Mission organizers honored by school board
Dean Frye, left, and Cindy Bishoff, center, organizers from the 2018 Reframe Titletown event and members of Trinity Lutheran Church, were honored by the Howard-Suamico school board on Monday, Aug. 20. Pictured right is Teresa Ford, board president. Ben Rodgers Photo
By Ben Rodgers
SUAMICO – Two people who coordinated a group effort to help with free home repairs this past summer were honored at the Monday, Aug. 21 school board meeting.
Cindy Bishoff and Dean Frye, organizers from the 2018 Reframe Titletown event and members of Trinity Lutheran Church, were recognized by the board for their contributions which brought 340 students into the area from five states to repair 54 homes for elderly, disabled, and low income homeowners.
The group was provided a place to stay by the district during the repairs this past summer.
“When you can work together you get so much more done,” Bishoff said. “So we’re blessed to have you guys on board.”
The group mission work camp also received support from Kimps Ace Hardware and Menards in Howard for the supplies needed to complete the repairs.
“We’re a very small church and we knew we couldn’t do it by ourselves,” Frye said.
Bishoff said the work in the area will continue until there is no longer a need for it.
“We’re signed up to do it again next year and we’re thrilled,” she said.
In other news, the board discussed an assessment for themselves, the cost of which has yet to be determined.
“We have funds set aside in our budget for development and this is a worthwhile endeavor I believe…” said Teresa Ford, board president. “Because the district is doing it itself, we can leverage that, you guys can leverage it with us. There are so many benefits to something like this and to mirror what the district has done is probably a good use of our time and a benefit.”
The assessment will look at more than strengths and weaknesses for every board member. It will also go over personality traits and the best methods for working with each member.
Rachelle Paulsen, a board member who works at Schneider National, said she has done assessments like these in the past, and they make more sense in an everyday work environment.
“On the board I do feel I want to be a little cautious if there’s a huge cost…” Paulsen said. “Because I feel on our board we’re all in a way pleasantly polite. We meet twice a month. Where at work you’re with everybody every single day, you really need to hammer out if you’re spirited or you’re systematic.”
Superintendent Damian LaCroix said the assessments, conducted by SM Advisors, could help the board achieve two of the goals it has for the upcoming school year, increased communication and advocacy.
“I love the idea of mirroring the board’s goals with behavior science…” LaCroix said. “How can we maximize the board potential to make good on those goals based upon the individual understanding of our unique strengths and motivators?”
The cost will be determined once more figures come in. Steve Van Remortel with SM, will sit down with each board member to go over their assessment and then with the group as a whole, which could take up to six hours or longer.
Finally, an upset citizen from Howard expressed concern over the lack of transparency the board exhibits for the distribution of agenda packets.
“There’s no paper copy for members of the public as you come in of any of these documents,” said Frank Ingram, Howard resident. “And you’re not using the screen to display them.”
Ingram noted that the agenda packets are not available online either, where other municipalities in the area make them public and post them for citizens to download or print.
“Do you want freedom of information request for every board meeting? Because I will make them,” he said. “If the board is keeping these documents secret I will make a freedom of information request for the board for every single document that goes to a school board member which is not required to be kept secret for reasons of personnel or contract.”
Board members did not answer Ingram’s request at the meeting, but Mark Ashley vice president said agendas have to be posted 24 hours in advance and any deviation from the posted agenda in an open meeting would be in violation of that.
“We have to honor everybody by focusing on the agenda,” Ashley said.
After the meeting Brian Nicol, communications and development coordinator for the district, said the board follows the letter of the law with agendas and packets are available with advance request.
“The district posts and notices agendas for board meetings as required by statue,” Nicol said. “Also, the information is available upon request.”