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Fort Zumwalt School Board Welcomes New Members, Sets 2011 Graduation Dates

The Fort Zumwalt Board of Education added two new members to its ranks as long-time President Mike Swaringim lost his reelection campaign. Mike Price, formerly board VP, was reelected and named the new President.

The d held its first meeting since when long-time incumbent President Mike Swaringim and freshman member Jeff Kutterer defeated by newcomers Laure Schmidt and Renee Porter.

In his final comments to the boardSwaringim said his 11 years with the board had seen many important changes for the district, including the construction of Hope and East High Schools,, and the introduction of the seven-period class schedule, all-day kindergarten and Grow Your Own Teachers program. Swaringim and Kutterer both said they were proud to watch several of their own children graduate from Fort Zumwalt schools while they served on the board.

Superintendent Dr. Bernard DuBray added praise for Swaringam’s service.

“About 10,000 students have graduated while he’s been on the board and about 120 board meetings have gone by. Ten of the last 12 years I’ve been here, you’ve been on the school board and I think a lot of your fingerprints have been left of the district," DuBray said.  "$100 million in bond issues have passed since you've been here."

Before recognizing the election results and adjourning sine die, the board first moved on a number of action items, including setting graduation dates and times for the five Fort Zumwalt high schools:

  • Hope High – May 27, 7 p.m. 
  • East High – May 28, 1 p.m. 
  • West High – May 28, 8 p.m. 
  • South High –  May 28, 9:30 a.m. 
  • North High – May 28, 4:30 p.m. 

The board went on to accept Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Dr. Patti Corum’s recommendation to eliminate around 20 support staff positions through attrition in the coming year. She said the district’s ranks had swelled to 283 paraprofessionals for the 2011 school year, a number that would have to be trimmed due to budgetary concerns.

Assistant Superintendent Bill Weber also gave his monthly brief on construction around the district. He said the weather had improved of late, but work at West High school was still two or three weeks behind schedule. Weber said the delay at North High School was worse, approximately 40 days behind due to mud caused by rain, snow and a poor surface to work from. The board also approved Weber’s bid recommendations for roofing work at South Middle School and renovations at .

After being sworn in, Schmidt related her 22-years of experience working with students, parents, teachers and administrators at

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be, and I’ve always wanted to help kids,” she said, going on to emphasize the importance of fundamentals and enthusiastic teachers. Porter said she too looked forward to serving and moving the district forward.

Incumbent Vice President Mike Price, who won his reelection bid, was unanimously selected by the board as president. Barb Story was selected as vice president.

“I’ll miss Mike [Swaringim] and Jeff [Kutterer], I learned a lot from both,” said Price, “Thank you to the board for the confidence you put in me as far as filling the shoes of Mr. Swaringim, thank you.”

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