North Union organizes new board

ARMSTRONG – Now that Armstrong-Ringsted and Sentral school districts have the green light to merge, an interim board for the emerging North Union school district has been chosen.

Armstrong-Ringsted board members Jim Boyer, Jen Von Bank and George Walker were chosen in a special meeting of the A-R school board this week, while Sentral selected Ron Dacker and Cory Colbertson to be on the new board.

The first official meeting of the North Union school board will be 6:30 p.m. July 29 at the high school library in Armstrong. The board will be opened by a notary, and new oaths of office will be administered.

“The interim board’s main job is to get all the pieces in place,” said Sentral Superintendent Art Pixler.

The first items will be selecting an interim board officers and superintendent, and regular meeting times for the next year.

The board also will need to determine when all individual board positions are up for election.

“The code says something about [the board] having a plan to get rid of their positions and replace them,” Pixler said. “We have one situation on our board where one of our North Union members would be up for re-election, and it’s possible that we could have someone that’s on the North Union board but not serving on the Sentral board.”

Other big items that will need to be in place before the 2014-15 school year include board policies for the new district; salary schedules; collective bargaining; and having things in place to take advantage of state incentives offered for merging.

There is also the need for a new whole-grade sharing agreement with North Kossuth.

“We’ve received every indication that North Kossuth wants to continue with whole-grade sharing,” Pixler said. “This school year and last school year, there are three entities, and next year there will only be two.”

Those involved seem eager to take on the big project.

“It’s all for governance things, and there’s a lot of work to be done,” Pixler said. “There’s going to be quite a few meetings, and also informing the community.”