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Drumming up support
Hoisington high school band keeping a steady beat
new vlc Photo - USD 431 Hoisington Band
A.J. Mosier and members of the Hoisington High School Bands percussion section received a grant of $3,500 from the Golden Belt Community Foundations Youth Engagement Grant. Mosiers project, Steady Beat, outlined the need for new percussion equipment for both the high school and middle school programs. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

HOISINGTON — At the Dec. 1 USD 431 school board meeting, board members played musical chairs, so to speak.  Board member Maggie Alderdice tendered her resignation for her Position 6 seat, and after it was approved, the board then appointed her to fill Position 5.  
This was necessary because a recent move meant Alderdice was no longer living in the district that she served.  Last month, board member Steven Little resigned his Position 5 seat.  The seat was advertised, but only Alderdice applied to fill it.  This leaves Position 6 open, and the district has begun advertising for a candidate to fill it.  Superintendent Bill Lowry said the district has received a few inquiries.  According to custom, both seats will be up for re election in April for a two year term.   Then, they will once again become four year term seats.  
Karisa Kaiser, a middle school instructor, presented a video created by teachers at the middle school explaining how they were using the new Chromebooks in their classes.  A discussion followed on the use of the Chromebooks and iPads in the district.
Lowry reviewed policies to be discussed at the KASB Delegate assembly during the KASB convention that was held on Dec. 7.   He presented with Kent Stewart that Saturday, concerning the district’s facilities review.  
They shared about the process the district is going through as it grapples with the decision to either remodel or rebuild Lincoln Elementary School.  The 88 year old building is in need of new heating, cooling, wiring and plumbing.  That’s not all.  Should the district decide to keep the existing building, remodeling to restructure classroom size and to improve the security of the building are additional considerations.  
Board members entered into executive session for the discussion of non-elected personnel and the protection of their rights with Lowry present, and Hoisington High School Principal Meg Wilson when called for.  After 30 minutes, they resumed open session briefly and re entered executive session for 20 minutes.  When that session ended, the board resumed open session and took action, accepting the resignation of  fourth grade teacher Jeb Detter, effective immediately.  

Other motions made and items of discussion included:
Approved a motion to start a construction management at-risk project delivery system.
Lowry reminded board members of the filing deadline for school board positions.  They have until Tuesday, Jan. 27.
Dean Stoskopf reported on the Region 8 nominating committee’s nominee, Gary Yost.
Approved employing Karisa Kaiser as Boys Tennis Assistant Coach for the 2014-2015 school year.
Approved employing Bailey Barnard Streit as Softball Assistant Coach for the 2014-2015 school year.
Heard a request for the board to consider helping with the purchase of new drums for the high school band by band member A.J. Mosier.  (see related story)  
The board announced it would hold a special board meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at the District Office.  The next regular board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan 5, 2015. 

A.J. Mosier, Hoisington,  is a band member on a mission, and he brought that mission to the attention of board members at the USD 431 Board of Education meeting on Monday, Dec. 1.  
He was there to tell them about the “Steady Beat” project he was awarded $3,500 for from a Youth Engagement Grant he’d written and received from the Golden Belt Community Foundation.  
According to the application, band members are seeking funding to replace drums the school’s band has been using for the past decade.  Those drums have taken a pounding.
“There are lots of pieces and parts that have been used and reused to assemble and stretch the life of the drums,” he wrote.  “After students have repaired a snare drum and carrier with other pieces and parts, it’s playfully described as ‘Franken’ carrier or ‘Franken’ drum.”
At the most recent Hoisington Labor Day Parade, he described band members who marched without instruments and with carriers in different states of disrepair.  And with a program expected to continue to grow in years to come, new drums will be needed to accommodate more interest from students.
Hoisington’s new band director, Ms. Demuth, as selected a group of student leaders to assist the band with school and community events.  Taking their cue from the acclaimed motion picture, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and the foundation that carries the name of the film, they are seeking to raise an additional $7,000 to $8,000 to purchase additional snares, bass and quads, as well as at least two new trap sets, as well as the carriers needed to ensure students can march in parades comfortably and without injury.
President of the board, Dean Stoskopf, assured Mosier that his request for funding from the school board would be put on the agenda for the next board meeting for consideration.