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New football coach on board at WP PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 16 June 2011 21:24

Former Wallace coach makes verbal agreement to lead Broncos

By Josh Sumner

The Wauneta Breeze


Wauneta-Palisade Superintendent Stan Sibley announced at Monday’s regularly scheduled WP School Board meeting that the district has reached a verbal agreement with Justin Bernhardt for the services of head football coach and P.E. teacher.

Bernhardt, who just completed his third season as an assistant coach for the Rocky Mountain College football team, took WP rival Wallace to the D-2 State quarterfinals in 2007.

“He’s eager to get started with the football program,” said Sibley, who added that Bernhardt won’t be able to begin working with kids in the weight room until a contract is officially signed. Bernhardt earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Montana State-Billings, and could have his contract with Wau-Pal completed by as early as this week.


Lauhead returning to girls basketball

The Bernhardt hiring wasn’t the only announced shift to the Broncos coaching staff at Monday’s meeting. Wau-Pal has apparently found the answer to its girls basketball coaching vacancy, and administration didn’t have to look far to find it. The Wau-Pal School Board intends to rehire longtime WP girls basketball coach Roger Lauhead this fall.

Lauhead, who recently announced his decision to retire from teaching, is anticipated to return to the bench for the 2011-12 season.

Sibley explained that because Lauhead recently retired, he is under a 180-day waiting period in which he can’t be paid by Wauneta-Palisade, or any other school district. However, Lauhead can volunteer to coach until the period ends, after which he can receive pay. Sibley said Lauhead is interested in remaining the girls basketball coach for a maximum of three more seasons.

More personnel movement headlined the business at Monday’s meeting. The board discussed the hiring of Wauneta-Palisade graduate Betsy (Anderjaska) Johanson, who is slated to teach middle school social studies and English. Johanson will be in the position previously held by Denise Bales, who is staying with Wau-Pal, and transferring to teaching fifth grade as a replacement for the now retired Janyce McClatchey.

Johanson’s hiring at WP currently hinges on the anticipated release from her contract at Maywood Schools, where she taught last year.

Other additions and subtractions to the Wau-Pal staff included the hiring of a new art teacher, and the release of another teacher, who never taught a day at WP. Janessa Wood, a recent education graduate from Fort Hayes State, will teach art at WP beginning in 2011-12. Jessica Barger, who was hired by the school in April to work in the newly adopted Title I position, asked for and received a release from her contract.

According to Sibley, a contract has tentatively been offered to Patty Holmberg to fill the now vacated Title I spot, however, no formal action was taken by the school board.

“[Patty] has a very strong background in reading and reading strategies,” said Sibley. “She’s been working with us this year as an associate in the special ed. program.”

The personnel report, as prepared and recommended by the Wau-Pal administrative team, was approved by the school board.


Curriculum revisions

The other big action item during Monday’s school board meeting was the approval of the recommended revisions to the Wau-Pal curriculum.

Significant changes include the increase in required social studies credits from 30 to 40, meaning students will be in social studies all throughout high school.

WP freshmen will now be required to take world geography, while world history becomes mandatory for sophomores. American history and government will be continue to be taught during junior and senior years, respectively.

Credit hour requirements in science will be kept the same for high school students, however there will be small changes. Juniors will now be required to take a science class. Also, health and nutrition will move from being a science credit to a P.E. credit. A new integrated science class is also being added to the curriculum, and will teach students elements of life science, physical science and earth science.

The traditional English writing class is being dropped, and will be replaced by a new class which teaches students certain career skills, such as business correspondence, technical writing, web design and career researching.

Students who work as teachers’ aides will continue to get course credit for their work, however they will only receive a pass or fail grade going forward.

Students involved in the work release program will no longer receive course credit or a grade, but the program will remain at Wau-Pal.


Also at the meeting

• School board members listened to recommendations from WP Principal Troy Holmberg during a discussion about how the board should proceed in purchasing new football helmets.

• A discussion about revisions to the daily school schedule, at both the Wauneta and Palisade Attendance Centers, took place. Sibley said a true recommendation about anticipated transportation and bell schedule changes will be brought forth at next month’s meeting.

• Sibley made a recommendation to school board members for a 5 to 10-cent increase in the school lunch price, which he said is necessary due to the complexities of the federal formula in free and reduced lunches.

• School board members entered executive session to discuss the current bargaining process between the WP School District and its teachers, as well as to discuss the purchase of property. No action was taken.