Jeremy Gaston | Editor
OSAGE CITY—The USD 420 Board of Education preceded its monthly meeting with a reception for Brian Davies, who served his final meeting with the board June 10.
“We wanted to recognize Brian tonight and all of the service he’s given to this district,” said Troy Hutton, superintendent. “Brian’s had a huge impact on USD 420. I know I speak for all of us in here when I say we appreciate what you’ve done. I know I’ve learned a lot from him.”
Hutton touched on Davies’ 53 years in education, most of which took place in Osage City. Davies was principal at Osage City Elementary School for 28 years; a board members for 20 years, serving several years as president; and a teacher five years, at Osage City and Quenemo.
“One of the biggest parts is this building,” Hutton said.
Hutton stood in the high school commons – an area that used to be a street running between the schools. The schools were joined into a single building in 2000 through a bond issue that passed with a 70 percent vote.
He said Davies sat on the board through the implementation of all-day kindergarten.
“We had another bond issue in 2012, completing the elementary, and development of the storm shelter and track,” Hutton said. “This district has seen a lot of change since Brian’s been involved in education here. Thank you Brian, we really appreciate it.”
Todd Peterson, board president, presented his predecessor with a plaque.
“Over the last years, he’s been a mentor, and I’ve learned he puts the community first, the schools first, but most importantly the kids first, in everything he does,” Peterson said. “On behalf of the board, the district, thank you for all you’ve done.”
Peterson recognized the progress of Osage City schools during the last half century.
He thanked the community for the opportunity to serve them.
“Thanks for the opportunity to be part of this school system,” Davies said. “I hope you’re proud of it, too.”
The board followed up with a quick meeting.
Hutton gave a brief update on the state budget, which passed after the meeting. At the time, Hutton had concerns the district would face additional cuts.
“KSDE (was asked) to come up with what a $197 million cut to education would look like,” Hutton said. “That would mean a cut of $322,000 for our district.”
The state opted for a sales tax increase, rather than additional budget cuts when the budget passed two days later.
Hutton detailed summer projects at the school, including new carpet in parts of the high school, painting of the stage, and tile in the fourth and fifth grade wing.
“Our parking lots are not getting any better,” Hutton said. “I think we better jump on that.”
Hutton outlined costs estimated to crack-fill and seal the school’s larger lots. He said other lots around school were already beyond salvage.
“It’s a tough decision to spend $50,000 to maintain those two lots for the next 15-20 years, and then maybe we can get in some sort of schedule,” said Ray Lauber, board member.
The council approved Hutton accept the low bid to crack-fill and seal the parking lots north and west of the high school and the playground.
In other business, the council:
• approved a 10-cent increase for lunch and 5-cent increase for breakfast prices, and approved Hutton’s recommendation to continue purchasing milk on the escalating/deescalating plan.
• held an executive session to discuss employee contracts. Amy Parsons resigned as assistant softball coach, and Lucas Boss was approved as assistant weight room supervisor.