Clarinda School District McKinley Central Office Building

Clarinda School District McKinley Central Office Building

(Clarinda) -- As the search for a new school business official continues, the Clarinda School District is getting temporary help from a former employee.

At its regular meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Clarinda School Board unanimously approved an agreement for an independent contractor to handle district financial work. Under the agreement, Colby Pedersen will assist with financial and business operations during the transition to a new school business official for a $3,700 fee. Pedersen resigned as the district's director of finance back in April. But, Clarinda School Superintendent Chris Bergman says Pedersen has remained in contact.

"Mr. Pedersen has been answering phone calls anytime day or night as we need support--and he is willing to continue doing that," said Bergman. "This will be compensation moving forward for all the things that we will contribute to continue our financial stability--not as a district employee, but as someone who understands school finance, and can help keep us in compliance within the law, as well as getting things finished for state reporting.

"There aren't any set hours, there aren't set meetings. He always has been with us, and he always will be," she added.

Bergman says there is no timeline for Pedersen's services.

"Once that money's been expended," said Bergman, "we would always have to reconsider. It's a stipend that, until we get an SBO that is in place, and can do everything independently, he is willing and able to support us."

In the meantime, Bergman says the search continues for a new business official that's "the right fit" for the district.

"We know how important the position is," she said, "and we'll keep looking until we find the right person."

Bergman adds the district hopes to continue sharing the services for another school business official, Shirley Maxwell, with the Stanton School District.

"I would appreciate it if we could still have that, and continue that relationship," said Bergman. "I know Dave Gute, the superintendent in Stanton, is feeling the same way. I also know that Shirley has other work to do, and if we can find the right person, and if we can continue to keep a really great, positive atmosphere in our business office, I think she would like to stick with us."

In other business, the board approved the second and final readings of a general complaint form, as recommended by the Iowa Association of School Boards. The form covers policies regarding public participation in board meetings, communication channels, employee complaints and public complaints about employees.

Also, Board President Greg Jones announced that the board is having a work session with the Iowa Association of School Boards Wednesday, June 23rd at 4 p.m. at the middle school commons.

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