Thompson elected to fill school board’s vacant fourth district seat

New school board member Holly Thompson (left) is sworn in by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters following her election on Monday, Jan. 14.
New school board member Holly Thompson (left) is sworn in by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters following her election on Monday, Jan. 14. Photo by Lauren W. Wilson.

The newest member of the Huntington County Community School's School Board took her oath of office during the Jan. 14 meeting of the board.

Holly Thompson, who beat out four other candidates for the District 4 seat, was selected by a 4-1-1 vote.

Current school board members cast their votes in a selection process conducted by school board's legal council, Joe Wiley.

The board cast five ballots before reaching a final vote electing Thompson.

After the second ballot, Tony Herber was eliminated from the running as he received no votes from any board member.

The first four ballots were identical in votes, with members Tom King, District 5; Ben Landrum, District 3; and Sarah Kyle, District 6 voting for Thompson and Rex Baxter, District 7 voting for David Miller. Scott Hoffman, District 1 voting for Mark Mason and Kevin Patrick, District 2 cast votes for Bonita Price.

After the fourth ballot, members asked each of the four candidates to address the board and explain why he or she would be the best choice for the open seat, at which time David Miller withdrew his name from consideration.
Thompson won the seat on the fifth ballot, with King, Landrum, Kyle, Baxter, voting in her favor.

Thompson immediately took her oath and her seat on the board, participating in the remainder of the meeting.

The board also elected its 2013 officers, including Kevin Patrick, board president; Rex Baxter, vice president; and Scott Hoffman, secretary.

Also, Edette Eckert was reappointed as treasurer.

The board members also voted to reinstate their previous compensation of a maximum of $1,800 annually with $100 paid per special meeting of the board. The state's maximum pay for a board member is $2,000 per year and $112 per special meeting.

Tom King was appointed as legislative liaison to the Indiana School Board Association.

The bid opening committee, consisting of Jon Bennett, assistant superintendent of finance; Eckert, board treasurer; and Tracey Shafer, HCCSC superintendent; was reappointed.

Shafer was also reappointed as the community representative for the common wage committee.

After the reorganization of the board, Shafer reported seven General Education Diplomas were earned in the past month.

Also, the board approved the acceptance of a donation to Andrews Elementary in the amount of $250 from the Huntington County Community Foundation. The donation will be awarded to Jo Keller to purchase language arts supplies for first and second grades.

Bennett reported the ending cash balance in the general fund in 2012 was $2,000,800, with 92.16 percent of appropriated funds spent.

Bennett that said that in 2012 the school corporation paid out $737,000 less in payroll than 2011.

Two new school buses will arrive this week, he said.

Finally, the board heard the first reading of a joint resolution for establishment of a learning center.
Shafer brought the proposal before the board, explaining the current Vocational Building at Huntington North High School would be expanded and remodeled to house the learning center.

The project would be made possible by working with the United Way of Huntington to raise the funds through pledges made to the United Way.

The center would eventually house labs for high school students and be utilized by Work One and Ivy Tech to offer adult education in the evenings.

"This is one more piece of the puzzle in our economic development," said Patrick, and he asked the board to make passing this project their "biggest priority."