School board honors Mike Dodd
The Blaine school board began its regular monthly meeting last Monday evening by recognizing Mike Dodd for over 30 years of service as a board member. Dodd, who was first elected to the board in 1977 when Bob Gilder was superintendent, is almost halfway through his eighth term.
“I remember going to a school board convention in my first year on the board, and meeting a man named Dale Thompson who’d been on the Sedro-Woolley school board for 30 years,” Dodd laughed, “and how it seemed hard to believe that anyone would last that long. And now, here I am.”
The board also recognized BP-Cherry Point Refinery, represented by Mike Abendhoff, for its support of a grant that sent middle school science teachers Dan Steelquist, Kelcie Rocha and Sheri Jansma to a five-day workshop on how to teach global warming.
Also honored was Rick Shockey, director of the high school career center, who was the advisor to students who recently won a $500 first prize in a poster contest.
The money was given to the high school yearbook staff for photography equipment, Shockey said.
Teachers Glenn Tuski and Cyndi Selcho, primary school librarian Chip Wolf and high school math teacher Mike Dahl demonstrated some new teaching equipment, including a SmartBoard that allows teachers to link their laptops to a large whiteboard that can easily be seen by everyone.
“You can draw on it, move images around and basically do everything you can on a computer screen on this, even use your finger as the mouse’s cursor,” said Dahl, “and since the computer keeps track of everything, I can e-mail class notes from any day in the semester to students at their request. This makes it pretty useful in teaching math.”
In other business, the board gave final approval to a $150,000 limited general obligation bond to begin the planning process for construction projects funded by a construction bond that voters will consider next March.
Superintendent Ron Spanjer said this is needed to fund certain up-front costs and that the money would be paid back by proceeds from the bond itself.
“It’s a low-level debt the district can incur without voter approval and if the bond is not passed then it will be paid back out of the general fund over a four-year period,” Spanger said.