Mitchell Board of Education to take second look at budget

Air unit installation bid, elementary handbook also to be reviewed at Monday meeting

Joe Graves, superintendent for the Mitchell School District, hands out meeting materials to Mitchell Board of Education members Neil Putnam and Deb Olson in this Mitchell Republic file photo. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)

The Mitchell Board of Education will take its second look at the 2021-22 K-12 budgets when it gathers for its next meeting Monday, June 14.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy commons.

The board first reviewed the budget at its first meeting in May. Joe Graves, superintendent for the Mitchell School District, said he and Steve Culhane, business manager for the district, will provide the board with a second informational review at the June 14 meeting. He noted in the meeting agenda that they would then seek approval of the budget.

At the earlier meeting, Culhane presented the board with a budget containing a general fund of $19,947,406 and a capital outlay budget of $4,572,770. That is an increase in the general fund and a decrease in capital outlay from 2020-21, which came in at $19,718,176 and $6,459,552, respectively.

In the special education budget, the district would see a total of $5,113,358, another substantial increase over the previous year at $4,698,824.


The budget for the MCTEA Fund, which covers programs that Mitchell Technical College teaches to Mitchell High School students, will come in at $422,346. That’s up slightly from $405,380 last year.

In food service, the budget will come in at $2,086,469, down slightly from $2,172,550. Revenue from the fund is expected to drop but federal reimbursement is expected to increase due to COVID-19 pandemic policies.

The proposed budget can be found in the June 14 meeting agenda, available at the Board Book link at under the School Board tab.

Air unit installation bid

The board is also expected to review the need for an additional make-up air unit in the kitchen area at Mitchell Technical College due to the existence of negative air pressure in that area of the building. During the heating season, that negative pressure pulls in excess unheated air into the building while simultaneously venting heated air.

The situation has made it difficult to sufficiently heat the Campus Center, especially during cold spells.

Specifications for the unit were put out and one bid of $133,175 was received from Johnson Control.

Graves said he would recommend accepting the bid for the equipment.



The board is also expected to consider the following personnel moves:

  • The new certified hire of Penny Weisz, K-8 elementary teacher at Rosedale Colony, $54,912, effective 2021-22 school year.

  • The new classified hires of Jose Ortiz, assistant boys soccer coach, $1,756 and Sean McQuilan, head boys soccer coach. Both hires effective the 2021-22 school year.

  • The new hire of Ryan Pryor, prevention specialist, $38,500, effective Aug. 4, 2021.

  • The transfers of Casey VerHey, Mitchell Middle School 21st Center Afterschool co-director; Krista Neugebauer, SPED paraeducator at Mitchell High School to para educator at Rosedale Colony and Linnea Cooper, paraprofessional at Mitchell High School to office assistant at L.B. Williams Elementary. All transfers effective 2021-22 school year.

  • The resignations of Beth Haar, 21st Century co-director at Mitchell High School; Julie Olson, science teacher at Mitchell High School; Jaime Neuendorf, 7th and 8th grade science teacher at Mitchell High School; Todd Neuendorf, 6th grade social studies and ELA teacher; Chayna Jones, paraeducator at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary; Robert Snoozy, maintenance worker, effective June 17; Mary Elliason, library assistant at Mitchell High School and Wendy Kroupa, special education teacher at Mitchell Middle School. All resignations are effective with the end of the 2020-21 school year unless otherwise noted.

  • The new MTC hires of Kendra Goad, nursing support technician, $41,100, effective July 1, 2021; Jim Mahoney, summer internship, $2,000; Eric Schramm, summer internship, $1,750; Josh Kranz, summer internship, $2,750; Joe Brtna, summer internship, $1,750; Greg Kock, summer internship, $2,000; Jason Juhnke, summer internship, $2,500; Kelvin Albertz, summer internship, $1,750; Chris Degen, summer internship, $1,500; Mike Benjamin, summer internship, $2,500; Jed Schoenfelder, summer internship, $3,250 and Lynn Smith, summer internship, $2,250. All hires are effective May 17, 2021 unless otherwise noted.

Other business

Also at the meeting, the board is expected to:

  • Canvass the June 8 school board election results.

  • Consider approval for bids for automotive equipment funded through the Workforce Education Grant program.

  • Review the elementary handbook for the 2021-22 school year.

  • Declare surplus property.

  • Hear board member reports.

  • Hear the superintendent report.

  • Hear public commentary.

The meeting is open to the public.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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