Steamboat Springs School Board to honor Friend of Education, consider redistricting Monday |

Steamboat Springs School Board to honor Friend of Education, consider redistricting Monday

Scott Franz

Beth Wendler

— The Steamboat Springs School Board saved some big agenda items for its last regular meeting of the school year.

And amid some serious decision making, it will spend a little time celebrating someone who has spent years helping students in the district.

The board Monday night will start its meeting by honoring longtime volunteer Beth Wendler as its coveted Friend of Education.

After the reception for Wendler, the board will weigh a contract extension for Superintendent Brad Meeks and decide whether to ask voters in November to approve a change in how future board members are elected.

At the last School Board meeting, a majority of board members said they would be comfortable adopting a redistricting plan that would convert all of the School Board seats into at-large seats.

They said the move would help to attract more candidates to run for the board, and the board members currently don’t make decisions based on which district they represent.

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Under the current election rules, board members only can run in the district in which they live.

Board member Robin Crossan said she was supportive of adding some at-large seats, but she expressed concern about a plan to do away with all of the boundaries for the board seats.

She said such a plan could make it easy for several candidates from the same neighborhood to run together under a single agenda.

Other board members said that scenario already could happen under the current boundaries and didn’t share the concern.

If the board votes to pursue a redistricting plan, voters in the school district would have to approve it.

Friend of Education

Monday’s meeting starts with a reception to honor Beth Wendler as the district’s 2013 Friend of Education.

After she moved to the Yampa Valley from Denver in 2004, Wendler started volunteering in Steamboat classrooms.

In 2009, she helped open the store in the atrium of Steamboat Springs Middle School that rewards students for good behavior with items such as Nerf guns, pizza and root beer floats.

Wendler was featured last year in the Locals section of Steamboat Living magazine.

"I couldn’t imagine having a family and giving so much time outside of it to volunteer," middle school teacher Jennifer Spurlock said about Wendler in the article. "Her effort and energy is impressive."

Contract extension

Also Monday night, the School Board will consider offering Superintendent Brad Meeks a contract extension.

Meeks and the board have been negotiating a new contract in recent weeks that would have the superintendent continue to lead the district through at least the 2014-15 school year.

Following Meeks’ year-end performance review last week, board President Brian Kelly said the School Board was "very much leaning" toward offering Meeks the extended contract.

Meeks, who in 2011 came to Steamboat from Farmington Area Public Schools in Minnesota, is finishing his second year with the district.

In addition to voting on whether to offer Meeks a new contract, the board will spend some of its Monday meeting in executive session to discuss the negotiations of the district’s Collaborative Bargaining Team regarding the salaries and benefits of district staff.

According to Monday’s agenda, the board this week could call a special meeting to consider approving a salary and benefits package for staff.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

Recent Friend of Education honorees

2011-12: Susan McIntosh

2010-11: Paige Boucher

2009-10: Nancy Mucklow

2008-09: Fred Gardner and Mary Labor

2007-08: Julie Taulman, Shelly St. Pierre and Ed MacArthur

2006-07: Paul Sachs