Vol. 13 | Issue 4

1 Oct

View PDF version here.

Welker elected Board president, Wilson vice president

Sherm Welker was elected president of the Board of Education Monday night.

Welker replaces Kay Beach, who served two years as president. Welker won in a 4-3 vote during the annual organizational meeting.

Jennifer Wilson was re-elected Board vice-president in another 4-3 vote. The Board also approved a number of annual appointments

  • Secretary/Treasurer – Kevin Posekany
  • School Attorney – Cartwright, Druker & Ryden
  • Additional Legal Counsel – Ahlers & Cooney, PC
  • Architect of Record – TSP

Board approves SIAC committee

The Board approved the roster of the School Improvement Advisory Committee Monday night.

The committee is comprised of students, community members, Board members, and district staff. Members of the committee are Luis Alcaraz, Ken Anderson, Morgan Bellile, Ralph Bryant, Laurie Buchwald, Tomasa Fonseca, Matt Cretsinger, John Hermanson, Tim Holmgren, Jason Jablonski, John Johnson, Lisa Koester, Vickie Lewis, Scott Lothe, Ronnie Manis, Susan Pecinovksy, Aiddy Phomvisay, Abigail Saucedo, Kendal Shomo, and Marvin Wade.

Design Advisory Committee recommends projects to Board

The Design Advisory Committee recommended a slate of prioritized capital improvement projects to the Board Monday night, totaling $17.3 million.

The DAC – comprised of Board members, community representatives and district administration – reviewed the entire Capital Improvement Plan, which contains $57 million in projects, and identified priorities across the district (see Notes from the Superintendent).

The Board is expected to vote on the Capital Improvement Plan at the Oct. 15 Board meeting.

Secretary/Treasurer’s Annual Report shows positive trends

The annual secretary/treasurer’s report showed the district increasing it’s general fund cash and investments 5.1 percent last year.

Kevin Posekany, director of business operations and Board secretary, told the Board members the District has a healthy cash position and a lot of schools would be happy to have ending balances like Marshalltown’s.

Posekany said the District has a solvency ratio of 6.7 percent. This falls within the auditor’s recommendation of 6-8 percent, though Posekany said the goals is to reach 8-10 percent. Solvency ratio is calculated by dividing the unreserved fund balance by expenditures.

Board reviews graduation trends

The Marshalltown High School graduation rate for 2011-2012 was 77.7 percent, according to a report presented at the Sept. 24 Board meeting.

Dr. Susan Pecinovksy, associate superintendent for student achievement, said some discrepancies in calculations by the state can be confusing, as each building has a different graduation rate than the district. The state also revised its graduation calculations in February 2011.

The 77.7 percent rate is a decrease from 2010-2011, which saw 80.8 percent, though still higher than the three previous years. The Strategic Action Plan objective is to have a 95 percent graduation rate by 2014-2015.

Fisher Elementary Phase II complete

Phase II of the Fisher Elementary project was approved as substantially complete Monday evening.

Phase II of the project included electrical work and a lot of finishing including windows, carpeting, etc.

The school will soon host an open house to showcase the finished facilities to the community.


By Sherm Welker, President

We as a community have started a renewal program for our school district and for our school buildings. Many of us were not around during the 1970s and 1980s when some of Marshalltown’s industry changed and made funding local capital projects very difficult for the community and school district. We changed that in 2002 and throughout the last 10 years have reinvested into our building infrastructure. Our elementary schools have been renovated and have fewer students due to the grade structure realignment. Our newer Lenihan Intermediate School is a bright star for our students to start the transition to High School. While many funds have been spent at Miller Middle School, it still is our oldest structure and continued reinvestment will be necessary to continue the process we have begun.

Our newest facility when the bond issue projects started was MHS. It remains one of our focus sites for educational improvements and will need upgrades to the buildings as we approach our 50th year of service to our students. The first project is the Roundhouse renovation that will update and re-commission our effort to have first class facilities to mirror our first class education. We have asked for Board input into the capital plan and our advisory committee stands ready for public input as this project is launched this spring. We are all excited to see MHS changing in both the physical and educational realms. Please review our plan and be involved in our capital building campaign.


By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

Tonight’s meeting included a report from Director of Business Operations Kevin Posekany indicating the Board has $17 million that could be allocated toward completion of capital improvement (buildings and grounds) projects within MCSD. This amount was determined through a statutory funding formula that takes into consideration taxable valuation, a legal bonding rate of no more than five percent, and outstanding debt of the district.

The Board then reviewed a list of requested capital improvement projects totaling over $57 million. Members of the Design Advisory Committee identified projects considered priorities based upon criteria such as safety, educational need, and preventative maintenance to avoid costly repairs in the future. The $17.3 million of identified priority projects included work at Marshalltown High School ($10 million); Miller Middle School ($4 million); Support Services/Marshalltown Learning Academy/District Office ($2.2 million); and Anson, Rogers and Woodbury Elementary schools ($1.1 million).

This evening’s presentation included a large amount of information. Board members now have two weeks to study the entire project list and the recommendations of the Design Advisory Committee. It is anticipated that the Board will vote on Oct. 15 to identify those projects that will collectively serve as the MCSD Facilities Plan for the foreseeable future. I look forward to the Board’s vote and to the work that will begin immediately afterward to make the Board’s vision a reality for our community, schools and students.


Sept. 24, 2012
First Reading: 204.11 General Complaints by Citizens, waive second reading.
Initial Review: 205.1 Compensation for Expenses, mark reviewed; 205.2 Membership in Associations, delete.

Oct. 1, 2012
First Reading: 204.6 Notice of Board Meetings, mark reviewed. 204.5/204.5-R Organizational Meeting/Procedures, changed to state Board Secretary calls meeting to order, waive second reading.
Initial Review: 205.3 Board of Directors and Elected Officials, mark reviewed; 206.1 New Board Member Orientation, work on revising the list of recommended orientation seminars.


Sept. 24, 2012 (PDF)
Oct. 1, 2012 (PDF)

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