Uniontown wrestling program gets green light

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Loretta George/Tribune photo Kevin Gleason, right, receives a certificate of appreciation from Darryl Bloomfield at Monday's USD 235 Board of Education meeting. Bloomfield represented the Kansas Hunters Education Program sponsored by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

USD 235 Board of Education members are finished grappling over whether the school should start a wrestling program for students. They believe there is enough community support to begin the program for the 2014-15 school year.

Willie Hathaway and Shanna Eck came for further wrestling program discussion from the board and Athletic Director Jim Mason after attending last months board meeting. They are in favor of adding a wrestling program to the school's offerings.

"Shanna found people willing to financially support this," Mason said.

Prior to the meeting, Mason gave a packet of information to the board members which included email responses from potential wrestling competitors in other school districts.

"Brett Kramer, at Jayhawk-Linn (high school) said he will help with anything we need to get going," Mason said. "We have all kinds of other resources to help us with that."

In addition, Mason located a used wrestling mat being sold by Osage City for $1,500, he said. New mats cost between $3,500 and 5,000.

Shanna Eck has garnered $1,015 so far from businesses and individuals in the district to support a new wrestling program.

"The bank (Union State)will put us over the top to pay for the mat and have something back," Mason said.

Hathaway is the prime candidate for the wrestling coach position, Mason said following the meeting. "He helps coach softball now." As for an assistant coach, Mason said there are several candidates.

The wrestling program will be set up to avoid inconveniencing the other established athletic programs at the school, Mason said. Currently the idea is to lay the wresting mat on the stage at the high school for practice sessions.

One Kansas wrestling coach is willing to pay from his own pocket.

"The Burlington wrestling coach said he would personally pay to get us in their first meet with them," Mason said

Board President Matt Wood said the discussion answered all his concerns and questions.

Board member Lynn Oharah then moved to approve a wresting program for the coming year, with all present in agreement. Board member Shawn Wilkinson was absent.

Budget hearing

During the budget hearing Superintendent Randy Rockhold told the board there is great news.

"We are in a situation of being able to fulfill all the needs we have academically and our physical plant," he said. "There is no need for a mill increase. This is the first time in 13 years, since I've been here, we've been able to see that. It's a real positive thing."

Alumni request

Also attending the board meeting was Shonda Stewart, Uniontown High School Alumni co-chairwoman. Stewart was seeking consideration of using the board's mail permit to send out notices of the all-school alumni event July 4, 2015.

"It would save us $400 to $500," Stewart said. "As you know we give three to four scholarships each year (to UHS graduates)."

District Clerk Sherri Hartman said the school district does not have a mail permit any longer. Because it uses email instead for the Eagle Country News.

"Four years ago the permit was $200 a year. You pay that and your mailings, too," Hartman said. "It was about $200 a month when we sent out Eagle Country News."

The board directed Hartman to look up information for Stewart in regards to this matter.

Hunters education

Darryl Bloomfield and Larry Stevicks, both representing the Kansas Hunters Education Program (KHEP), attended the board meeting to present the board and teacher Kevin Gleason with a certificate of appreciation.

Bloomfield commended the board for 25 years of allowing the district facilities use by the

KHEP.

"We appreciate the use of the facility," Bloomfield said in his presentation. "Nobody gives us any static here. We appreciate that. And one person we would especially like to recognize for all his help, Kevin Gleason."

"The kids really enjoy it," Gleason said in taking the certificate. "Thanks for all you do. It's a service to the community."

Booster Club

Rockhold asked the board to consider paying a stipend to the Booster Club president because of the amount of work involved such as pictures, mailings, banquets and other duties.

He said he would gather information from former Booster Club presidents to determine the stipend and would go through the teachers association.

The board approved permission to do so.

The board also:

* approved the minutes from the last meeting.

* approved the 2014-15 budget.

* approved paying the bills on the computer handout.

* approved the treasurer's report for July.

* approved publishing the capital outlay resolution.

The next scheduled board meeting is Sept. 8.