Subscribe for 17¢ / day

School District 2’s Board of Trustees will discuss issues from the superintendent search to the 2001-02 budget, at a regular board meeting Monday.

At the meeting, trustees will focus on how they want to continue the search for a new superintendent. Trustees initially hired Lee Pasquarella of Cascade Consulting to help in the search.

Trustees paid Pasquarella about $16,500 to recruit candidates for the post. In late March, Pasquarella turned the names of 18 candidates over to the board.

After studying the applications of the superintendent hopefuls, trustees decided none of candidates would be a good match for the district. The search was suspended, and Interim Superintendent Jo Swain agreed to serve in that capacity for another year.

Interim Associate Superintendent Dave Irion, who was also principal of West High, left the district at the end of June to become executive director of the St. Vincent Foundation. A search is on for a permanent associate superintendent, after administrative duties were reshuffled to allow for the position with no new FTE.

Trustees will look at both the process they want to use this time around and the time-frame to hire a new superintendent.

The board also will be asked to consider items not yet included in the 2001-02 budget. Among them are a 2002 summer reading program for first- and second-graders, whether to hire a negotiator to handle coming negotiations with the Billings Education Association, and additional elementary- and middle-school textbooks.

Trustees also will consider the amount of money that they believe should be held in the high-school reserve fund. In the past, 10 percent of the high school budget, or $2.5 million, has been maintained in the fund for emergencies and low-cash times.

The fund was emptied when a clerical error last fall reappropriated the money to the state and in local taxpayer relief. In June, state the Office of Public Instruction was able to restore $329,497 to the reserve fund.

Now trustees must decide whether that amount is adequate or if additional money should be added to the fund.

The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the boardroom at Lincoln Education Center.Susan Olp can be reached at 657-1281 or at