---- — TEUTOPOLIS — A number of Teutopolis Unit 50 athletes on both the high school and junior high levels will get a chance after all to compete in sport programs that had been cut this spring.
Superintendent Bill Fritcher said at Monday's Unit 50 board meeting that the Teutopolis Sportsbackers booster club has donated $36,959.42 to the school district so that a number of programs can be reinstated.
Those programs include B teams for junior high boys basketball, baseball and softball, high school boys and girls golf, high school fall baseball (varsity only), and high school girls freshman-sophomore basketball. Fritcher said there would also be enough money to retain a fourth high school boys basketball coach and a track coaching position originally set for the chopping block.
Fritcher said the total cost of reinstating those programs was $31,959. He said the remaining donation would be used for equipment purchases.
"This was a lot of hard work by a lot of volunteers," Fritcher said.
Board President Marty Siemer said the fund drive showed how Teutopolis people could come together in stressful financial times for the school district.
"I think it's amazing that the community was able to come together to save these programs," Siemer said. "We certainly appreciate all their efforts."
Also Monday, the board passed an amended budget in preparation for the end of the fiscal year. Fritcher said the amended budget shows a deficit of $842,499, down from the previous deficit of slightly less than $1.18 million. He said district officials were able to trim the deficit by not replacing mid-year retirees and not buying an $80,000 school bus.
"There was also an effort on the part of staff to reduce spending," he said.
In other action Monday, the board agreed to drop speech as a high school graduation requirement, now that budget cuts have forced the removal of speech as a separate part of the curriculum. Instead, Fritcher said, speech instruction will be incorporated into the English curriculum.
The board also agreed to hire several new employees, including Libby Womack-Jorn as high school drama director, Jeff Kenter on lawn maintenance and field preparation, Brittany Robinson as assistant high school volleyball coach, Aaron Wendt as assistant high school soccer coach, Randy Tucker as a high school custodian and Sharon Roepke as high school secretary.
The board also accepted resignations from high school secretary Deb Funneman and boys golf coach Rob Bothwell. Bothwell was also an assistant junior high boys basketball coach.
Also Monday, the board accepted retirement letters from Teri Wortman and Julie Scott, both effective at the end of the 2016-17 school year.