By Lynn Janes

The Cobre Consolidated School Board held a regular meeting at San Lorenzo Elementary School on February 26, 2024. Board members in attendance included, , Gabriella Begay, Gilbert Guadiana (online), David Terrazas, Angelina Hardin, and Emmarie Heredia. Acting superintendent Michael Koury also attended.

Alicia Edwards, coordinator with Healthy Kids, Healthy Community of Grant County, attended to discuss with the board the wellness policy. The last time the district had updated the policy had been 2017. Edwards told the board that March 28, 2024, PED (Public Education Department) would be coming to the area to do an audit of the wellness program and policies. In 2017 the policy had not been fully developed but currently falls more in line with the requirements. She gave the board an explanation of the process for the audit.

Action items.

The board approved the agenda, board meeting minutes and bills that had been approved by the finance committee. They also approved numerous budget increases, initial budget items and budget transfers. Frank Ryan, finance director, explained each one to the board.

The board didn’t approve funds for board members to participate in the New Mexico Association the School Business Official 2024 spring budget workshop. A lot of discussion transpired over this.

The board approved the appointment of Begay, Terrazas and Hardin to the finance committee

The board approved the appointment of Guadiana and Heredia to the audit committee.

New business

The board approved tentatively April 13, 2024, for their board training and strategic plan retreat.

Begay had not attended the finance committee meeting and referred the report to Terrazas who attended. He said they had gone over all the budget transfers, increased and initial items at the meeting approved earlier in this meeting.

Guadiana said the audit committee meeting would take place in a few days.

Board member reports

Terrazas thanked the students that had given them a presentation before the meeting. He went over some of the upcoming sports events. He also recognized Niko Trujillo for winning wrestling state championship five times in a row.

Begay thanked the students for the presentation before the meeting. She said she heard the cooks at San Lorenzo were the best and said she might be out for lunch. She had been fortunate to be a judge at the NHD (National History Day) presentations held at the Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces. Cobre had won some first, second and third places and would be eligible to compete at the state level. She echoed Terrazas concerning Niko Trujillo. She added that the lieutenant governor said only seven others in New Mexico had ever accomplished that. She enjoyed the welcome he received when he came home, people had lined up on the street to welcome him.

Heredia thanked the students for the presentation and said it had been nice to see the welcome parade for Trujillo.

Gaudian went over some of the safety measures at the high school.

Superintendent reports

Recently San Lorenzo Elementary School had a shelter-in-place incident. It had stemmed from something happening near the school. Koury had sent the information on the incident to the board. He had met with the sheriff and a deputy to go over the incident and talk to them about how the process could be done better in the future. One of the requests Koury and Shay L Biebelle, principal, had been if they had another incident to send an officer to the school.

Lisa Walton, director of operations, had joined the meeting online to give the board an update on the preventative maintenance plan for the district. She had sent the plan to them previously and needed their signatures. Koury thanked her for all her hard work and commented this had never been done at Cobre as far as he knew. Guadiana thanked her for all her hard work on the plan and commented on it not being done before.

Walton said she would have a presentation ready for April in Santa Fe for the capital outlay project of building a new high school and middle school. She would also be requesting the waiver for their portion of the cost.

Guadiana asked if the presentation would be for both schools being together. Walton said yes it would combine them. Guadiana said they had to do public input before they could do that. Koury added they had received approval from the state just recently to combine the two. They would not be committed to them being together and will need public input on the project.

The discussion came to the size of the school and Guadiana asked if they would be including the projections of copper production increasing and the census not being a true reflection of the area. Koury said the state uses their data and that will be what they must use. Guadiana said it should be included and Koury said he would. He added that he would be addressing this with the board later. “We want this to be right the first time and have to discuss any financial possibilities and how we can cover them.”

Koury provided the board with a list of current fundraisers happening in the schools.

Meeting adjourned.

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