Dunham to retire at end of school year

December 28, 2022

The Comanche Board of Education met in a regular session on Dec. 13. Board members approved various consent agenda items including the activity fund report, treasurer’s report, and general fund encumbrances.

The board also approved the resignation of high school principal Steven Dunham.

“Mr. Dunham’s retirement will leave a void in the leadership of the building,” said superintendent Julie Bills. “This is a key position within the district and the individual must have vision, good communication skills, and a sound understanding of what good teaching looks like. These will be key characteristics to consider in the search for Mr. Dunham’s replacement.”

Matt Reichert from Stephen H. McDonald & Associates, Inc. presented information on the bonding capacity of the school district.

Jerry Kerr and Valerie Hill, representatives of Kerr 3 Architects, gave a presentation and answered the board member’s questions regarding possible 2023 Bond projects. Superintendent Bills discussed with the board the various needs of the district that cannot be accomplished without funding from the sale of bonds. Two major bonds will be needed to meet those funding needs.

If approved by voters in the district, a new band and vocal music facility would be constructed between the high school and the annex. This building will be designed to meet FEMA requirements for a safe room to accommodate all high school students. The old band room will be renovated to house a new commons area, high school office space, and ADA compliant restrooms.

A new main entrance to the high school would be relocated to the west side of the new commons area and would face the main parking lot. Kerr 3 representatives shared drawings and cost estimates for the two projects. Other projects include the resurfacing of the running track, elementary playground equipment, a new truck for the Agriculture Education program, new band uniforms and instruments, as well as technology infrastructure upgrades.

Board members voted to approve the employment of Stephen H. McDonald & Associates, Inc. as financial consultant for the school district, and approved a resolution calling for a special election to be held on Feb. 14, 2023 to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund capital improvement projects.

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In other action, board members approved an agreement with Kerr 3 Architects for design work related to possible construction projects as well as an agreement with Red Sky Constructors for construction management services.

In the monthly superintendent’s report, Bills reported that the Pre-ACT was administered last month to 60 students. and the PSAT to 13 students. Morgan Middick was 4th alternate french horn for the OKMEA All-State Honor Band and 2nd chair french horn OSSBBA All State Honor Band. The band is traveling to Tampa, Florida for the Reliaquest Bowl parade and performance. The Ag shop classes are working on some big projects to take to OYE, including a smoker on a trailer. Several Ag students competed recently at the Central Area FFA Fall CDE contest with several of the teams placing well. The wrestling and basketball teams are both off to a great start.

Bills expressed appreciation to Thomas Winton for his continued service on the Board of Education. Winton filed for re-election for board position number 2, without opposition.