By Travis Smola
Vicksburg schools will be saving quite a bit of money after the school board approved a resolution to refinance the 2007 energy improvement bonds.
Assistant Superintendent Steve Goss said this is the first time they’ve had a chance to refinance these bonds and falling interest rates mean big savings for the district. Among six bidders, the winner, Hastings National Bank, came in with a bid of 1.3%.
“We were able to reduce the payoff period by three years, and the gross savings from paying them off earlier came in at $210,000,” Goss said.
The board agreed and it made for any easy decision to approve the resolution. Instead of being paid off in 2025, these bonds will now be paid off in 2022. “A great result, it exceeded all my hopes and expectations and you can be very pleased with that,” Goss said.
The board also gave Superintendent Charles Glaes a personal evaluation in a closed session during the meeting. Board President Skip Knowles said afterwards they rated him as highly effective in all areas and cited his work ethic and positive community involvement during his time at Vicksburg. “He’s not an unknown commodity,” Knowles said.
The board subsequently approved a contract extension for Glaes as the last agenda item of the evening.
In other news, Athletic Director Mike Roy gave his annual report to the board. “I think the board has a great grasp on athletics and what a great value it is to education,” Roy said.
Roy noted the many accomplishments of the student athletes who filled 630 roster spots last season. The biggest highlights included the conference titles by girls’ softball and boys’ lacrosse. Softball coach Paul Gephardt subsequently won coach of the year, district coach of the year and regional coach of the year for the Lady Bulldogs run that culminated in a loss at the state title game.
Boys lacrosse coach Erik Frank also won coach of the year honors for the 15-2 season during his first season as head coach.
“One of the things we’re extremely proud of is not just how we compete on the field, but also how we compete in the classroom,” Roy said. He noted the boys’ tennis, girls’ basketball, competitive cheer, softball and girls’ tennis all made academic-all state. The football team earned honorable mention academic all-state.
“That doesn’t include the 100 or so kids that earn that individually,” Roy said. “We’re extremely proud of how those kids compete in the classroom.”
Several board members praised the efforts of Roy and all the coaches in Vicksburg’s sports programs. Knowles has noted how popular the events are. “I think the community is so very proud of our athletic program,” Knowles said.