Bd. members honored at final meeting

HARTINGTON — Monday’s Hartington-Newcastle School Board meeting was the final meeting for five long-time board members.

Ron Pearson, Doug Miller, Jerrie Jueden, Dale Blatchford, Jr. and Bryan Gotsch are all leaving the Board.

Miller, who has served on the board for eight years, and Jueden, who has been on the Board for six years, chose not to seek another term in office, while Pearson, Gotsch and Blatchford were the victims of a downsizing decision.

When the Hartington and Newcastle School Districts consolidated in 2014 it was decided to bring the board from nine members down to six members in 2016. All three chose to seek another term, but challengers Aaron Fuelberth and Jason Heikesdefeated them.

Supt. A.J. Johnson said the work these five board members have put in over the years is greatly appreciated.

“On behalf of the students and staff at Hartington-Newcastle Public School we deeply thank you for your service,” he said. “You’ve been very supportive of our goals at the school and you’ve worked to push us forward.”

School Board President Jason Dendinger said all of these Board members played a huge role in making the school a better place.

Dendinger said he is especially proud of the way the former Newcastle Board members worked to make sure the consolidation of the two districts went smoothly.

“Bryan and Dale, I didn’t get to serve with you guys very long, but I appreciate everything you went through, making a diffic
ult decision to bring both Districts together,” Dendinger said. “Everybody knows how difficult that must have been for you.”
Dendinger also had praise for the three other Board members,

“Ron’s
been here for a long time. He’s gone through quite a bit and he’s seen quite a bit accomplished here, and I think he should be thanked for all the hard work he’s put in,” Dendinger said.  “As far as Doug and Jerrie go, you haven’t been here quite as long as Ron, but I appreciate everything you’ve done for this Board. I, for one, appreciate everything you’ve done, and you will be missed.”