Focus onstudents atMadison-Plains

The start of the 2017-18 school year is finally upon us and the excitement is contagious. Students, staff and parents alike are eager to see old friends and meet new faces.

The kindergarten classes, the youngest members of our Madison-Plains family, bring 78 new students through our doors each day. In addition, so far, we welcome 62 more who are new to enroll to the district.

We also have the pleasure of welcoming new staff to the district, including 11 teachers, two support staff and two new administrators. They are:

Ashley Woodard — 7-12 English

Shelby Balint — VoAg

Rob Carroll — 7-12 Art

Lauren Colles — 9-12 guidance counselor

David Emmons — 7-12 Intervention Specialist

Brian Rohrig — 7-12 Science

Andrew Wroda — 7-12 English

Jordan Cramer — 7-12 Intervention Specialist

Ann Boerger — 7-12 assistant principal

Kaitlyn Kite — Fifth grade science/math

Krista Joyce — K-6 Intervention Specialist

Alissa Byers — Third grade

Sam Stires — Custodian

Drew Snyder — K-6 assistant principal

Robert Keene — Transportation coordinator

While we had a set back at the polls earlier this month with a defeat of an emergency operating levy, we will not change our goals or expectations.

We will continue toward excellence in all we do from our academics to arts to athletic programming. We look forward to the results for the forthcoming state report card as we expect to see significant growth in most tested areas of student performance.

We will change our planned conversations, however.

We must now put on hold an anticipated January discussion about investing in our current facilities or exploring options for new facilities. Instead, we will focus on renewing our Permanent Improvement (PI) levy in November.

The PI provides new busses, classroom furniture, computers and the maintenance of our facilities. The existing 2.5-mill PI levy is now being collected at an effective tax rate of .89 mills which will not sustain our maintenance schedule and/or needs.

The Board and I have already started conversations about reducing our operating costs. While we haven’t identified specific areas, reductions will be implemented for the 2018-19 school year in order to avoid a deficit. We cannot maintain current programming with our existing revenue.

On behalf of the administrative team, I vow to diligently keep the focus on our business of educating students and not on finances. You will however receive updates from my office, Treasurer Todd Mustain and the Board about the development of the General Fund balancing plan.

Thank you for supporting Madison-Plains. Here’s to a new year!

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Tim Dettwiller

Guest Columnist

Tim Dettwiller is the superintendent of Madison-Plains Local Schools. He can be reached by email at or call 740-490-0614.