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Beard board salutes trio for jobs well done

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Retiring maintenance man Jack Barber and deputy corporation treasurer Aubrey Chaney both received praise for their efforts at Tuesday’s meeting of the Charles A. Beard School Board.

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

One was a dedicated maintenance man on his way out. Another was a well-trained finance person on her way up. A third, quite simply, is showing the school corporation the way forward financially.

All three earned praise, applause and thanks Tuesday at the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Board meeting.

Retiring maintenance man Jack Barber, Deputy Treasurer Aubrey Chaney and Treasurer Stephanie Madison each garnered school board salutes for jobs well done.

Barber, a maintenance man extraordinaire, is retiring next month. Board members thanked Barber for all the hard work.

“Jack has decided to retire in the next couple of weeks,” Supt. Jediah Behny said. “We have an awful lot to thank him for. For the last decade Jack has been the glue in a lot of ways for our school corporation. He’s stayed with us through some of our worst times financially and always found a way to keep us up and running, even when there was very little money to do so.”

Behny called Barber “a vault of institutional knowledge” who would be impossible to replace.

Barber was teased about receiving “no more phone calls on weekends, in the middle of vacation or the middle of the night.” His last day will be Feb. 28.

“Thank you Jack for your years of service,” board member Suzee Neal said. You will be missed.”

Meanwhile, Chaney was recognized for completing a difficult certification process that will make her even more valuable in the school corporation business office. 

“She’s our payroll coordinator and deputy treasurer,” Behny said. “She has survived a significant amount of change in our office over the past few months. We’ve changed banks, we’ve added automated time clock systems, we changed our entire business software system, we downsized our office by eliminating one position and have rebuilt the budget and business process altogether due to House Bill 1009. While we were going through all of this, she has completed her Indiana Association of Business Officials certification for assistant chief business officer.”

The certification process included dozens of courses and workshops.

In the case of School Corp. Treasurer Stephanie Madison, school board members enthusiastically raised her salary. Board member Graham Richardson called her the “consummate professional.”

Madison was given a one-year contract for $65,000 annually.

In other business Tuesday night:

• Four bids were received to farm 56 acres of ground on school-corporation property. John Gray had the highest bid at $275 per acre. John Tice, Sam Sparks and Petry Farms also submitted bids for the ground.

• Supt. Jediah Behny discussed the new school funding arrangement, which eliminates the general, capital projects, debt service and special education funds and replaces them with just two accounts. The theory is to give school corporations more flexibility in how it can spend money. But Behny cautioned there are more than 80 education-related bills being considered in the 2019 Indiana General Assembly, and the new funding arrangement could be short-lived.

• The Knightstown Intermediate School Robotics Club accepted $500 donations from Hancock Regional Hospital and Knightstown Elementary School.