Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Exeter-Milligan School Board met on September 10th first opening a budget hearing to the community.
Superintendent Paul Sheffield reviewed the basic numbers noting that the district has had a $112 million valuation increase in the last year.
Sheffield also noted that costs for the Special Education program increased $93,000. “We are asking for $122,825 more but the levy is down.”
One difference is that the board has changed the amounts levied for the building fund. “Last year,” Sheffield explained, “the building fund was at 3.8 because the JPA took some. The board can levy up to 14 cents by statue so we will levy 13.955.”
“Half of the schools in the Crossroads Conference were operating on a levy override of the previous five years but now all of them are under the levy because land values have all gone up,” Sheffield reported.
The budget shows that district will receive $6,667.00 in state aid this year.
The budget hearing was closed at 8:06 and the levy request hearing was opened at the same time. It was noted that there was no levy request for the JPA in the 2014-15 budget.
School board President Sharon Kuska and Sheffield explained that the JPA levies in order to pay off indebtedness but since there are no bonds taken out for a project and there are no payments to make.
“Right now we don’t have a building project planned or in the works and we are holding off for this year until we have something to put the funds toward. We are just putting it on hold for a year. I think we will have a decision by the end of the year,” according to Kuska.
“We are working with an architect and we are looking at what we think is feasible. We are discussing it. It’s not that we haven’t, it’s that we haven’t made a decision on it yet. This has caused a lack of consensus on the board at the moment. We would rather have consensus.”
Audience member Brian Murphy responded to Kuska, “I wish my kids could use it, I wish the community could use it. I wish a decision would be made. I don’t care how it is funded. When Junior High basketball season comes we will all be practicing in the same gym as I don’t see the weight equipment moving anytime soon (out of the small gym).”
School board candidate Adam Erdkamp gave his input, “We are still talking about the same amount of money (taking it from the building fund instead of the JPA), there has to be some kind of deadline. The taxpayers are wanting to know.”
Kuska noted that he board would have another work session in September.
The levy request hearing was closed at 8:15 and the regular monthly meeting was called to order.
After the Treasurers’ report was given by board member Tom Sluka and the board made a correction on the minutes of the work session they dove into the agenda.
The board reported that part of the track improvements are completed but the equipment broke down. “What is done looks good and the grass around the area came up nice,” noted Board Secretary Annette Gloystein.
The work session on building and grounds was scheduled for September 22nd in Exeter at 7:30 p.m.
Board member Brent Moore commented on the building and grounds projects, “It would seem we have levied a lot of taxes for the JPA. It’s good to have the funds. If we aren’t going to spend the dollars then we shouldn’t levy for them.”
The board accepted the budget. The proposed tax rate was approved at .625714 with the special building fund changing the most, from .038210 to .139551.
After approving Sheffield as the legal representative for the district the board discussed the state school board convention and the labor relations conference.
Sheffield presented some issues that the state has had with the NESA testing results. “Next month I will have a report that compares last year to this year. We won’t be able to release the writing scores for 8 -11th grade as there were some glitches in the tests for one district. We can’t publish them but we can use them for personal information. Using that information we are doing a few things differently this year but we are moving to a MAP assessment that gives us immediate results.”
“I like that you are charting an individual child’s progress. It shows that a child is improving versus a group always,” said Gloystein.
The board set the next meeting for October 13 in Milligan.
After the meeting Murphy added, “I hope that the band room is included in the project as almost half of the high school is involved in the band this year along with the elementary students who are going down to the band room in the basement for music.”
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Tucked away a block off Exeter’s main street sits a beautiful Victorian home that has been lovingly preserved for three generations of the same family.
John and Jeretta Tauriella live at 208 S. Burlington Avenue in Exeter, but they don’t just reside there, they are the third generation to preserve this masterpiece.
The house, a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, was built in 1907 by Dr. A. B. Stratton one of the pioneer doctors in the village of Exeter. He practiced medicine in Exeter from 1890 until 1930 and died in 1931.
After the death of Dr. Stratton, Dr. Chester Lewellen and his wife Jeanette bought the home. The Lewellen’s had no children of their own but adopted two daughters, Marjorie and Virginia, from a good friend who was raising a large family in Harrison, Ark. during the depression.
The girls came to live in Exeter and Marjorie graduated from Exeter High School in 1937 and married Frank Tauriella (they met at the Fairmont Air Force Base). The couple came back to Exeter to raise their family in this home. All three of their children, Judy, Nancy and John, grew up in the home.
For one year, Judy and husband, Charles, lived in the home.
In 1973 John and Jeretta got married and moved in. “We only had four chairs to fill this huge house,” explained the Tauriella’s.
With three very large rooms on the main floor that looked even bigger with 12’ ceilings, the Tauriella’s had quite a task at hand. Thus began the Tauriella’s dedication to the home. They have repapered every room in the house, “It took a long time as it had very old wallpaper. I counted up to 17 layers on one wall,” explained John.
“This house just has character. We have rearranged some of the rooms. We use what was considered a bedroom for our dining room now. It is nice to have such big rooms to host our family gatherings. We host everyone for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter and even have a family reunion planned for the weekend.”
