McCarthy LLC to the firm doing the special audit.

Finance committee

Begay said they had met and worked on the salary schedules. She pointed out that they had been doing this for six months and had done extensive research to come up with fair, equitable and competitive pay for the district. They have been talking to the city of Bayard to get possible help with the golf course. Michael Koury, director of special projects, will be having the matter put on the Bayard council agenda and has already met with the mayor about it. They also reviewed the 2nd quarter report.

Superintendent's report

The board recently had a retreat to make further decisions on the strategic plan. CES facilitated the meeting. The came up with the starting goals for each area. "We have some new people for those goals and Principal Koury will be overseeing the plan," Spaletta said.

Graduation will take place May 26, 2023, at 6:00 pm and will be held outside.

Summer Fest will happen July 29, 2023, which will be the Saturday before school starts. Their goal this year will be to have more booths. The school board will have a booth this year. They discussed the dunking tank and who got to go first.

Spaletta gave the board an update on the staff openings. All administration positions had been filled. They have a security guard position open and have openings for permanent substitutes. Also a few teacher positions have not been filled. Guadiana thanked Spaletta for all he done not having a human resource person and covering it. Spaletta said he had a lot of help.

The 2017 bond funding had monies left over that had to be used or lost and Spaletta had done several community meetings for ideas of what they wanted. All those projects have started except one. The one that had agreed to take care of a root problem at the Hurley Elementary School backed out. All had been set to be finished by the end of June. One will not be because they have had problems receiving the security cameras. All the projects have managers and have started.

In the past community members have kept up the golf course. They now would like the district to take it over. Spaletta said he hoped to do an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the city of Bayard. They have started talking with the mayor. Guadiana wanted to know if they had funding to do it. Murillo said she wanted to thank the community for taking care of it for all these years and hopefully the city would help.

New business

Spaletta said the law conference would be the first week in June and asked the board if any would be wanting to attend and it would give them education hours needed for the board. Begay said she wanted to go, and Murillo said she had already sent her RSVP. Guadiana said he had enough hours and Terrazas will not be able to attend due to surgery.

Public input none currently.

The board went into executive session for approximately two hours. It had to do with limited personnel matters.

The board came back to open session and said no action had been taken.

Action items

The board tabled the authorization consent to multiple representation by legal counsel in HRB #23-04-0273-S.

The council approved the legal fees for Spaletta in the amount of $12,493.85

The council approved the end of year evaluation of the superintendent, which members completed in executive session.


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