Werner is approved as new middle school principal


New Monticello Middle School Principal Todd Werner speaks after being introduced at the Monticello School Board meeting Feb. 26. (Photo by Pete Temple)
School Board
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

                  Todd Werner was approved, and then introduced, as the new principal of Monticello Middle School during a regular meeting of the Monticello School Board Feb. 26.

                  Werner will replace Brent Meier, who is retiring effective July 31.

                  “It’s really exciting that we have found somebody that our interview committee thinks is going to be a really good match for our district, for our middle school, and for our administrative team,” Superintendent Brian Jaeger told the board.

                  “Todd brings with him 11 years of administrative experience, a whole background in sports and coaching, and some really good leadership skills and things that he’s done at his buildings. Just his passion for education and his knowledge of students and his understanding of how to communicate with families and work with the community was so impressive to all of us in our interview.”

                  Werner was junior and senior high principal and curriculum director at the WACO school district in Wayland for four years, and has spent the last seven years as junior and senior high principal for the Belle Plaine school district.

                  Speaking to the board at the meeting, Werner said he looked forward to getting started.

                  “I just had a really good feeling, when I was taken around and shown the community, and shown the school and the progress, and the commitment this community is making here,” Werner said. “I’m excited to get started here with the new building, and all the things that the administrators are talking about that are going on in this district. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”

                  In other middle school news, the board approved a fee proposal/feasibility study from OPN Architects for the current middle school and the high school fitness center, at a cost of $29,900.

                  OPN will study and design uses for the old middle school building, focusing primarily on the gym and locker room areas, band and choir rooms, and loading dock/warehouse space in the northeast corner of the building.

In other board business:

                  • The board approved three bids for internet and phone services: Mediacom for internet services, in a five-year contract at a cost of $3,400 per month; ITS for the district-wide phone system, at a cost of $45,988; and RTI for E-Rate purchases of 10 switches, at a cost of $39,971.08.

                  Technology director Curt Tauke noted that the deal with Mediacom will save the district about $2,000 per month, largely because the district will be going from six sites to four, by vacating the old middle school and moving the Monticello Transition Center from the John McDonald Hospital building to the current administrative building.

                  • The board approved a number of sharing agreements with nearby school districts, including the human resources director, K-12 school counselor and school social worker with Anamosa; the food service director with North Linn, and the Transition Alliance Program (TAP) specialist with Midland.

                  • The board approved the Budget Guarantee Resolution. Jaeger indicated the district might not need the resolution this year, depending on what kind of increase the Iowa Legislature approves this session, but that it is wise to approve it in case the need arises.

                  • March 23 at 6 p.m. was set as the date and time for the public hearing on the 2020-21 budget.

                  • The board approved two board policies pertaining to student wellness, one involving nutrition, the other for activities.

                  • The board approved recommendations of the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC).

                  • As part of the consent agenda, the board approved the following personnel changes:

                  Resignation – Jessica Rubin as special education associate.

                  Appointments – Terry Covington and Dana Funk as substitute bus drivers, Shaelynn Helgens as Panther Academy associate, Colton Halder as varsity boys soccer coach, and the list of spring non-teaching coaches and volunteers.

                  Transfer – Sarah Domer-Sleep from special education child specific associate at the high school to special ed program associate at the high school.

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