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School Board bids farewell to Superintendent, approves key contracts, discusses firearms policy

The Lennox School Board of Education held their monthly meeting on Monday, June 10 at the Lennox Elementary Library.

This marked the last meeting for current Superintendent Dr. Chad Conaway who has accepted a position with the Harrisburg School District. His official last day will be June 21. 

School board president, Scott Sandal, thanked Conaway for his service to the District the past eight years. 

Updates were given on the High School construction project with everything continuing on track. Structure will be going up in July and inside work will continue throughout the year. 

The board approved the following resignations: Trey Manitz—JH girls and boys’ basketball coach and Matthew Luze—Strength training coach. They also approved the following new contracts:  Charlotte Souter—3rd grade teacher, Worthing Elementary; Trey Manitz—Varsity girls golf coach; Trey Manitz—Freshman boys basketball coach; and Chris Kruse—Strength training coach, winter. 

The consolidated application assurances were approved, along with the comprehensive plan, English Language Learners (ELL) plan, family engagement plan, IDEA flow-through fund assurances, and the Medicaid administration agreement.

The waiver from Administrative Rule 24:43:11:01 was also approved. This waiver allows eighth graders to receive high school credit for Algebra I.

The board also approve a bid for weight-room equipment and flooring from Push Pedal Pull for $129,911.90. Activities Director, Chris Buckmiller, assured the board that this will provide the District with everything they need.

The board approved the bid for Worthing Elementary gym roof top unit replacement from Howe, Inc.  which included a base bid of $126,500 and an alternate for $5,950 for a total of $132,450. 

Surplus items that consisted of  computer desks, laptops, and surface tablets were also declared. 

The following resignations were accepted: Dalton Benson—custodian; Macy Goebel—special education assistant; and Lani Stokely—special education assistant. 

The board reviewed the new work agreement for Darin Abbas, special education assistant. 

Discussion was also held on a policy to address possession of firearms by district patrons. The board is currently looking at three policy options that include a blanket prohibition, meaning no firearms would be allowed on school property; a School Sentinel option, meaning an employee who would be allowed to have a firearm on school property would have to complete all requirements under South Dakota law required to become a school sentinel; or a third option that would leave it up to administrative discretion. 

Conaway noted that they discussed options with their current insurance carrier and the insurance carrier said they would drop them. They would only provide coverage if a law enforcement officer was present, such as a School Resource Officer (SRO). 

“What we really wanted was a SRO,” said Conaway, “But it just never really worked out.”

Board member Nick Butler asked if they could get insurance quotes from other companies if they looked at adopting the School Sentinel option. 

Board member, Yvette Christensen was in agreement. “To me it’s worth looking into,” she said. “It’s the safety of the kids”.

It was decided to gather more information in order for the board to make an educated decision with all the facts. 

The following open enrollments were also approve:

Intra-District: Lennox Elementary to Worthing Elementary, and Worthing Elementary to Lennox Elementary

Inter-District: Viborg-Hurley to Worthing Elementary, Centerville to Worthing Elementary, Harrisburg to Worthing Elementary, Harrisburg to Worthing Elementary, Marion to Lennox Elementary, Sioux Falls to Lennox, Harrisburg to Lennox High School, Harrisburg to Lennox High School, Tea Area to Lennox Intermediate, Tea Area to Lennox High School, Tea Area to Lennox High School, Centerville to Lennox Junior High, and Centerville to Lennox Intermediate. 

The following open enrollments were denied: 

Inter-District: Hurley to Lennox High School, Tea Area to Lennox Elementary, and Canton/Marion to Worthing Elementary. 

The meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m. 


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