By Julie Ann Madden
On Sunday, May 19, Akron-Westfield Class of 2013 graduates and their guests may sweat but it won’t be because of sweltering heat in a gymnasium without any air conditioning.
During the recent Easter holiday school break, a roof air conditioning unit which cools the adjacent “Commons” area was replaced. Large fans are used to pull the cool air into the “old” gymnasium where graduation is held. However, last year the air conditioning unit failed and couldn’t be replaced in time for graduation.
“Hopefully, graduation will be a little less steamy (this year),” said A-W/West Sioux Shared Superintendent Randy Collins.
The graduation ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. the third Sunday of next month.
According to Grades 7-12 Principal Derek Briggs, the seniors will be dismissed from class at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17 — which is the day they will have completed 175 days of classes this school year.
Later in the meeting, the school board unanimously approved next year’s school calendar. This Fall the first day of school will be Aug. 21. The calendar includes four days of staff Professional Development for Apple computer training. There will be two sessions Aug. 16 and two on Jan. 3.
For Easter 2014, students will only have Friday and Monday off. Thursday will not be a “built in” snow day. The last day is set for May 22.
According to Briggs, next year’s school calendar is similar to this year’s with the exception of the Easter holiday.
In addition to approving the 2013-2014 calendar, the board unanimously approved a resolution requesting a start date waiver.
It was noted state officials are considering taking away the start date waiver, which allows school districts to start classes before Labor Day.
The board also approved contracts for the following:
• John Ludwig as assistant track coach for this track & field season as there are 49 students participating in track.
• Jon Harris as assistant golf coach for this season. There are 25 students on the golf team.
• Kami Kuhlmann, a Northwestern College and Charter Oak-Ute graduate, was hired as the high school Spanish teacher. She also has a business degree.
Briggs reported they had 12 applicants for this position, including five native Spaniards.
• Allisa Foley was hired as a Middle School Special Education teacher. She has been a paraprofessional at Armstrong-Ringsted Community School for 2.5 years. Although she is not seeking a coaching position, she has her coaching endorsement and played high school sports.