By Owen Reissmann for Wausau Pilot and Review

Complete with free cookies for all in attendance, this month’s school board meeting celebrated national school lunch week (October 15-19). A proclamation from the governor’s office was read to observe the event and recount the state’s dedication to the 470,000 children served a school lunch each day, in support of Wisconsin’s Every Child a Graduate agenda.

A second proclamation by Governor Scott Walker was read, to observe national school board week, which is this current week (October 7-13). The proclamation emphasizes recognizing the contribution made by board members who serve our community by overseeing their local public education system.

Next, Tammy Steckbauer, Principal of Rib Mountain Elementary, in her role as Gifted and Talented Coordinator, gave a speech thanking all those involved in helping the program to flourish. She emphasized the importance of annual parent surveys and shared that as a result of requests from parents this year a middle school Gifted and Talented teacher was hired. She indicated that she will be returning to next month’s meeting to present their strategic plan.

Board member Theresa Miles asked about summer Gifted and Talented programs. Apparently, some STEM options were introduced this past summer, and all spots filled. Theresa also stressed how great it would be if some world language options could be made available in future summer sessions.

There were no public or student comments for agenda items or items not on the agenda.

A motion was made to approve consent agenda, which was approved by all.

A motion was also made to approve agenda item Legal Services Policy 9305, which was approved by all.

Next, there was a discussion regarding the benefit versus financial investment of board members attending NSBA professional development.

First Theresa Miles, then board member Jane Rusch with a prepared statement, strongly defended the value of at least a few members attending (after an inquiry from Vice President Beth Martin) specifically the national training. Theresa shared experiences she had from attending the training in past years.

Board member Lee Webster brought up a Wausau workshop he’d attended and the influence it had on him regarding the importance of early childhood intervention. A suggestion was made about a possible resolution to change the start of the local initiatives from age three to birth.

Editor’s note: The Wausau Pilot and Review Documenters program is made possible through individual donations and grants from several organizations including the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. The program aims to democratize news and information at the local level through a group of local contributors