To the Editor and to the Voters of the
USC School District:
As many of you are aware the USC School Board has recently voted to eliminate the position of our Activities Director/Transportation Director/Dean of Students/Community Education Coordinator. Brent Schimek has held this position for the past 10 years.
A group of Pro-USC supporters which included USC staff, coaches, parents, and concerned community members, attended the April 21 school board meeting to express their concerns over the elimination of this position. The board listened to a presentation from this group expressing concerns regarding how they are going to fill the void or disseminate the many job responsibilities of the current individual in this position.
Many of you may not realize the endless year-around hours that Mr. Schimek dedicates to our school district. There are so many behind the scene duties related to this position that the general public is not aware of including activities he supervised on his own time with no additional cost to our school district. Who will continue to do these duties at no cost to our district? Some of these include supervising the weight room three days a week year around before or after business hours, overseeing supervision of all USC extra curricular activities, (scheduling and rescheduling all school activities – including officials and transportation – for the current year and following year), monthly meetings with the USC Athletic Booster Club and fielding numerous concerns and complaints from students, parents, and coaches. Mr. Schimek spent many hours of his own time applying for a grant opportunity from the MSHSL to start a Wall of Fame for our school district. We received the maximum amount of $4,000.
Who will follow through with this program (on his/her own time) to see that this is started so the money does not have to be sent back to be redistributed to other school districts? The school board recently received a petition signed by over 100 concerned individuals requesting a public forum to facilitate an open and honest dialogue to have these and many other education related questions, as well as budget questions answered. This request was denied by our school board chair.
The main concern of this group of individuals is whether or not the board has looked at alternatives to cutting Mr. Schimek’s position, as well as elementary and high school staff. Board members have received numerous phone calls requesting answers to these questions. Some phone calls to our board members have been answered and others have been ignored. Responses to our questions varied from individual board members.
Recognizing that our school district is currently in Statutory Operating Debt, we do not believe that eliminating Mr. Schimek’s position is in the best interest of the survival of our USC school district. Mr. Schimek is one of the most knowledgeable people left in our system that understands the history of our school. This is not an easy position to hold as it is a ‘thankless’ job that fields more complaints than compliments and demands availability 24 hours a day year around. The board has stated that the elimination of this position is strictly due to a General Budget savings of $95,000. The reality of the matter is that Mr. Schimek’s position only affects $57,000 of the General Budget which includes his total benefit package.
Activities combined with education enhance a student’s abilities to manage time, organizational skills, cooperative team skills, and leadership. Without a person that is organized and committed such as Mr. Schimek has been for the past 10 years, what is the future of our academics and activities for our children of the USC school district?
Eric Wegner, Spokesperson,
and Pro-USC Supporters