The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

Firme hired to fill principal vacancy at Fleming


The Frenchman School District has a new principal. The Board of Education in Fleming voted during a meeting on May 18 to hire Kortney Firme to fill the role for the coming year. The District is now seeking a first grade teacher to fill a vacancy Firme leaves to accept the new position.

Two months ago, members of the Board of Education failed to pass a motion to approve a contract for then principal Stacy McDaniel, creating an opening within the District.

Firme, who has taught first grade in Fleming for the past five years, brings with her 13 years of educational experience in teaching both first and second grades. Prior to employment with Fleming, she taught second grade in Holyoke for two years. She has also spent time in first grade classrooms in both Nebraska and Virginia Beach in addition to substitute teaching in California before locating to northeast Colorado with her husband, Jeff.

At the start of the May meeting, senior sponsors Harry and Lynette Harms met with board members about the senior trip that was slated to take place at the end of the school year. With the current pandemic situation, the trip was cancelled and discussion included ways to distribute funds raised over the years to cover trip expenses. It was proposed to use the funds as scholarships for college tuition next fall.

During his report to the Board, Superintendent Steve McCracken informed the BOE that a request to the Colorado Department of Education was approved to waive the numbers of days and hours of attendance for the current school year due to the COVID-19 situation. He said check out is complete for Fleming students.

While approving the consent agenda, which includes approval of bills and payroll, board members also accepted a resignation from Tom Hessler as high school boys’ basketball coach.

In a short list of action items, in addition to hiring Firme, the BOE also voted to hire Rylie Salyards as the Business Teacher for the 2020-21 school year. Salyards, who lives in Iliff with her husband, Dalton, will be in her first year of teaching.

At the end of the meeting, during discussion items, board members talked about the coming year’s budget and possible ways to balance the budget with the anticipated decrease in revenues. The preliminary budget is expected to be approved in June.

The Board also agreed to move forward with a ballot question during elections in November. The mill levy override question will ask voters to approve that the school be allowed to continue collecting funds equal to the amount of the bond payment that is currently being collected. The bond for the roof on the building will be fully repaid in 2020.

“This would not be an increase in taxes, simply allowing the District to keep collecting that same amount as the bond,” McCracken said. “If approved, the mill levy override questions would be allowed to sunset in seven years.”


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