Gladstone construction projects move at ‘mach’ speed

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone School Board approved the payment of bond construction bills, hired a new elementary physical education teacher, and awarded a series of coaching positions during its regular meeting Monday night.

“It was nice to be able to report that the construction project is just going at mach speed. Everything so far is on time and we’re within budget. That’s huge,” said Superintendent Jay Kulbertis, adding that upgrades in buildings throughout the district include roofing, flooring, and technology.

“The inside of Cameron and Jones are getting a complete facelift, new entryways, parking lots – It’s crazy busy, just like a swarm of worker ants all over all the buildings,” Kulbertis said.

Currently, construction and technology upgrades are taking place at every building in the district. All projects are expected to be completed one week before school starts in the fall, allowing teachers to be back in the building for professional development days befoe classes begin.

“Really, there’s a lot we have to do to get the building ready for teachers and students once the construction’s done,” said Kulbertis.

New to the teaching staff this year will be Alexandra Fowler who will take over as the elementary physical education teacher. Prior to join the district, Fowler had been working for Three Lakes Academy, a charter school in Curtis, Mich.

“The kids are going to love her. She’s going to fit right in with the staff,” said Kulbertis.

Six coaching positions were also awarded during the meeting.

Varsity cheerleading will be coached by Kristi Nevala, with Jamie Lippens as the assistant coach.

“Kristi Nevala and Jamie Lippens are hall of fame caliber cheerleading coaches that had gotten out of it,” said Kulbertis.

Kelly Smith will be taking over as the permanent drama advisor. Smith began working with students in drama last year at the high school, and, because there was interest, started a middle school program. She has 13 years experience with Players de Noc.

Current varsity basketball coach Carl Dollhopf will also be the seventh-grade girls basketball coach.

“Those girls are going to have one of the best coaches in the state as their girls basketball coach, so that’s exciting,” said Kulbertis.

The freshman football coaching and the varsity assistant football coaching positions were also awarded during the meeting. The freshman football coaching position was awarded to Andrew Schwarts. Bob Noreus will be the assistant varsity football coach.

Due to scheduling conflicts, the board moved to switch the next regular school board meeting from Aug. 19 to Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.