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Nome School Board Approves Middle School Model, Discusses Superintendent Contract

Jamie Burgess at a 2018 community forum for Superintendent finalists

The Nome School Board has decided to change to a middle school model at Nome-Beltz, approve funding for last month’s disbursements and out of state travel, as well as extend a contract offer to Superintendent Jamie Burgess.

Students of the month were Benny Lee of Anvil City Science Academy, and Rachel Burgess and Davey Okpowruk from Nome-Beltz High School. Teacher of the month went to Holly Harlow and support staff of the month was given to Joelene Kacena.

Legislative issues were on the table after the staff and student awards of the month ceremony. The first draft of the FY2020 budget was presented, with updates to it expected in the coming weeks. The draft operates on the expectation that funding will be flat, however Nome Public Schools’ Superintendent Jamie Burgess says there have been two new hires, whose contracts were approved later in the meeting.

“Flat funding does mean there must be budget cuts as our cost and expenses rise, even though our revenue does not. So, we made very few major changes to our staffing regardless. We have actually added a teacher position in the special education department.”

– Jamie Burgess

Student representative Ava Earthman then gave her report, which included a sports recap and the upcoming winter formal date being set for February 15th.

Before heading into executive session for a superintendent evaluation, all action items were passed by the Board, chief among them being the approval of the middle school model for Nome-Beltz High School. Superintendent Burgess notes that this will have no impact on employment.

“We will have to have some small rearrangement in staffing at both schools, however there will be no change in the overall staff positions.”

– Jamie Burgess

At its core, what this means is sixth graders will be moved from the elementary school to the Nome-Beltz campus starting next school year, with the elementary school becoming a kindergarten through fifth grade only school.

After spending more than an hour in executive session, School Board president Brandy Arrington offered one last contract.

“At this time, I would like to move to approve an employment contract for Superintendent Jamie Burgess beginning July 1st 2020 to June 30th 2023, pending negotiations.”

– Brandy Arrington

This motion was quickly seconded by board member Barb Amarok and passed by the whole board. With that, the Nome School Board adjourned until its’ next planned meeting for a work session on the 28th.

Image at top: Jamie Burgess, NPS’s superintendent. Photo from Gabe Colombo (2018).

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