Micah, an Oskaloosa graduate, was injured in an accident this past summer. He was an active member of the group during his high school days and was a familiar face at Smokey Row. His recovery is ongoing and medical expenses and therapies continue. He is currently in a wheelchair. His mother, Melanie, said he would like to attend college out west next fall.
“It has really has blown us away for the way the community has rallied around us,” said Melanie. “His attitude is great.”
Six teachers have accepted the district’s offer for early retirement. The board accepted the resignations at the end of the school year and awarded them the early retirement benefits. This package includes $500 for each year of service and $25 for each accrued sick leave day up to 120 days.
Mike Striegel, agriculture and FFA teacher,;Tom Tresnak, Spanish; and Cyndy Gray, physical education teacher at the high school offered their resignations. Elementary instructors included Diane Meredith, special education; Claudia Martin, talented and gifted; and Diane Vermeer, Title 1 teacher.
Oskaloosa resident Bob Morris spoke to the board and asked the board to consider circumstances and differences when comparing Oskaloosa schools with other districts. Morris has had a number of children in that schools and will have for several more. His wife also teaches in the district.
Morris said his family made the decision several years ago to remain in the community because of the school system.
Morris pointed out Pella as one district often compared with Oskaloosa. He mentioned that it is difficult to measure because of the different resources available in Pella. He said that Pella residents have approved a 5 percent surtax and those funds have assisted in many of the school’s initiatives. He also mentioned that Oskaloosa has had a significant increase in free and reduced lunch students and that provides additional considerations when comparing districts.