Kanab High School (KHS) Graduate (2021) Cameron Nez has been awarded the prestigious Chief Manuelito Scholarship, as was announced at the December 14, meeting of the Kane District Board of Education. Begun in 1980, the scholarship was established to provide scholarships to high achieving Navajo high school graduates, covering direct educational expenses associated with attending a post-secondary institution. The scholarship honors Chief Manuelito, Hastiin Ch’ilhaajiin, (1818-1893), who encouraged the Navajo people to seek education and to protect and preserve Navajo tradition and culture.
Eligible students must have good grades and test scores, and have taken a class in Navajo Language and Navajo government. Students are awarded $7,000 per academic year. Nez is attending the University of Utah. It is the first time a Kane District student has received this scholarship. Congratulations to Miss Nez.
Business Administrator Cary Reese presented a spreadsheet showing budgeted verse actual amounts paid out for the construction of the new Kanab Elementary School. He also presented the 2021 Financial Certification and Fraud Risk Assessment as required each year by the State Auditor, as well as a comparative chart showing the school district tax rates collected by each county in Utah.
Reese also reported on the budget - through the end of November 2021 - that all is well so far this year. He noted that additional revenue from federal Covid funding and grant funds have been a substantial help. He also reported that KHS and Valley High Schools (VHS) are now set up to accept credit cards using Square point of sale terminals and KHS is also now using Venmo.
Reese continued with a construction meeting (Dec. 9) report. He noted that the construction manager and architect reported that everything is going well with the project and that there are no major problems. Thirty concrete walls are now standing and 12 more are on the ground ready to be stood up. More panels will be poured this month for the kitchen, stage and custodial areas. The steel erector subcontractor will arrive on-site soon to start welding wall panels together.
VHS Principal Jim Wood presented his school improvement plan to the school board. He reported test scores, which have risen over the years, making VHS a higher achieving school than many other similarly sized schools. The graduation rate is 100 percent. Over half of the junior and senior students are enrolled in concurrent enrollment. 64 percent of the students have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 percent or higher, and 30 percent have a 4.0 percent GPA. Each student at VHS is assigned to a faculty member, who gets to know the student to a level where they can provide individualized help when needed. The Superintendent and School Board thanked Principal Wood and his faculty for their hard work.
Superintendent Ben Dalton reported that the District’s Food Backpack Program is working well and serving a need in the community. He presented Utah Aspire Plus results, reflecting scores in English, reading, math and science for KHS and VHS, and how they compare to state averages. He updated the board on the developing cosmetology program, student peer tutoring and the possibility of installing cameras in classrooms where teachers want that. He updated the board on Utah State Board of Education (USBE) activities, including changes to secondary science education and funding priorities.
Dalton presented information on the Governor’s proposed education budget for 2022-2023, and reported that the town of Orderville has received a Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) Grant from the Utah Department of Transportation in the amount of $127,425. This program provides funding for both infrastructure improvements and educational programs to promote safe walking and bicycling to and from elementary, middle and junior high schools.
The board discussed Sick Leave payout issues, a new KES logo for the new school, the District Curriculum review process and potential Capital Projects proposals. It approved two early graduation requests.
In other business, it accepted the resignations of Nicole Zaccaria (paraeducator ) and Alyssa Lee (paraeducator). It approved, subject to a successful background check, the hiring of the following persons: Noelle Carroll and Sarah Hollingshead as substitute teachers; Valene Keller as a substitute bus driver and Jubal Schneider as a substitute custodian.
The board also approved the hiring of Justin Christensen, Maryah Ireland and Gabrielle Saul as paraeducators. A paraeducator is a trained school employee who works under the supervision of teachers or other professional practitioners. Their jobs are instructional in nature. They provide direct services to children and youth and their families. Paraprofessionals are not certified teachers, but they are vital members of a school’s support staff. Congratulations to all.