The house is also filled with memories for the family. “When I was growing up we called the south west room the music room. Everyone in the family played the piano or organ except for me,” explained John. “We spent a lot of time singing and playing in that room.”
Tauriella recalls that his Grandma Jeanette was very proper and kept the table set with formal
dinnerware in the dining room. “She had all kinds of card parties and played bridge and pinochle.”
The Tauriella’s have retained the original light fixtures in the home but don’t regularly use them. They also restored what they consider to be the original kitchen cabinets. Some of the kitchen woodwork was painted and John stripped all of that but one door frame that the family used to record the kids’ growth.
Some of the woodwork in the upstairs bedrooms had been painted by John’s sisters but he stripped that woodwork bringing it back to its original beauty. The June 3 hailstorm in Exeter broke nine of the original windows in the home. “The restoration company was able to redo the windows with all of the mullions and did a beautiful job. The glass isn’t the same old wavy glass but the character of the house was maintained,” explained John.
One of the most unique features of the home is the cupola in front. It is set off the roof and has no entry from the house. “You have to go up on the roof from a bedroom window or go up on the roof from a ladder. When we were kids we started to fix it up and paint it. My mom slept there in the summer in high school. The windows all tilt out so she could lay and look at the stars.”
In the entryway, the opening is framed with beautiful wood fretwork. “I didn’t remember this wood as a child and once I was doing sit-ups in the room, looked up and realized that something had been in the opening before. I then realized I had been walking around the pieces for years in the basement that belonged there. My brother-in-law helped me piece them back together and restore them.”
John noted that there was also a piece of fretwork that partially framed the entry to the living room and he knows where the pieces are but hasn’t tackled that project as the restoration it needs is very extensive.
A few years ago John repainted the entire home paying special attention to the front of the house, adding lots of color accents to emphasize the intricate woodwork on the front of the home.
Occasionally people stop by most often to comment about the cupola. Interestingly enough just recently a postcard surfaced on Ebay which has a picture of the Exeter Boy Scout Troop in front of the home which is easily recognizable because of the cupola. The date on the postcard is listed as 1913.
The Tauriella’s don’t believe the house is inhabited by ghosts but recalled an instance in the mid-70’s when John’s sister Nancy was staying with them, “We had gone to bed and Nancy wasn’t in yet. Then we heard all of the kitchen cupboards open and close loudly and footsteps distinctly tromp up the steps. We thought ‘Gee, Nan, you could be a little quieter.’ When we brought it up the next day she told us she hadn’t been in the house.”
John and Jeretta obviously enjoy the house but it does have its challenges, “The refrigerator is located in a nook next to the kitchen and heating and cooling it are not easy. We put in a wood stove a few years ago and that has made a huge difference. We shut some of the rooms off so we can concentrate the heat.”
The Tauriella’s haven’t given up hope on passing it on to the next generation as they just welcomed their sixth grandchild and first grandson to the family last week.
John Tauriella shows the marks on the door frame in the kitchen which include the height marks for himself and his sisters along with the marks he and his wife Jeretta made for their children. This is the one piece of trim in the house that he hasn't restored.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Exeter-Milligan Elementary Principal Laura Kroll, left, and Superintendent Paul Sheffield get in the spirit of Exeter-Milligan’s homecoming theme “Escape to Paradise.”
Wednesday was Hippie Day and these Hippie’s were showing their spirit from left to right: Katie Mounce, Cookie Koopman, Amber Pribyl, Alexis Uldrich and Katie Moody.
Starting the Homecoming Pep Rally off was Mr. Matt Nicholas a.k.a. Simon for a school-wide game of Simon Says.
Deeply involved in their air guitar solo’s for Simon Says are Kyle Jensen (right) and Trevor Luzum. Miss Severson supervises from behind.
Exeter-Milligan High School students show their multi-tasking skills patting their head and rubbing their tummy at the same time during Simon Says at the Homecoming Pep Rally.
Exeter-Milligan students enjoyed celebrating Homeing during the week of September 8 culminating in a Pep Rally in Exeter on Friday, September 12th to get ready for the Football game versus the Sterling Jets.
Some of the students went all out dressing in pajama’s on Monday, as their favorite Super Hero on Tuesday and Wednesday celebrated Hippie Day. Thursday each class was assigned a different color and Friday was Spirit Day.
There was a hall decorations challenge. First place in the Spirit Cup Challenge were the Freshmen, second place went to the seventh grade class and third place went to the Juniors. The Cheerleaders held a pep rally on Friday in the gym with a school wide game of Simon Says. The band played and the Senior football players were challenged to build Styrofoam airplanes and fly them across the gym floor.
The Homecoming court was presented immediately following the football game with Freshmen attendants Kaitlyn Vavra and Eric Olsen, Sophomore attendants Hailey Luzum and Trevor Luzum, Junior Attendants Brianna Beatham and Johnathon Mounce. Seniors included Duchess Maitlyn Thomsen, Duke Kyle Jensen, Princess Madison Horne and Prince Derek Luzum and the crowning of Queen Amber Pribyl and King Dusty Axline.
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