D29 transfers $279,000 for future building projects

Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler presents retiring finance director Sally Kardes a plaque for 23 years of service. Also pictured is Chairman Scotty Richardson.

Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler presents retiring finance director Sally Kardes a plaque for 23 years of service. Also pictured is Chairman Scotty Richardson.

First Byline: 
Jonathan Vickery - Staff Writer

In anticipation of future building needs, the Williston District 29 School Board transferred $279,661 to the district's building fund.
The money is what the recent audit showed they saved during the last fiscal year and were able to add to their fund balance.
Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler said they felt the money could be "better used" in the building fund than just sitting in their general fund balance. The money could help finance a new school building, something Siler said they are beginning to take a "serious look" at doing in the next 15 or 20 years.
Siler attributes their fiscally sound position to Sally Kardes, the district's director of finance.
Kardes, who is retiring this year, was recognized with a plaque for her 23 years of service to District 29.
"She's been helpful in us being very fiscally responsible," said Siler, citing how there have been clean audits under Kardes' tenure.
"We love you and thank you for your service," said board member Doris Young.
Kardes thanked the board and said she's enjoyed her time with the district, but acknowledged "I am looking forward to retirement."
The district is currently in the process of finding a new director of finance, and plans to interview candidates from all over the southeast during the next week. Siler said he hopes to present a candidate for the board's approval in February.
Though it happened days after the meeting, the S.C. Department of Education granted the district's appeal over the high school's rating on the 2013 State Report Card. This increases the district's absolute rating from good to excellent and the growth rating from below average to good.
"We are pretty excited about that," said Siler.
The district appealed because they disagreed with the graduation rate and longitudinal HSAP (high school exit exam) data the state department used to calculate the high school's score.
In other news:
The board accepted the resignation of kindergarten teacher Amanda Levi, who wanted to be closer to family.
The position is currently being filled with a recent graduate who is certified in early childhood education. Siler said she is working under a long-term letter of agreement, but could be offered a contract for next year.
Band students Emily Williams and Cheyenne Navarro performed for the board the selections they used to audition for the Region Band Clinic. Williams played the French horn and Navarro played the trumpet.
They along with Suzie Chavis (clarinet) and Brooke Zeigler (flute) were selected to attend the clinic after auditioning. The two-day clinic will consist of 100 students from all over the lower part the state. It will take place Feb. 21 and 22 at Charleston Southern University.
Williston Mayor Jason Stapleton presented Chairman Scotty Richardson and the board a framed declaration from the town in recognition of School Board Appreciation Month.
District staff will meet Feb. 11 and 25 to discuss their strategic plan, specifically "where we've been and where we want to be," said Dr. Carol Lenderman, the district's director of instruction, assessment and accountability.