WEST BRANCH District looks to name 3 schools

Health insurance for employees will cost the school district 15 percent more than last year.
BELOIT -- The West Branch Local Board of Education has approved the preliminary design for a new kindergarten-through-fifth-grade building that will replace Knox Elementary School.
The board is also seeking suggestions for names for that building, the K-8 building being constructed south of the high school here and an elementary school to be built at a later date in Damascus.
At a recent board meeting, Robert Steines, lead architect from Riccuiti, Balog & amp; Partners, proposed the design and answered board members' questions concerning classroom size, location of restrooms and playgrounds and preservation of existing landscaping and parking lots.
The school will contain six clusters of three rooms each, built around an open courtyard, as well as a cafeteria and gymnasium.
Board members unanimously approved the design.
Treasurer Karen Elsner said the board is now soliciting names for the three elementary schools. Anyone who would like to submit names for the buildings may drop them off at the superintendent's office, which is temporarily located in the lobby of the high school auditorium during construction and renovation there.
Submissions may also be mailed to the superintendent at P.O. Box 238, Beloit, 44609. Selection of a committee to choose the names is still in progress, Elsner said, and anyone who would like to serve on that committee should contact the superintendent's office.
In other action, the board approved health insurance premiums for employees for the 2002-03 school year at $391.44 and $355.40 (Single Options I and II), and $959.81 and $892.62 (Family Options I and II). Employees who take the more expensive option pay 7 percent of the premium.
Elsner said these prices reflect a 15 percent increase in insurance costs for the district.
The board accepted resignations from Maple Ridge third-grade teacher Mark Winn, junior high special education teacher Amy Beniston and high school math teacher Ken Harris, as well as the retirement of high school Occupational Work Adjustment teacher Bruce Rohrer.
Hired were Tracy Wyatt of Beloit as a high school health teacher, Natela Martig of Beloit, who will replace Winn at Maple Ridge, Lisa Lucente of Boardman as a sixth-grade teacher at Beloit and Jacqueline Lyons of Alliance, who will fill the junior high special education position.

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