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School board extends congratulations

POLSON — Polson High School seniors Tel Motichka and Cash Sisler were honored at the May 12 Polson School Board of Trustees meeting. 

The two young men will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. 

Also honored was Trustee John Laimbeer, who had served on the board for many years. 

Board chair Caryl Cox noted that Laimbeer got involved with Polson schools when he and his family moved to Polson in 2001. Linderman teachers wanted an outdoor classroom, and the effort got going because of Laimbeer. Other projects he worked on and some he fundraised for included: the Linderman walking path with Becky Dupuis, the climbing wall at Polson Middle School, the PMS Polson News Network, the PHS stadium, the redo of Linderman’s gym and he was instrumental in getting that levy passed and also the levy for the PHS roof, Cox said. Other projects included restrooms at the tennis courts, money for protective football helmets, the backpack program that he coordinates with Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry and currently a grant to get curtains replaced in the PHS auditorium. Laimbeer also received the 2008 Polson Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year award. 

Cox said that Laimbeer brought “healthy skepticism and fiscal restraint” to the board. 

“We’ll miss you, but it’s a good time to leave, when things are going well,” Cox added. 

After a standing ovation and the gift of an engraved tape measure, Laimbeer said,

“I just want to say how grateful I am having served the public.” 

Saying he remembered the good things, Laimbeer also praised the current board as independent thinkers and left them with two suggestions.

Having seen trustees come onto the board with agendas of their own, Laimbeer advised the current trustees to not let power go to their heads. 

“I’ve seen Native grandmothers who’ve come in here and been treated like crap. That shouldn’t happen,” he said. 

His last suggestion concerned the PHS roof. The company who had estimated the project came in at $2 million, but the company that received the bid has been under budget. Laimbeer “would respectfully suggest” the trustees work through District Clerk Pam Owen and reduce the number of bills on the loan and return $400,000 to the taxpayers. 

After adjourning for cookies and congratulations for Laimbeer, Chair Cox called the meeting back to order and Lake County Superintendent of Schools swore in the new trustees: Chanel Lake, Cindy Lanier, Caroline McDonald and Alan Anderson. 

Then the school board reorganized, electing John Triolo chair and Caroline McDonald vice-chair.

In other business, Trustee Cox said the first negotiating session for classified contracts was held on May 8 with Andy Sever representing the administration and Tom Gigstad representing the classified employees’ union and she considered the meeting to be “very positive.” They will meet again on May 19.

The board also voted to extend leaves for two employees, Debbie Gunlock and Sherry Todd, for severe family medical issues. 

They also approved new English curriculum for grades 8-12, a Houghton Mifflin text.

Three out-of-district students were admitted to the district. 

The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be June 9 at 5:30 p.m. 



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