LPSCommunity: Highlights of May 8 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 24 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next regular meeting on May 8 at 6 p.m.

High School Task Force Findings and Recommendations

The Lincoln Board of Education held a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 8, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next regular meeting on May 22 at 6 p.m.

Recommendations for secure school entrances

Lincoln Public Schools Tuesday shared plans with the Lincoln Board of Education to identify a standard for security measures at the entrances of every school in the district: Implementation of a controlled setting of locked doors and release mechanisms for visitor traffic through the office while school is in session. 

LPS will proceed with a plan to implement locks and release mechanisms in all schools by Jan. 1, 2019 at an estimated cost of $300,000 paid through general funds budgeted for security equipment and enhancements for the 2018-19 school year.  The updates will require hardware and technology modifications at 30 schools, initial work has begun and some costs may be accounted for in the 2017-18 budget.

The Board of Education President had asked the Board Planning Committee to review secured entrances and exterior doors in the district’s school buildings and methods of securing the physical buildings. The Planning Committee studied varying school entrance designs throughout the school district and determined that infrastructure and processes are in place at all schools to route visitors into the school throughout the school day through either a security station or the school office. Visitors to our schools during the school day must check in with an adult to be given access to our schools.  

The Planning Committee determined that the preferred security standard was the buildings where access to the school is through a controlled setting of locked doors and release mechanisms.  

Lincoln Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal Cooperation Agreement

Lincoln Public Schools Tuesday presented the option of an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement to fund community and school security measures – for the purpose of reviewing and comparing that option with the proposed Lincoln Safe and Successful Kids Joint Public Agency (JPA).

Lincoln and LPS officials have proposed the Safe and Successful Kids JPA to hire six middle school resource officers, a threat-assessment officer, mental health support through an additional school social worker and additional therapist services, and to provide sustained funding for Community Learning Centers.

The proposed interlocal agreement would support the same initiatives for the coming year, but would not create a new governmental entity.  There is no transfer of taxing authority allowed through interlocals, but the interlocal agreement stipulates that each governmental unit will levy a half-cent property tax per $100 in valuation.  The Lincoln mayor and LPS superintendent would appoint two administrators for this program. 

The JPA creates a governing body – with elected officials from the city and LPS – to promote and sustain governmental cooperation and coordination with taxing authority through a reduction in the city of Lincoln’s maximum taxing authority. The JPA would be authorized to levy up to one cent.

“This is a starting point for conversation,” said Lanny Boswell, president of the Lincoln Board of Education. After Board members asked questions and discussed both options, the Board determined to bring back both options for consideration at a future Board meeting – likely for the May 22 Board meeting. 

Name change

The Lincoln Board of Education heard a proposal to recognize the Yankee Hill Program, 865 W. Burnham St. – as the Yankee Hill Education Center.  That change would align the new name with the Don D. Sherrill Education Center and the Nuernberger Education Center, which are similar programs.  Changing the name of the Yankee Hill Education Center would more accurately reflect the identity of the facility.  The Board will vote final approval at the May 22 meeting.


The Board approved submission of the required application of the Indian Education grant to the U.S. Department of Education through Title VI of Every Student Succeeds Act for $150,762. Decisions regarding the use of these funds are made in consultation with the Native American Advisory Committee.  LPS has received federal funds for services for Native American students since the mid-1980s. Native American students are enrolled in all schools across the LPS district, representing about 60 tribes as designated by parents.

The Board also approved the LPS application for the KaBOOM! Let’s Play Upgrade your Play grant to KaBOOM! Inc. for $20,000. Huntington Elementary School proposes to utilize $20,000 in KaBOOM! grant funding to purchase and install new playground equipment.  Huntington has a playground renovation plan that has already raised more than $6,000 and this grant would help accelerate the funding requirements of the plan. 

The Board heard a proposal to renew an agreement with United Way of Lincoln Lancaster County to provide LPS grant funds in the amount of $40,000 to support services provided at any of the current 26 Community Learning Center School sites. The Board will vote final approval at the May 22 meeting. 

Contracts approved for superintendent, executive team

The Board approved contracts for LPS Superintendent Steve Joel and the superintendent’s executive team for the 2018-19 year.

Joel will receive a base salary of $325,139, a 2.49 percent increase over the previous year. His total package increase would be 2.17 percent.

Salary increases for the members of executive team are 2.68 percent, with an overall package increase of 2.43 percent:

  • Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for Instruction, $226,774.
  • Eric Weber, associate superintendent for Human Resources; and Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs, $214,859.
  • John Neal, assistant superintendent for General Administration and Government Relations, $210,525.

Science Focus Program project facilitator agreement

The Board voted to approve an agreement with the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and the city of Lincoln to ensure use of a new Science Focus Program facility for what is known as Zoo School, located at the Children’s Zoo.

The Children's Zoo initiated a capital campaign and a major construction and renovation project, and LPS is a partner in contributing to the project with the zoo and the city. The agreement includes $1 rental per year and annual renewals thereafter. A sublease also provides that LPS is committing a maximum of $3,265,084 as its share of the construction and related costs for the new school facility. The new facility will increase capacity for students to enroll in the Science Focus Program.

Staff Celebration

The Lincoln Board of Education recognized Leadership LPS, an initiative to help aspiring administrators further develop their leadership potential and prepare for a potential principal position – through a variety of quality leadership experiences focusing on the Lincoln Public Schools system. 

The following LPS administrators have completed the 18-month course: 

  • 1.    Rob Baltensperger
  • 2.    Chris Boden
  • 3.    Traci Boothe
  • 4.    Annette Bushaw
  • 5.    Amy Clark
  • 6.    Jamie Cook
  • 7.    Joanna Davis-Yoakum
  • 8.    Kevin Deutsch
  • 9.    Stephanie Drake
  • 10.Sharon Eickhoff
  • 11.Jodi Frager
  • 12.Casey Fries
  • 13.Marci Imel
  • 14.Kellie Joy
  • 15.Ben King
  • 16.Rachael Kluck-Spann
  • 17.John Matzen
  • 18.Marco Pedroza
  • 19.Kim Rosenthal
  • 20.Nancy Salsman
  • 21.J.J. Toczek
  • 22.Aaron Zabawa

Public Comment

There were community people who came and spoke at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting in the public comment section of the agenda. To watch public comment and the full Board meeting go to


Published: May 8, 2018, Updated: May 8, 2018