Amboy schools in excellent financial shape

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AMBOY — Sometimes, things that are necessary aren’t always the most exciting. The Amboy School Board members experienced just that at the monthly meeting held on Oct. 16.

Ryan Steines from Winkle, Parker, and Foster presented the annual financial report. Amboy is in an excellent financial position, scoring 3.8 out of 4 on the state’s estimated financial profile. “Our district only missed a perfect 4 because of the long-term debt that was taken out to pay for the junior high and high school additions,” said Superintendent Joshua Nichols.

Nichols continued by letting the board members know that a few building project items are underway. The roofs on the Central gym and the crow’s nest will be replaced, hopefully, this Fall. Sterling Commercial Roofing is the contractor. There will also be some fencing work done on the softball field and over behind Central. The old junior high demolition continues, and most of the building is down.

The Central freezer has been repaired and is up and running.

The strategic planning committee is finalizing the detailed objectives and will have a final draft for the board to approve and vote on in November. This is the conclusion of a two-year strategic planning process. The board approved the School Maintenance Grant. This grant will provide an additional $50,000 dollars that can be applied towards creating a secured entrance at Central.

The board also gladly renewed Nichols contract as Superintendent for another five years.

“ Mr. Nichols is an asset to our school community,” said Board President Katie Pratt. “He has proven his ability to lead through a referendum, a major capital project which began during a pandemic, and he continues to pursue unique grant opportunities like the one received for the electric buses. This renewal is the school boards vote of confidence in Mr. Nichols as superintendent.”

Central Elementary Principal Jessica Meusel thanked the Parent Teacher Council for a wildly successful “Donuts with Dudes.” Both students and family members enjoyed the sugary treats and took pictures in the fall photo booth. Third graders went on a field trip to Lowell Park for Outdoor Stewardship on Oct. 5. On Oct. 16, the Amboy Police Department came and talked to the students about school safety and read the book I’m Not Scared...I’m Prepared Because I know All About Alice. Fourth graders had a pumpkin painting party with Mrs. Goslin on Oct. 18. Thanks were given to Jim Travi and the Amboy Lions Club for donating the pumpkins.

Junior High Principal Andrew Full shared that on Oct. 16, students went through the annual lockdown training with law enforcement. Thanks were given to the Lee County and Amboy Police Departments for helping out. Congratulations were given to the fifth/sixth grade girls’ volleyball team for placing third and the seventh and eighth grade team for placing fifth at the RRVC tournaments. Boys’ basketball has started. The coaches this season are Luke Payne with the fifth and sixth. Chris Payne for seventh, and Trese McNinch guiding the eighth grade team. There are 53 boys participating on three levels.

The English Language Arts department held their Glow Night on Oct. 11, there was a great turnout and Clayton Zimmerman won the door prize.

At the high school, Principal Janet Crownhart stated that 32 sophomore and junior students took the PSAT/NMSQT on Oct. 12. This test not only helps to prepare students for the SAT but also allows them to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.

FFA participated in the section land use contest at Sauk Valley where they were the top team. Jose Lopez was second overall individual. Tanner Wech placed third, Anna Carlson fifth, and Jason Dickinson seventh. They also participated in the section ag sales contest on Oct. 3 and once again claimed the top prize. The team was Anna Carlson, Grace Althaus, Jake Dinges, and Tanner Welch. FFA received a $3,500 grant from Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee to get new welding jackets, gloves, and two new machines.

The band participated in the Oregon Autumn On Parade Oct. 8. The flags and poms took first place in the color guard division, drum line fifth, drum major third, and overall performance fourth out of seven bands.