Oracle School District – November 2014

Linda Thomas

On September 12, 2014 the Governing Board and Administrators of the Oracle School District donated funds to hold a Volunteer Appreciation Party for District volunteers. The event was held in the HOA 1 Activities Center, and over 30 people attended. Linda Thomas, Governing Board President, welcomed everyone and introduced the District Superintendent, Mr. Dennis Blauser. He provided an update on all the wonderful progress being made in the District and lauded the hard work of teachers, staff and the governing board. “Insufficient funding forced tough calls for the District over the last couple of years, but our folks stepped up and met the challenge and then some,” Mr. Blauser said. He went on to say, “Not only did we cut 30 percent in administrative costs, we also combined our two campuses to save approximately $40,000 per year in operations and maintenance funding, allowing us to put more money directly into the classroom.”

Mr. Blauser also briefly discussed the District’s Budget Override Continuation that will be on the ballot this November 4. He explained how the funding is critical to providing a complete curriculum, maintaining moderate class sizes, retaining full-day kindergarten and ensuring the ability to attract and retain quality teachers. “This is not a new tax,” said Mr. Blauser, “but a continuation amounting to a total bill per household of about $2 to $5 per month depending on home value.”

The highlight of the evening, however, was to recognize the District’s fabulous volunteers, and Mr. Blauser was effusive about their contributions to the District and its students. “The contributions our 100-plus volunteers make each and every day is immeasurable,” he said. He also talked about the District’s efforts to ensure all volunteers are effectively utilized and feel greatly appreciated. Mr. Blauser said he would be asking the Governing Board to approve a Volunteer Handbook to help professionalize the program. “Our volunteers are wonderful,” he said, “they tutor, provide music and art opportunities, teach horsemanship, sewing, run the student snack bar, paint, clean, support teachers in the classroom, help with office work and a multitude of other valuable services. We just couldn’t do it without them.”

Mr. Blauser gave nice certificates to each of the volunteers, and everyone enjoyed pizza, sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, chocolate chip cookies and beverages. Several volunteers thanked Governing Board members for hosting the event and said they really enjoy their volunteer time. Anyone interested in volunteering for the Oracle School District should contact Rosa Flores, OSD Volunteer/Community Schools Coordinator, at 520-896-3049 or via her email at [email protected].