This blog is sponsored by the Village of Exeter and it is for all the past, present and future residents of Exeter. It is a place to comment on the happenings of Exeter and your place to inform the community

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exeter-Milligan School Board Discusses Building Repairs

The Exeter-Milligan School Board began their meeting on Wednesday August 13 without board member Tom Sluka and Superintendent Paul Sheffield.
The board discussed the building and grounds update, specifically the storm damage repair.  They also received an update on the TYKE playground noting that there are fourteen students enrolled in the program this semester.
The board recognized the written agreement from the Friend school to join the Exeter-Milligan junior high football team.  “They are welcome to bring one coach but it will be an Exeter-Milligan team,” noted board member Jim Zeleny.
School Board President Dr. Sharon Kuska confirmed that there were no changes to the junior high football agreement and it was for one year only.
 After setting the budget work session and approving Tara Milton as a local substitute the board took a recess until Sheffield and Sluka could join the meeting.
After the recess further discussion was held on the building updates.  Sheffield noted that the carpet was installed but the windows for the shop building had not come in yet.  The window air conditioners in the band room were not working and so an air conditioning unit was installed along with the furnace in the Milligan gym.  The damaged and diseased trees at the Exeter site were removed but the flagpole has not been replaced since it was taken down by the storm.
There was also discussion on replacing the roof and the board decided to reroof using Connor Roofing.
This summer the weight room was moved to the south half of the small gym and with the extra equipment that was purchased there is not room to put the equipment back.  Board member Tim Pribyl was concerned, “Can we do concessions in just half of the small gym?”
Board member Jim Zeleny asked, “Are there any partitions we can put up?”
Sheffield noted “Steve (Briske, Head Custodian) and I have talked about room dividers.  We will have to take a couple of pieces of equipment out just to let the concessions fit.  We will lose the southeast door.  It would be a little bit smaller but it would fit.”
Sheffield reported that the fence for the preschool playground would be installed once a little more cement work was completed in the area.  The board noted that they hoped to remove the barb wire from the top of the track fence when the TYKE fence is installed.
The discussion moved on to budget and valuations.  Sheffield had attended a Cross Roads Conference meeting earlier that evening and reported, “All of the schools in the CRC reported their valuations had gone up.  York County went up about 25% instead of 12% like Fillmore County.  Saline County was around 32%.”
“The State gives us a budget.  Our Special Ed expenses are up as we have had a couple of families move in with some kids with needs.  We were sitting at a 67.5 cent levy but with valuations it should be lower. If valuations stay the same or increase as projected we may not need the levy override again.  Our state aid got cut in half again.”
Right now Sheffield reported that the building fund levy is at .07 cents.
The board asked Sheffield if they could dissolve the JPA since they have no building plans in the works right now.  Sheffield responded that that would be up to the Village.  Chairman of the Exeter Village Board Alan Michl was in attendance and so the Board asked if the Village would be willing to dissolve and Michl answer with a quick and decisive, “No.”
Board member Annette Gloystein asked, “Can we have the JPA and be inactive?”
The answer was yes, according to Sheffield, “We can amend the budget to spend funds but you cannot receive funds.  There should be about $500,000 in that JPA account.”
The board moved to another agenda item, transferring funds to the depreciation account.  Sheffield explained that this was an expenditure fund but the purchases made from the account must be for items that depreciate over time. The board did not take an action on transferring funds as they wanted to wait until the budget is confirmed.
The Fillmore County Development Corporation approached all the school districts in the county asking if they want to become members of the group.  There were given a brochure with different levels of membership by dollar amounts.
“The one thing I don’t like about it is one public tax entity supporting another,” noted Brent Moore, “But the FCDC has done a career day that our students participate in.  They go to different businesses in the county and see what is available in Fillmore County.  It enhances the education experience for our district.”
The board adjourned setting the next meeting for Wednesday, September 10th in Exeter.

Exeter-Milligan School Starts

Exeter-Milligan held an Open House on Thursday, August 12th at both the Exeter and Milligan sites.  Hot dogs and Smores were served and students had the opportunity to meet their new teachers and see their classrooms.  Students also were able to bring their supplies and load up their desks.  First grader Kole Svec emptied his backpack and filled his desk with the help of his teacher Sharon Lott.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Road 24 Paving Discussed at Fillmore County Supervisor's Meeting

The Fillmore County Courthouse filled up quickly for an information meeting that the Fillmore County Supervisor’s Board held Wednesday, August 6th.

The Board advertised that they would be discussing the current roads projects that the county is considering placing on the ballot in November.

