Coach resigns for college try

BOURBON — Meeting in regular session Tuesday night, the Triton School Board accepted the resignation of new head varsity volleyball coach Larry Babcock.
While regretting his short tenure (he had not even begun coaching), Babcock said that he had received an offer to coach two sports at a college, and did not feel he could pass up the offer.
The board also approved the hiring of Jake Burnett as JV baseball coach for 2011-12.
Change is on the horizon for the JESSE special education cooperative (Joint Educational Services in Special Education). JESSE director Bob Wise was in attendance to summarize the changes recommended for the agency which serves nine school corporations. The Triton board voted to approve the new model with four of five members present and voting. Detailed coverage will follow after all nine corporations approve the reorganization.
In other business:
• The board voted to approve the minutes from the Feb. 13 work, regular, and executive sessions, and the Feb. 27 executive session. Also approved were payment vouchers totaling $761,876.40. A reading of corporation policy updates was assumed, board members having been sent a copy of the updates earlier.
• Superintendent Carl Hilling reported on an unusual note of praise received from the Marquette Catholic High School head basketball coach. He also reminded the board of the March 14 work session in which the topic of a possible bond for the boilers in the high school and the technology program will be further explored with Curt Pletcher of Umbaugh Financial.
• Patron Larry Wattenbarger, who is also a teacher at Triton Jr.-Sr. High School, praised the new bathroom remodeling and automatic soap dispensers, but pointed out that a trash can was still needed to prevent gum wrappers, etc. from going down the toilets.
He also raised the issue of the public address system in the high school, saying that announcers’ voices were sporadic, cutting in and out and preventing students and staff from hearing all announcements. He is concerned that in an emergency such as a lockdown or weather alert, safety could be impaired. The board will take the issue under advisement and investigate the complaint.
• School discipline is improving according to Jeremy Riffle, elementary principal. He pointed out that disciplinary actions were down from the previous year. Addressing parental complaints about the letter sent following six unexcused absences, he said that they were simply reminders to parents of school and state attendance requirements and policies. The elementary school is having good success using the Trojan PRIDE model of awarding tickets for positive student actions; 1818 tickets have been awarded since October.
• Riffle also reported on other positive events at the school, including ISTEP testing, Books for Baskets, I Read III, and staff committee meetings addressing new learning objectives. He complimented Josh Van Houten, school social worker, for going beyond the call of duty. Riffle, Bob Ross (Jr.-Sr. High School assistant principal), and Christine Cook (K-12 Data Assessment Coordinator) will be speaking to the current Leadership Marshall County class.
• Ross then reported that disciplinary referrals were also down from last year at the Jr.-Sr. high school. ISTEP testing has gone well, with students preferring this year’s method of testing in class groups by individual teachers, as opposed to last year’s mass group testing. He said that the construction of the new concession stand at the football field/track is progressing.
The stand will be located near the front gate. Many community members and visiting teams and fans had commented on the school’s organization and handling of the sectional and regional basketball tournaments hosted by Triton.