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United School District Update

During the recent United School Board meeting, they showcased success happening throughout the district. Sue Caslin, a Paraprofessional, was recognized with a ‘You Made a Difference Award’ for starting a scholarship program in her mothers’ honor for a 5th grade student to attend a summer leadership program in Chicago. At the West Elementary, Kindergarten teacher Emily Higbee is in the process of certifying her students as Junior Park Rangers through the National Park Program and has been skyping with a Park Ranger at the Grand Canyon. Superintendent Jeff Whitsitt states the kindergarteners are scheduled to visit the Gateway Arch National Park with Higbee’s assistance:

“She was able to fund through grants and donations a trip to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, which is unbeknownst to a lot of people is a National Park. She got that fully funded, charter buses and everything, for all of our Kindergarten students and a parent each. It includes the tour, the movie, and the trip up to the top,” Whitsitt shares.

The students will travel to St. Louis in May.

The United School Board has approved a bid for replacing the roof at the Junior High as part of the districts’ life safety funding projects. Superintendent Whitsitt has the details:

“We had an estimate of replacement costs of about 1.2 million dollars. We approved a bid for $762,000. So we are not quite $600,000 under estimate there so we feel pretty good about getting that project done for that type of money. It also offers us some flexibility,” reports Whitsitt.

Over the next couple of months the board will discuss options on how to go forward with the excess of the bond, seek other life safety projects or pay the bond off quicker.

Chad Robertson has been named the next United Junior High Principal. Robertson will spend the 2020-2021 school year as a principal in waiting by working with current Principal Chris Schwarz. Superintendent Whitsitt shares Robertson will be a great fit for the district:

“He’s homegrown. He graduated from Warren and still has a lot of family here. His own daughter comes to United. They live in the district and his wife works at the West Elementary building as well. He covered our football games and he actually coached our Junior High boys’ basketball team this winter. Lot of connections, just a great individual and a great educational mind. His references were consistent in what they felt like his strengths were and I just think it will be a great fit,” Whitsitt states.

Schwarz will transition to be the High School Principal in 2021 from the retiring Amy Schmitz.

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