Lone Tree Community School District Superintendent Ken Crawford, who currently serves as superintendent for both Highland and Lone Tree schools, presented his resignation, effective June 30, to the Lone Tree Board of Education during the regular meeting on Jan. 13. Crawford will move to a full-time position as superintendent for Highland Community School District.
The Highland Board of Education offered Crawford a full-time contract, effective July 1, at a special board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 14. Exact terms, including salary, will be negotiated, finalized and presented to the board at a later date.
Crawford has split his time between the two districts for three years under a shared superintendent arrangement. He said overseeing two districts has involved a lot of moving parts and he is excited to address many issues full-time with Highland schools.
The Lone Tree School Board will begin their search for Crawford’s replacement in the coming weeks.
In other business on Jan. 13, the Lone Tree School Board presented former board member Joe Williams with a commemorative plaque and lifetime pass to all Lone Tree athletic events in order to thank him for his service to the board. Williams moved out of district in November and, after four candidates were evaluated by the board, was replaced by Rob Sladek during a special meeting on Dec. 17.
The board heard a presentation from fourth grade teacher, Elly Huston, whose class recently completed their national parks project where each student researched and wrote about one of the United States’ 63 national parks. The students each wrote a letter to their park and every single student received a response from park staff.
The project, while designed to address fourth grade writing standards, also included direct ties to science and social studies. Elementary principal Amber Jacque praised Huston for her excellent work and classroom management, commenting that Huston has often been seen still working in her classroom in the evenings.
Four students from Huston’s class attended the school board meeting and shared their projects with the board members, who praised the students’ hard work and excellent writing.
Secondary principal Regan Stone presented the board with examples of mock interviews performed by students in their financial literacy class, taught in part by counselor Shelby Bryce. The interview program pairs juniors and seniors with Lone Tree-affiliated businesspeople who conduct mock interviews and provide detailed written feedback to the students. Every Lone Tree high school student is required to take the class during either year.
Stone also informed the board that the Iowa High School Athletic Association updated their eligibility rules for winter sport participation. After Governor Reynolds’ latest proclamation, the Department of Education interpreted the updated Scholarship Rule to “give every student athlete an academic fresh start” after many schools struggled to implement remote learning. Consequently, all students who failed a course during the last grading period and were serving a 30-day suspension from athletic activities became immediately eligible.
Stone said the entire high school only recorded 19 semester failing grades, all attributed to about six or seven students.
Finally, the board approved the hirings of Reid Kaalberg as head varsity softball coach and Tiffany Regan as head varsity girls track coach.