Gaswick takes head football job; P.E. teaching filled in-house

Bulk of meeting spent on new reading program discussion

    While the CCS board of education completed some hirings and accepted a resignation Tuesday, more than three hours were spent debating a new K-12 reading program.
    Nathan Gaswick accepted the high school’s head football coaching job and two other in-house staff members will fill physical education (P.E.) classes that arose after Dan Lenners’ resignation in May.
    The board also accepted fourth grade teacher Rita Nickel’s resignation.
    The bulk of the four-hour meeting centered on the American Reading Company (ARC) Core reading program. It was recommended for purchase by newly-hired curriculum coordinator April Lambert and K-6 Principal Becky Odens.
    The meeting was held in the school auditorium (also available via Zoom), where a lengthy presentation was given, followed by questions and comments from the board.
    April Lambert cited the fact CCS has no coordinated reading program, and grades 7-12 have none at all. She said some of the copyrights on CCS reading material being used is more than 15 years old.
    Board members questioned the near $240,000 cost and whether now is the time with COVID-19 uncertainty ahead. Another program considered, Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA), has a similar bottom line cost but payment is spread out over several years, said Supt. Larry Lambert.
    There was also some disagreement on how to gauge the vote from English/language arts teachers on what program was preferred, and what the voting numbers meant.
    There was no motion offered at Tuesday’s meeting.
    Instead, the board set a special meeting for Monday, June 22, at 6 p.m. for further discussion and a possible decision.
    April Lambert said a decision needed to be made by July 1 for a program to be used in the coming school year.
    More on the reading program discussion will follow in a story next week.
Hirings, resignation
    Gaswick, who completed his first year at CCS and was an assistant football coach for the 2019 season, accepted the head coaching job.
    He teaches P.E. and body conditioning classes.
    Activities Director Troy Hauxwell said nine applications for the position were reviewed by incoming 7-12 Principal Mike Sorensen, Supt. Larry Lambert, incoming Supt. Adam Lambert and himself.
    Gaswick is a 2005 CCS graduate, and was part of two state runner-up Longhorn football and basketball teams. He played football at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, where he also spent a semester as a Graduate Assistant. He taught and coached at Dodge City, Kansas before moving back to Imperial.
    Lenners was head football coach at CCS for 15 years, and an assistant coach for 25.
    Denise Smith and Hauxwell will each teach two P.E. classes in 2020-21 to help fill the void with Lenners’ resignation.
    Smith, the school’s halftime media specialist, will teach two sixth grade P.E. classes, while Hauxwell will teach two in grades 7-8.
    Rita Nickel’s resignation was approved. She has accepted a K-6 principal’s position at Garden County Schools in Oshkosh.
    She’s been at CCS seven years, and was thanked by board members for her time here.
    Supt. Larry Lambert said CCS is advertising for a fulltime elementary teacher to replace Nickel.


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