OXFORD— The Board of Directors of the Clear Creek Amana school district underwent a major change as four out-going members were replaced with four incoming. Tim Hennes, Betsy Momany, Kathi Huebner and Kevin Kinney all declined to run for re-election in the Sept. 13, school board election, opening the door for Terry Davis, Rick Hergert, Steve Swenka and Bob Broghammer.
“I wouldn’t give it up for anything,” Hennes, the out-going board president, said of his eight years on the board.
“Tim and I are still alive; I’d say that’s an accomplishment!” Joked Momany, who served as vice president during part of her time on the board.
Combined, the foursome represents 32 years of service to the district in an era which saw the construction of North Bend Elementary, the new high school, the auditorium and athletic complex, as well as continuing growth in the eastern portion of the district.
Board Secretary Lori Robertson administered the oath of office individually to the four new members during an organizational meeting following the regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford. Two-year vets Eileen Schmidt, Aimee Pitlick and Mick Kahler welcomed their new comrades and got right down to business.
The first decision for the new group was finding a new president and vice president. Schmidt was nominated by Pitlick and seconded by Swenka. All “aye’s” led to Schmidt taking the oath of office from Robertson.
Hergert was voted-in as vice-president.
“I’m going to be very, very honest with you, very open” Schmidt told the board. “I ask that, as president, that you do the same to me. I want to build bridges, not walls.”
Tiffin Mayor Royce Phillips is looking to build some bridges, telling the Leader the change in the board “removes a lot the old…tension…that goes back well before my time.” Phillips has butted heads with the board in the past over issues such as the Ireland Avenue extension and US Highway 6 projects.
“I’ve worked very hard to cultivate it (a positive relationship), but have not always been very successful. I’m hoping we can see better relations.” Phillips noted there is “too much growing going on not to.” While the board has capacity issues at North Bend Elementary in North Liberty, Phillips thinks they may need to look closer to home sooner than later as well. With several new housing developments in Tiffin, he said the day may come when a Tiffin Elementary may have to be seriously considered.
“The citizens of Tiffin are overwhelmingly in favor of an elementary school in Tiffin,” Phillips said, adding parents aren’t likely to want to bus their children to a building elsewhere in the district.
“I don’t envy the new school board,” he said.