Four paving projects were discussed including Road 24 which connects Highway 6 to Highway 41 commonly known as the “Milligan Road,” a road into Fairmont from Highway 81 just south of the Casey’s store, a project out of Grafton headed north and a road out of Shickley to the south that meets a gravel road in Thayer County.

Chairman Larry Cerney opened the meeting and welcomed the guests before he invited Supervisor Bob Mueller to moderate the meeting.

Mueller opened by reviewing the handouts that were made available to the public.  The handouts covered the cost estimates for each project in both concrete and asphalt, the total county valuation, levy information, bond information along with a table showing current land values and the amount of taxes the projects would add to the property owners.

After the handouts were reviewed Mueller turned the floor over to Ameritas representative Brad Slaughter who discussed the bond percentage rates and the impact this would have on the residents of Fillmore County.

Slaughter addressed several concerns about property values.  Several in the crowd asked what would happen if property values decreased.  “Currently Fillmore County is operating at a .21 cent levy but they are constitutionally allowed to go as high as .50 cents. If valuation would decrease then the levy asking would increase to make the same dollar payment.”

Mueller commented, “County valuation goes down and with the price of corn the way it is that is likely.  We still have to make the same payments.  In the instance that farmland would go in half, that would put more tax pressures on the residential landowners.”

Slaughter estimated that the county currently has 1.5 million debt in bonds.

County Resident Susan Johnson, who ran unopposed for the county supervisor board in the 2013 primary election, spoke about a petition that had been signed in 2012 by over 600 residents asking the board to pave the Milligan Road, “I was told the board would take it under consideration.”

Mueller responded, “Not all of the signatures were valid on the petition.  We didn’t think people in the whole county would vote for one road.  It makes a lot of difference to our school and our communities (Exeter-Milligan) but not for the whole county.   To be fair we added Grafton and Shickley so the whole county can get some good out of it.”

Mueller continued, “What we need at the end of tonight is for people to give us a hand vote if they are in favor or not in favor of the project.  If there is enough support for the project we will see about putting it on the ballot.”

It was asked if there would be any advantage to doing the projects at the same time and Slaughter responded that bonding at once with a low interest rate could save the county $300,000 - $400,000.
The question of federal funding options was raised but several board members were negative about that and Ameritas representative Slaughter noted that Fillmore County operates with one of the lowest levy’s in the state making it unlikely they would be a candidate for any federal assistance.

County Supervisor Merle Noel  broached the subject of putting more crushed rock on the roads.  Road 24 has been rocked along with the Burress road as those two roads have heavy semi traffic regularly.

“The county has seen a significant gravel savings on the Burress road.  I’ve done some rough figures and on a mass scale we could spend half of what we want to pave these 18 miles of roads and put crushed rock on 400 miles of roads,” explained Noel.

One of the owners of Harre Feed Yard located on Road 24, Wade Harre, questioned, “What are the costs to keep the Milligan road going every day?  You spend a lot of money on that road any day.  If you aren’t rockin’ you’re grading.  It’s costing you a lot of money to keep it NOT paved, too!”

Road 24 resident, Kate Harre noted, “This is the most traveled road in Fillmore County that is not paved.  It’s fast and it’s busy and you know that.”

Kim Slezak, of Milligan, commented on the benefits paving would bring to the small town, “Paving the road would bring money and business into Milligan and not just benefit the people who live on Road 24.”

Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield questioned the Supervisor’s purpose in having the meeting if they weren’t for the projects.  Mueller responded, “We wanted the people to get the information on what the projects will cost.”

Supervisor Noel commented “Semi’s are filling the ditches.  If we don’t do something to save the vast majority of our roads, $25 million won’t be enough.”

The consensus of the Board was that they would not think about spending that much money without a vote.  They surveyed by a hand count those in attendance who were interested in the Grafton project and had no one present, the Shickley project had one interested party, Fairmont had four or five and there were over 40 present to hear about the Road 24 project.

A hand count of pro and cons found over 35 for the Road 24 project, the Board closed the meeting noting that they would considering putting the project on the ballot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Exeter-Milligan Welcomes Four New Teachers

L- R Derek Harlow, Haley Stutzman, Lisa Kanode, and Sara Lincoln.

