The Mitchell Board of Education Monday approved the purchase of a lot for the 2019-20 Mitchell Technical Institute Site House as well as a compact fiber laser metal cutter at its most recent meeting.

The board took the action at its first regular meeting of the month Monday evening, Aug. 12 at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy.

The board approved the purchase of the lot for the MTI Site House, which is described as Lot 6 in Tract H of the Wild Oak Golf Club Addition to the city of Mitchell. The board approved the purchase of the lot at the price of $36,887, which is the same price the district paid for the lot for the 2018-19 MTI Site House.

The board also approved the purchase of a compact fiber laser metal cutter for the welding and manufacturing technology program at MTI. The board approved the only bid of $66,000 for the item, which came from BesCutter Company out of Lehigh Acres, Florida. The bid met all district specifications for the item.

School starts Aug. 20

Dr. Joseph Graves, superintendent of the Mitchell School District, told the Board of Education in his regular report that teachers and staff will be ready for the start of the 2019-20 school year when the first day of school rolls around Aug. 20. He said he was particularly pleased with the new crop of incoming teachers.

“We have a nice new crop of teachers this year,” Graves said.

He said all teachers would be back in the classroom this week getting ready for the start of the school year. He also noted that many of the new teachers are returning Mitchell High School graduates.

“If there’s anything you can say that’s unique about them, it’s that they’re very heavily our own graduates. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say about half,” Graves said. “But, we’re very pleased about the new group of teachers.”

The new school year may also see a slight decrease in enrollment, as the children of the generation that followed the Baby Boom begins to grow out of high school age, Graves said.

“It’s far too early to tell, but in talking about the echo of the echo of the baby boom, that has now moved far along enough in the district that we would expect to return to our historical numbers,” Graves said. “I would expect this year to see a slight decline in our enrollment. Probably 30 to 40 students. That’s a guess, but I think it’s where we’re going to be. But, we’ll see come the end of September.”

Committee assignments

Deb Olson, president of the Mitchell Board of Education, also assigned board members to various committees for the 2019-20 school year. The assignments include:

MEA Negotiations, Lacey Musick and Deb Olson; MCEA Negotiations, Matt Christiansen, Neil Putnam; ADAPT, Matt Christiansen; School Safety, Matt Christiansen; James Valley Group, Neil Putnam; Teacher of the Year, Kevin Kenkel; Calendar, Lacey Musick; Math Curriculum, Lacey Musick and Deb Olson and TIF/Equalization, Kevin Kenkel.

Under Mitchell Technical Institute Advisory, Olson made the following appointments:

Computers/Engineering, Matt Christiansen; Construction, Deb Olson; Health, Kevin Kenkel; Business/Culinary, Lacey Musick and Gen Ed/Agriculture, Neil Putnam.

The committee assignments remain unchanged from the 2018-19 school year.

The next meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 26 at Mitchell High School. The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.