Laurel School District seeks additional staff in tech, facilities

Chris Mcconnell
Thursday, September 26, 2019

During a discussion at the Sept. 23 trustee meeting, Superintendent Linda Filpula spoke of staffing updates sorely needed in the district. Filpula said the district needs two additional staff members, including a desktop network specialist and secretarial support for facilities.

She said the additional staff is imperative as there is currently only one person who is in the copy room, and, “She is overwhelmed. We want to post the openings this week and start looking to fill the positions,” Filpula said.

Trustee Dale Ahrens called it an excellent idea, and said, “It’s long overdue.”

Filpula said, “The new keyless access systems in the district will take time to implement and set up, plus we need someone to handle facilities rentals and compile the master schedule of events. We have software for this but not the staffing.”

LHS Assistant Principal Bryan Kott spoke in favor of the new positions. “We are running the district with two people. We could have one person for the high school alone because they are making five million copies per year, plus doing receiving.”

District Facilities Director Wayne Fjare added, “This is more than they can do. We need to start this now. Even if the board approved this tonight we are still six to 10 weeks out [from hiring a new person].”

Trustee Mike Creeden questioned the financial burden on the district and Filpula replied, “The board approved the budget. The money is there [for the new hires] and we will not overspend.”

Trustee Karen Teeters said the district “desperately needs this and it has already been discussed in committee meetings.”

Trustee Roy Voss requested having the recommended hires and the position job descriptions on the same agenda at a future board meeting to clarify what each job entails, and the board agreed to move forward on the hiring process.

In other business:

• Nicole Gioia was hired for the position of Head Cheerleading coach at LHS. Activities Director Roger Heimbigner said Gioia was a cheerleader for the University of Montana Grizzlies for three years and was the Head Cheer Coach at Missoula Hellgate before she moved to Billings. She works for the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch but is based out of LHS.

• Robin Taylor was hired for the vacant Middle School Girls basketball coach position. Heimbigner said Taylor has coached in the girls program at the middle school and high school for the past couple years.

• Jeff Rupp was approved to teach Adult Self Defense as well as Karate for kids in community education classes.

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