Exeter-Milligan welcomes four new teachers to the pack this fall. Two elementary teachers, Sara Lincoln, the new fifth grade teacher and Derek Harlow, a Title I teacher will both be at the Milligan site.  At both sites Lisa Kanode will teach art and Haley Stutzman will teach 7 – 12 Spanish in Exeter .
Exeter-Milligan patrons may recognize Lincoln as she spent last fall as a student teacher in the second grade classroom of Marla Weber.  Lincoln taught in the Exeter preschool program and substituted during the spring semester and was an assistant basketball coach for the Lady Timberwolves during the 2013-14 season.
Lincoln grew up in a small town in Iowa and followed her family to Nebraska after they took a ranch job in Bartlett, Neb.  She completed her first year of college at Southwestern Community College before transferring to York College where she earned her degree in Elementary Education on a basketball scholarship.
“I student taught here and it felt like Exeter-Milligan became my family.  I am very excited about having my own classroom and seeing the growth of all of my students.  I feel very privileged to finally call Exeter-Milligan my home,” explained Lincoln.
Harlow has been in the area for quite some time as he graduated from York High in 2005 and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Adapted K-12 Physical Education from York College.  He student taught at Fillmore Central where he also assisted with football.  Currently Harlow is finishing a Master’s degree in K-12 Mild/Moderate disabilities.
“I am excited to be here and working with kids again.  I am really looking forward to being around the students.  The district recently received a grant to introduce technology into the P.E. program so I am will be incorporating that with the third through sixth graders.”
Harlow and his wife Dayle had their first child in December and live in Geneva.  He will be the Title teacher at Milligan along with teaching Physical Education and fulfilling duties as an assistant football coach for Exeter-Milligan.
Lisa Kanode will be teaching K-12 art at Exeter-Milligan along with assistant volleyball coach duties.  She and husband Darth recently moved to Exeter from Kearney with their five children.  She graduated from Wayne State College in 2000 and taught in Sidney, Neb.  before heading home to teach at Kearney Public Schools. 
The Kanode’s were living in Shelton prior to moving to Exeter, “We are excited to live in Exeter.  Everyone has been so friendly and helpful.  We love the small town,” said Kanode.
“Having the 1:1 technology is something I like as well.  The technology is great, it’s where the next generation is going and I look forward to giving them the opportunity to use it, especially if kids learn to explore it in the right way.  I hope to bring the presentation side of art to the students so they can be proud of their efforts.  I want them to know that art is meant to be displayed and appreciated.   I am looking forward to teaching all kinds of art.  I like to teach all kinds of pastels, watercolor and but there is no medium I don’t like.  I am hoping to bring art out into the public.”
Haley Stutzman is looking forward to sharing her love of the Spanish language and culture with the K-12 students at Exeter-Milligan.  Stutzman is from the Milford area and graduated from UNK in May of this year with a Bachelor’s Degree in 7 – 12 Spanish Education and K-12 English as a Second Language.
“I am excited about starting my teaching career and getting to know all of the students.  I am looking forward to bringing new technology and some apps to enhance learning for my students.  While I was at UNK I learned a lot of technology opportunities which will benefit students.”
While a student at UNK, Stutzman had the opportunity to study abroad in Lima, Peru for a semester which boosted not only her Spanish language skills but her knowledge of the culture and diversity of the country.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Exeter Aquatic Hours to Change

The Exeter Aquatic Center will be reducing it's hours before it closes after Labor Day.

August 11 - 1:30 - 7:30 with a dinner break from 4:30 - 5:30
Closed on August 12
Starting Wednesday, August 13th
Monday, Wednesday and Friday  4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 1:30 - 5:30
Sunday 1:30 - 7:30 with a dinner break from 4:30 - 5:30
The WILL be open for the final day of the season on Labor Day (September 1st).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Exeter-Milligan School Information


The August Newsletter, which contains all pertinent school, is available online at,.  If you would like to receive the newsletter via USPS, please contact the school at 266-5911

Football, softball and girls golf practice start Monday, August 11th.  Volleyball practice starts Monday, August 18th.  Students must have a physical before they participate in athletics.  Please call the school if you have any questions.

An Open House, at each site, is scheduled for Tuesday, August 12th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  This is a time to meet with teachers, students may finalize schedules, and everyone may tour the facility.  Parent packets will be distributed at this time.

Laptop roll-out meetings, held in the High School Library, for grades 7-12 are scheduled as follows. Each student plus a parent must attend the meeting in order for the student to take the laptop home.
Grades 11 and 12 – Monday, August 11th  at 5:30 PM
Grades 7 and 8 – Monday, August 11th  at 6:30 PM
Grades 9 and 10 – Tuesday, August 12th at 6:30 PM

The first day of school for students will be Thursday, August 14th with a dismissal time of 2:18 PM.

Starting this year, preschool will be available at the Exeter site everyday from 8:15 to 11:15.  If you are interested in your child attending preschool, please call Beth at 759-3143 for enrollment information.

CHILDFIND: Exeter-Milligan Public Schools has the responsibility to identify, locate, and evaluate all children (birth through age 21) with disabilities regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services. If you have questions or concerns about a child, please contact the Superintendent of Schools (402-266-5911) concerning the district's special education referral process.