Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

TSD celebrates BHS’s Jesse Hatton

April 27, 2023 | Education

Jesse Hatton


By Will Cornelius
The Surveyor

The Board of Education for the Thompson School District (TSD) met on April 19 at Berthoud High School (BHS) for a regular meeting. All members of the board were in attendance for the twice-a-year session held in Berthoud. After the current agenda and past minutes were unanimously approved by the board, the meeting got underway in earnest.

Marc Schaffer, the TSD Superintendent, was first on the agenda with an update on what has been going on in the district. He acknowledged that the board was able to hold an informal dinner with members of the Board of Trustees for the Town of Berthoud as well as Town Administrator Chris Kirk before the TSD meeting. “Had good conversation, lots of good questions that were asked … and it was a great opportunity to meet with them,” Schaffer commented.

Next was a celebration of two TSD students who received prestigious college scholarships. Jesse Hatton of BHS and Allie Sanders of Thompson Valley High School were both named recipients of the 2022-23 Daniels Scholarship. Daniels Scholars receive up to $100,000 toward any nonprofit accredited college in the country. “It is highly competitive — it is a very big deal. We are super proud of Jesse and Allie,” Schaffer added.

Other BHS students were also honored at the meeting. The Future Business Leaders of America team at BHS attended the state leadership conference in Aurora earlier this month. At the state conference, Caymen Freeman took first place in cyber security. For introduction to information technology, Ben Sundheim also captured first place. Bryan Lawless and Jack Houchin joined forces for third place in computer game & simulation programming. The board recognized the team and shared their success with the audience.

Ivy Stockwell Elementary was then recognized by the board for its STEM curriculum. A couple of young students at the school presented to the board. They spoke about new STEM programs they had started at the school and highlighted the new skills they were learning.

Public participation began with Tracy and Ryan Wilkin pleading to the board to do better for two of their children with special needs at Walter Clark Middle School. They said that the district is failing their children by not properly supporting their special needs. Tracy Wilkin raised similar concerns at the past TSD meeting in March and said that there had been no progress since then.

The rest of the public comments concerned school safety at Loveland High School and increasing teacher pay for next year. With no more remarks from the public, the board unanimously approved a 10-point consent agenda. Included were the approval of a $1,063,760 expenditure to Vivacity Tech for student learning devices and the adoption of a new English language arts curriculum.

The board then heard updates on a handful of discussion items. Melissa Schneider, chief academic officer for TSD, spoke about the district’s animal-assisted intervention program. Therapy dogs are in 15 schools across the district. Schneider said that animal-assisted interventions have been happening in the district for 30 years now and there are measurable successes in student outcomes.

Gordon Jones, CFO for TSD, then gave a budget update for the 2023-2024 school year. According to Jones, per pupil revenue in TSD is estimated to be $10,000 in 2023-2024 — a 10.2% rise from the previous year.

The TSD board will hold its next regular meeting on May 17. It will also hold a study session on May 3 at Lucile Erwin Middle School.

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