110117-star-news-royall

The Royall school board deliberates on the meeting agenda for Oct. 23.

JAKE EKDAHL/Star-Times

Finances and distinguished alumni took the focus at the Royall school board meeting on Oct. 23.

“We’ve come so far with our finances... we couldn’t be doing better or be more proud or fortunate,” said district administrator Mark Gruen.

The local share of the final budget was $2,005,086, and was passed unanimously. The total budget is $7,367,175. Business manager Jeff Lankey called the budget “great news.”

The school’s food service policy was also updated, to include the USDA Nondiscrimination Statement. The statement prevents discrimination based on “race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.” The policy adoption put the school “kind of ahead of the game,” Gruen said, so they would not have to update it in the future. The food service policy previously did not have a nondiscrimination statement included.

The school board is also planning to replace the school lockers. They are currently “getting bids and quotes. Kind of on a wish list,” said board president Doug Waterman. “We got a low quote, that we’re proud of,” said Gruen. The final decision on the lockers was tabled until November.

The board also addressed the necessity of quality helmets to prevent concussions for athletes under the age of 12.

“We have very good helmets. We’ve made a very good investment thanks to this board… we rectify the helmets every year,” Gruen said.

Gruen noted that the football coach must balance the concerns of parents, with some pushing for their child to play when he or she isn’t ready, and others wanting to ensure their child will not be put in an unsafe situation.

Elementary and Intermediate School principal Darcy Uppena said she was pleased with what she had seen of the representative from Gunnersen Luther Counseling’s visits to the school.

“She’ll meet with about four kids every time she’s here,” Uppena said.

The recent “spirits walk” trip to Madison for fifth graders also went well, according to Uppena. The event is held in a Madison cemetery with actors representing historical figures standing beside their graves and sharing educational information with visitors.

The board also addressed five new additions to the Royall Hall of Recognition. The additions are William Udulutch, class of 1968; Sue Ann Thompson, class of 1959; Steve Sartori, class of 1973; Sister Leclare Beres, class of 1944; and Patricia Brady, class of 1968.

Udulutch, an architect with a degree from UW-Milwaukee, hosts his home to foreign exchange students and is a volunteer driver for military veterans, foster children and seniors. Udulutch is someone who “quietly provides help wherever he sees a need,” Gruen said.

Thompson is a former teacher with 30 years of experience and is the founder, president and director of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. She has “dedicated her life to enrich the lives of others,” Gruen said. Thompson is the wife of former Governor Tommy Thompson.

Sartori is a physician with a degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He has taken several trips to foreign countries to provide health services to communities in need. Sartori has “expanded his role of physician to include that of teacher and mentor to numerous individuals,” Gruen said. He has been on medical missions to Romania, Swaziland, Kenya, Thailand, and Jamaica. Sartori also serves on the advisory board for the school of nursing at Cedarville University.

Beres is both a registered nurse and a Franciscan sister. She has worked as a director of nursing for several institutions and helped found the St. Clare Health Mission in La Crosse. “She is remembered as a prayerful woman and a champion for the poor,” Gruen said.

Brady is an attorney with a degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has previously served as an assistant attorney general in North Carolina and a representative for the UW system. She also has taught law courses at UW-Madison. Brady has “been active in community affairs in a variety of organizations and leadership roles,” Gruen said.

The next Royall school board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 27.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl