Supt. O’Riley talks with police chief about school district sharing officer with the Galva Police Department

By Carol Townsend

For The Galva News

The Galva School Board voted 4-2 to hire Kewanee High School teacher and coach Kurtis Smyth as Galva Junior-Senior High’s new dean of students and athletic director.

The vote was cast after the board went into executive session Monday night. Voting in favor of hiring Smyth were John VanDeVelde, Gary Edmonds, Andrew Larson and Darcy Jeffries, while Mike Clucas and Jeff Hawes were opposed.

Smyth will replace Jake Flowers. The board has not yet taken action on Flowers’ resignation, but he has accepted the position of principal at Norwood School District, grades 5-8, in Peoria. 

Smyth — who was a social studies teacher, head soccer coach and head girls basketball coach at KHS  — resigned from all duties at Kewanee Community District 229 Tuesday  and finished out the school year Wednesday.

“I have received a lot of positive support thus far from community members in both school districts and I wish nothing but the best for Kewanee schools and their athletics going forward. I am very ready and excited for the new challenges ahead as an administrator in the Galva School District,” Smyth said in a message to the Kewanee Star Courier and Galva News.

Smyth was the first-ever head coach in KHS soccer program history and led the program to four wins in 2016 and nine wins in 2017.

Smyth just completed his first season as the head girls basketball coach and led the Boiler Girls to a 14-15 record this past winter

In other board business Monday night:

n Superintendent Doug O'Riley reported he visited with Police Chief Kraig Townsend about the possibility of sharing a police officer with the City of Galva. 

The school would have the officer during the days that school is in session, and the city could use the officer on off days. O’Riley said there’s a possibility the officer could also be at bus stops, ride the school bus on different routes, and maybe be at the Park District and Wiley Park in the summer. 

O’Riley stressed the idea is just in the talking stages, but if implemented could cost the school district about $45,000 to $50,000 per year. District officials will talk more with Chief Townsend, and city officials will meet again with the school district to see if something can be put together by August.

O'Riley said the position would raise the tax rate very slightly in the district.

n The Galva School board voted unanimously to approve the tentative amended budget and establish Wednesday, June 20, at 8 a.m. for the budget hearing. The hearing will be held in the superintendent's office.

n The board voted 5-1 to purchase a football scoreboard for a cost of $14,485 from Nevco. Edmonds cast the lone no vote.

n The board will vote on school fees for the 2018-19 school year at its  June meeting. The only change will be hot lunch prices will increase 10 cents and PE shirts are increasing $1. The other fees remain the same. 

n The board unanimously approved the junior-senior high handbook and the board voted 5-1 to approve the elementary handbook. Clucas cast the lone no vote on the elementary handbook.

n The board approved two overnight trips and summer camps.

n The board will dispose of a 1995 Chevy van and they sold two industrial mixers to the Special Kneads Bakery coming soon to Galva.

n The food service bidders were approved — Martin Brothers, Aunt Millie’s and Enyeart Distributing.

The following employment items were approved:

n Jennifer DeCrane as junior high softball coach for the 2018-19 season.

n Alex Anderson as sixth grade classroom teacher for the 2018-19 school year.

n Reassignment of Tayler Kuenneth to high school science.

n Rachel Remmert as 7-9 science teacher pending ISBE approval.

n Pat Gregory as bus aide.

n Rachel Remmert as seventh grade volleyball coach.

Board member Laura Heinrich was absent from the meeting.