NEW BLOOMFIELD — The New Bloomfield Board of Education discussed a variety of issues — from FFA to signage to linens — during Thursday night's meeting.
During the report on the agriculture department, Dean Reichel said the school's Future Farmers of America chapter was celebrating its 25th anniversary.
"Some students and I went to KRCG during FFA week," he said. "We talked about the 25 years of FFA at New Bloomfield."
Reichel said not only is the program storied, it is also thriving.
"The program is growing," he said. "Last year, FFA had 43 members. We grew to 56 this year; we have a lot of excitement in the program from the freshmen."
Part of a growing program is a growing budgetary requirement, Reichel said, though he was optimistic about the cost.
"Right now, FFA's budget turnover is about $14,000 a year," he said. "That is only going to keep going up, especially when they keep raising fees. Even with double the number of members, the only difference in price is dues, which Missouri keeps talking about raising."
Reichel said dues currently sit around $20 per student, and students have found that amount popular. Another point of pride for the chapter has been its ranking.
"This chapter and kids have a solid program," he said. "We are in the top 50 chapters in the state. To reach Gold level, we need to reach 100 percent membership in the agriculture department."
To help reach that goal, Reichel said the FFA has formed a booster club.
"It is not so much a funding source," he said. "It is more a group to help us reach goals, and a network to provide more opportunity for the kids."
Overall, this has been a red letter year for New Bloomfield's FFA, Reichel said.
"This has been a great year," he said. "I am very happy to be here."
High school sign
During the budget report, a lengthy discussion was had about funds for a new sign for the high school.
"We have reached our goal for the sign," Superintendent David Tramel said. "Part of that is around $5,000 in revenue from classes that have graduated."
Some alumni believed this had already happened, Board of Education President Terri Sweeten said.
"Some classes asked for (that money) for their five-year reunion," she said. "They were told it had already been absorbed into the budget."
The money in those accounts was raised for school events like prom or school functions, Tramel said. Going forward, the board decided to have outgoing classes vote on what they want done with the money they raise.
Also during the budget report, Tramel discussed an amusing oversight he discovered in the budget.
"We have been using white linen towels for everything," he said. "We are reassessing our needs for these white towels, as we are currently spending several hundred dollars on them."
It turns out, Tramel said, the towels are being used in the cafeteria, classroom, gym and everywhere else throughout the schools.
"The teachers think that by using them instead of paper towels, they are saving money," Principal Julia Gerloff said.
Discovering and correcting the issue had become quite the story, Tramel said.
"This has definitely been a source of entertainment. I have learned a lot about linens," Tramel said. "I don't know how we didn't catch it sooner. This will end up being my legacy; solving the white towel issue."