STRASBURG — Stewardson-Strasburg School District unanimously voted Thursday to approve an academic cooperative agreement with Neoga School District.
The agreement, which will have the districts sharing business, agriculture and industrial technology teachers, as well as a school social worker, was signed bringing the schools together and opening the opportunity for further collaborations between the districts.
Superintendent Steve Harsy said he had appreciated working with Neoga Superintendent Chuck Castle on the negotiations and praised the board on being willing to make the choices to allow the intergovernmental agreement to be signed.
"It's been a pleasure working with Chuck on the academic co-op," he said. "I think the two greatest achievements of this board are the referendum and this co-op."
Castle, who was also at the meeting, said he hoped to make the co-op work for both districts.
"I'm sure there are going to be some rough edges that we'll have to work out, but we're going to work on those edges," he said.
The co-op, which will have teachers spending half of the day at each district was praised by some at the meeting for being ahead of what many districts may be having to consider in the future as budgets become increasingly tight.
"I know we looked at a lot of things, and I think we have a great start here," said board member Allison Vonderheide. "I think a lot of districts are going to be doling what we're starting here."
Along with the co-op, the board voted unanimously to hire Jennifer Barker as a full-time ag teacher, with half of her pay coming from the time she will be spending at Neoga schools.
The board also began the reorganizational process. New member Robert Quast was unable to attend the meeting but the board voted to appoint Randy Porter as president and reappoint Jennifer Burton as secretary. Both Jason Kessler and Chad Smith were nominated for vice president but with only six members present, the vote was a tie. The board elected to wait for the May meeting to appoint a vice president.