Moritz to Fill Springer's Seat on School Board - from The Messenger
The Fort Dodge Community School District Board of Education has appointed Matt Moritz to fill the vacancy on the board left from the death of board member Steve Springer on May 31.
Moritz, a physician’s assistant at Iowa Specialty Hospital Clinic in Fort Dodge, was appointed and took his oath of office during the board’s regular meeting on Monday night.
Following Monday night’s resignation by board vice president Matt Wagner, the school board now has an additional vacant seat.
“The public has 14 days to petition for a special election,” said Superintendent Jesse Ulrich. “If we do not have a petition for a special election, the board has up to 30 days from the vacancy to make an appointment for that seat.”
Ulrich said those interested in the board vacancy can reach out to him or board president Stu Cochrane to be considered for the appointment.
“Throughout the day, as part of public comments, the board did receive several emails from both staff members and family members encouraging them to look at candidates who may be a minority or a person of color, to add diversity to the board,” Ulrich noted.
Prior to the meeting on Monday night, the school board received “many” comments from the public, Ulrich said. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school board has asked that members of the public submit their comments via email prior to a meeting. Before the pandemic, there would be a time set aside in the agenda for members of the public to share comments. As meetings are currently being held via Zoom video conferencing, that hasn’t been possible.
“All comments we have received will be a part of the public record for the meeting,” Ulrich said.
Though he didn’t read any of the comments during the meeting, the superintendent said that most comments were about one of two subjects.
“The No. 1 concern was the board member comments on the personal Twitter account,” he said. “And the second concern was of an employee posting a protest speech on TikTok.”
In other business, the board approved a spending request for $124,000 to build a district-wide professional learning community (PLC) vision and provide support for individual building PLC leaders.
The PLC training from Achievement Network has been a partnership the district has had for the past two years, Director of Elementary Education Steph Anderson said.
The spending, which was approved by the board, will be paid for out of the 2020-2021 teacher leadership compensation and building-level teacher quality budgets.
“This is one thing that we have had many conversations with building principals about and they feel it is so important to do this work, and they all were willing to use 80% of their building teacher quality funds for this,” Anderson said.
The board also approved $24,950 in spending to implement the district’s 5D instructional framework, to help build the capacity of the building-level and district-level leadership.
That cost will also be paid for out of the teacher leadership compensation budget.