Approximately 45 community members attended the
Exeter-Milligan School board in the Exeter Gym on Wednesday evening.
Chairman Adam Erdkamp welcomed the crowd and opened the
meeting. The Board passed the consensus agenda before reviewing several
Erdkamp briefly reviewed a recent committee meeting with
several Friend board members. “Most of the conversation was over the ag
program. We will keep everything as it is this year for next school
The board opened up the floor for public comment and several
spoke about moving the third through sixth grade to Exeter, essentially
closing the Milligan school.
Mary Lou Vossler, Family and Consumer Science teacher urged
the board to move all of the students to Exeter, “It’s time. Economically it’s
one of the better decisions. Is this just a temporary fix? Back when we
consolidated with Exeter people thought the same thing. Here it is 20
plus years later and we are still benefitting from it.”
Lisa Soukup, the Media Specialist at Exeter-Milligan,
travels to Milligan four days a week for Library and computer science
classes. She recalled her families ties to Milligan and to the school
building, but encouraged the board to take the next step, “I don’t take this
lightly. It will make us stronger as a staff and a school and
community It will make such an impact on the elementary.
Community member Rebecca Svec commented, “I know there are a
lot of factors.. .remember even if there is one site we still have two
towns. The school is a little bit of your lifeblood and it doesn’t
come back. I hope you continue to make decisions to benefit both towns, not
just you as board members but administrators and teachers, too.
After thanking the commenters Erdkamp presented the
principal contract which the board approved and then opened the agenda item to
move all the grades to Exeter.
“I do think everyone is taking it very serious. It’s
tough. We do have two communities and I don’t think anyone wants to have
to make these tough decisions. We don’t want the site in Milligan to not
be used and we will financially support it. We don’t want the community in
Milligan to be hurt. We have talked with staff and administrators and
they feel it is time. I think it is something we should do,” Erdkamp said
Board member Alan Vavra added, “I graduated from Milligan.
No one likes to lose a school. Being on the board and hearing the faculty and
the benefits of it, I think it’s time to make that decision.”
When the schools consolidated years ago one of the
stipulations of the agreement was that it would require a super majority to
close either of the campuses. This measure passed unanimously.
The next agenda item was the feasibility study with Fillmore
Central. Erdkamp noted that the study is on the school website, “We would
like as many patrons to read through the study as possible.”
The board will schedule a meeting with the Fillmore Central
board in the near future.
Under new business the board approved Bette Ann Miles as a
substitute and received teacher resignations from music teacher Angie Murphy
and sixth grade teacher Treven Cerveny. While the board will advertise
the music teacher position, according to Sheffield, they will not search for a
new sixth grade teacher “The sixth grade will move up to the high school, it
will be like a middle school situation,” he explained.
The board briefly discussed current bills prioritized in the
legislature and an upcoming conference where Sheffield and Friend
Superintendent Dave Krauss will be presenting on the purple ribbon meat
The next meeting is scheduled for April 14 at 8 p.m. in