I-S School Board votes to postpone travel
By Jane Myhra
The Spanish Club trip sparked heated debates during the March 21 meeting of the Iola-Scandinavia School Board.
The discussion began in February, when Spanish instructor Jessica Wennesberg requested approval of a Spanish Club trip to Guatamala on June 7-19, 2017.
It was noted by some board members that this trip would interfere with the 2017 state baseball and softball tournaments. Board policy states that field trips must not interfere with previously scheduled events.
At its Feb. 8 meeting, the board approved delaying the trip until June 19, and re-approved that decision at its March 14 meeting.
After meeting in closed session on personnel matters, the board reconvened and the issue was brought back to the table.
According to parliamentary procedure, only someone voting on the winning side of a vote can bring the issue back.
According to Spanish teacher Jessica Wennesberg, only a few of the 29 Spanish Club students could potentially have a conflict if the trip remained as scheduled in early June 2017.
Baseball Coach Pete Timdal said that more than five or six students would be affected by the trip if I-S teams qualified for the state tournaments.
“It affects every player on the team, the coaches and the entire community,” he said.
Wennesberg said that postponing the trip until after June 19 would create problems with weather and conflict with summer jobs.
“I want to offer students the best trip possible,” she said. “Our school district should be proud that so many students want to go on this trip. It is a trip of a lifetime.”
According to Wennesberg, the school district does not fund this trip and all of the preparation is done on her own time.
“There are many things we need to consider when planning an academic trip this late in the school year,” said Board President Kristen Hoyord.
“I’m really torn here,” said board member Bruce Beyersdorf. “”We as a board need to hear everything. I am so much for the kids – that’s why I’m on the school board.”
“I just want (students) to have the opportunity to do both,” Timdal said. “They shouldn’t have to pick one or the other.”
“We are underestimating our children,” Wennesberg said. “They will make the right decision for themselves.”
A motion to postpone the Spanish Trip until after June 19 was approved 4 to 3. Board members voting no were Hoyord, Mike Koles and Ken Wavruk.