District keeping classroom populations small and looking for new softball coach
The Gibraltar Area School Board could have as many as five newcomers serving the district and likely receiving training from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards this spring.
Karen Nordahl, a parent of two Gibraltar students, took the oath of office March 14 to complete the final year of the term of Lauren Bremer Ward, who resigned for reasons related to a career move. Nordahl, as well as new board members Jeremy Schwab and Luca Fagundes, attended interviews with the board to be appointed in the wake of resignations of Angela Sherman and Amy Carriere.
Incumbent and board treasurer Don Helm, Jessica Sauter, James Smasal and Patrick Voight are running for election April 5 for two seats. The terms are for three years.
Board Adding Third-grade Section
If the Gibraltar Area School District does not add a teacher or two, all of its kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms could have more than 20 students in them by 2024, elementary school principal Lisa Wing told the school board.
The district has made a commitment to keep class sizes below 18 students in order to maximize teacher-student interaction. To do that, the board of education this month voted to hire an additional teacher and add a third section of third grade. The board also voted to hire a teacher to replace a retiring fourth-grade instructor so that the district will continue to have three sections of fourth grade.
Board member Mike Peot said it’s refreshing to see growth at the elementary school level.
Board president Stephen Seyfer asked Wing whether there’s space available for an additional third-grade classroom, noting that the district is adding a 4-year-old kindergarten classroom. Wing said she’s working toward a solution but needed board approval for the extra section first.
Seyfer said the board is obviously committed to paying for quality education of district students, as the per-pupil cost of educating students (about $24,000) remains higher than the Wisconsin average of almost $14,000.
Gibraltar Seeks Softball Coach
This month, the Gibraltar board also accepted the resignation of varsity softball coach Nick Bastian.
“I’d like to thank Nick for his many years of service,” board member Don Helm said.