Steamboat School Board to negotiate contract with Meeks | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat School Board to negotiate contract with Meeks

School Board narrowly endorses bid to be food service provider for CMC

— The Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday night voted unanimously to offer Superintendent Brad Meeks an extended contract. The board also voted, 3-2, to endorse the school district's bid to become the food service provider for Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus.

The School Board will negotiate a salary with Meeks, whose contract was set to expire in June, within the next two months. Board President Brian Kelly said the contract extension likely would be for two years.

"I'm very excited about it," Meeks said about the unanimous vote. "Personally, it provides stability for me and my family, and it also provides stability for the district."

He said his most immediate focus along with managing the budget would be to ensure the director of teaching and learning he added to the district last year successfully enhances the learning experience of students in Steamboat.

Kelly said the board is waiting to receive salary data from comparable school districts in Aspen, Telluride and Eagle County that will be used during the negotiations.

Meeks, who started with the district in July, was evaluated by the board during two executive sessions on his management of the budget and his communication with staff members during his first six months in the district. Meeks will make $158,654 as superintendent through the end of his original contract. During his half-year tenure, he has added a curriculum director back to the district, worked with the Hayden and South Routt school districts to apply for a $300,000 literacy grant from Mile High United Way, and most recently, he worked with Nutritional Services Director Max Huppert on the district's bid to provide food service to the Alpine Campus.

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The School Board on Monday voted narrowly to endorse that plan, which would move most of the district's cooking operations into the college's forthcoming 60,000-square-foot academic facility.

The proposal indicates the service could provide additional revenues for the school district of which the Nutritional Services Department, led by Huppert, serves 800 to 1,000 meals each school day to Steamboat's K-12 students. The department sustains itself financially with the exception of $15,000 the district supplies to the program annually from its capital reserve fund.

Kelly and board members Robin Crossan and Rebecca Williams voted in support of the proposal Sunday night, saying it would benefit the school district.

"I think it is important to encourage innovation and think outside the box," Kelly said, adding potential revenues generated by the agreement could help to sustain and grow the district's food services budget. Board members Denise Connelly and Wayne Lemley voted against the measure, saying that to extend food service to the college would not align with the district's core mission of providing education to its students

Alpine Campus Dean of Student Affairs Brian Hoza and Chief Executive Officer Peter Perhac were present at Monday's meeting. They are expected to select a bidder in the coming weeks.

Also at Monday's meeting:

Steamboat Springs School District technology director Tim Miles briefed the board on the district's broadband needs.

Kelly and Meeks said the discussion turned out to "be the heart of the meeting."

"There are so many needs in the district for additional technology, broadband in particular," Kelly said.

He added lower broadband capabilities have created problems especially at Steamboat Springs High School in the form of low download speeds and load times.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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